New Bill to extend gift card expiry dates

Expiry dates on gift cards will be extended to three years under a Member’s Bill pulled from the ballot today, National MP Melissa Lee says.

“My Fair Trading (Gift Card Expiry) Amendment Bill would see the minimum expiry date of gift cards extended to three years, so that everyone has a fair chance to use their cards.


“The legislation would stop the sale of gift cards with expiry dates of less than three years after the initial sale date, giving the recipient a more reasonable period in which to redeem the card’s full value.


“Many Kiwis use gift cards as a convenient option, but the gift can turn sour if the card is not presented by its expiry date.


“One in five recipients lose out when they don’t redeem the full value before the card expires and research has found shoppers could be losing $10 million a year on cards before they can be redeemed.


“We’ve all had those instances where a gift card has been misplaced and later found to be expired, or where children treasure their gift cards and spend months deciding how best to spend their present, only to find they’ve left it too late.


“While this might be a windfall for the retailer, it’s frustrating and disappointing for those who’ve received the gift cards.


“Other countries have regulations preventing retailers imposing unfair expiry dates. In Canada expiry dates are banned and in the US a five year expiry date is required, while many New Zealand retailers are still using a six or 12 month expiry.


“This law change is a practical and easy way to make sure more money stays in the pockets of New Zealanders.”