Play your cards right with gift vouchers

December 5, 2017

Gift vouchers and gift cards can be a great present to give or receive at any time, but it’s important to keep yourself aware of the risks involved by following our handy tips:

  • Vouchers usually have expiry dates – in lots of cases, gift vouchers or cards will expire after a certain time. If the expiry date is not clear, or there is no expiry date on the gift voucher or gift card, ask the store or shopping centre if there is one.
  • Outstanding balances – if you give or receive a gift voucher or card for a large amount, find out what rules apply to balances left on them – do you have to spend it in one go, or can you use it a few times?
  • Using vouchers from deal sites – vouchers from a variety of deal sites are very popular now, but often have quite specific limitations around when you can use them. Make sure to read the small print so you don’t lose out.
  • Check to see if you can use the gift voucher or card at more than one outlet or chain – If the store you bought the gift voucher or card from goes out of business, it will be hard for you to use it, but if it has more than one outlet you may be able to use it in another outlet.
  • Holding onto your vouchers isn’t always the best idea – the easiest way to avoid any problems is to use vouchers as quickly as possible.
  • Enquire to see if any charges apply – this should be mentioned in the terms and conditions. Some stores charge an inactivity fee or maintenance fee, which comes off the balance if you don’t use the voucher within a certain period of time.
  • Remember to take care of your gift voucher or card – If you lose a gift voucher, the shop does not have to replace it. It’s like losing cash, so make sure you keep the voucher somewhere safe.
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