According to new research, there could be up to $2 billion on unspent gift cards in Australian homes.
According to a nationally representative survey conducted by comparison website Finder, most Australians have $95 worth of unused gift cards at home, which equals $1.8 billion on a national scale.
Study shows that 33% of Australians have wasted money on store gift cards that were never used. That's the equivalent of 6.4 million people who have wasted their money on plastic.
A quarter of the 1013 survey respondents said to let a gift card expire before using it in the past, prompting personal finance experts to remind people of their "donations" to stores.
According to study 2021, 24% of Aussie’s gift cards expired and 7% lost their gift cards. Under Australian Consumer Law (ACL), gift cards that are purchased after 1 November 2019 must expire within a minimum 3-year.
After an update to Australian Consumer Law, any card or voucher sold after that date must have a minimum three-year expiry time, must indicate expiry dates, and cannot charge post-purchase fees for gift card transactions.
If stores are found to be providing cards after this date that do not have a three-year expiration date, they might be fined $30,000 for a corporation and $6000 for individuals.
The key to not wasting gift cards is to keep them in mind according to Ms. Megginson.
"Even if cut-off dates have been extended," Ms. Megginson explained, "cards can easily be lost or forgotten if they are hidden in the back of a drawer or wallet."
"Retailers may go off from the business, or recipients can move to a location where the card is difficult to redeem." In recent years, the adoption of gift cards in Australia has recorded strong growth.
"If you're offered a gift card that you won't use, don't waste it." Consider swapping it for cash with a friend or selling it online.
Queenslanders are the most diligent when it comes to gift cards, with only 28% having "lost" money on one, compared to 35% of Victorians.
Published on: February 14, 2022