New national gift card laws a win for consumers

A gift card for fifty dollars. On it a photo of a child eating popcorn at the cinema

Consumers’ Federation Austrlaia welcomes the introduction of new gift card laws that start on 1 November 2019.

The new rules will help stop gift cards going to waste or being eroded by fees and charges.

All gift cards bought from 1 November will come with a minimum three-year expiry period, with the expiry date clearly marked on the card.

It will also be illegal for businesses to charge post-purchase fees or administration charges. These include fees that reduce the value of gift cards, such as activation, account keeping and balance enquiry fees.

Businesses can still charge their usual fees as part of a transaction. This might be overseas transaction fees, booking fees, or to replace a lost, stolen or damaged card. They will also be able to charge an upfront fee for the purchase of the gift card.

There are some exceptions to the new laws. These include cards sold for a good or service at a genuine discount, or vouchers given as part of a limited promotion.

For more information on the changes, including a full list of exceptions, visit