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Gift Card Expiry Dates

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Gift Card Expiry Dates

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PeeeBeeePeeeBeee Forumite
1 posts
MoneySaving Newbie
I do not know if I am posting this in the correct place. What I would really like to see is longer validity periods or the end to gift card expiry dates. People pay good money for these cards as gifts for others, in good faith. The card expires if not spent within a year and the business eg ‘Intu’ just say well the card has expired and there is nothing it can do. Rubbish. The business has taken the customers money and it would not be out of pocket to renew or extend the card would it. Let’s stop buying these vouchers as it is huge business to the companies that sell them. It is not fair. They must make a small fortune from unspent cards and do not care about customers.
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Replies

  • JJ_EganJJ_Egan Forumite
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    This is a campaign you are starting ??
  • mjm3346mjm3346 Forumite
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    If you get one just spend it without delay and never buy one for anybody - apart from the issue of expiry dates there is often no protection if they are lost or a company goes out of business
    Internet goodness £27675 ckllvwc2btfb.gif
  • renegadefmrenegadefm Forumite
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    @PeeeBeee
    I actually agree with you. I had some £20 Argos gift cards my sister gave me for my birthday once, and I put them in my wallet, but forgot all about them,  that was until I was having a sort out and spotted the cards so decided to use them to buy something, not thinking they might have expired,  only for the girl at the cashier to tell me they have expired.  My heart sank in my boots. Why do gift cards expire at all? 
  • p00hsticksp00hsticks Forumite
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    Why do gift cards expire at all? 
    Probably because of the issuing companies accounting requirements. The money goes into their coffers at the point the card is purchased, but then becomes a debt hanging over them that they are going to have to repay in the form goods at some unknown time in the future. An expiry date at least ensures that the company books will be balanced in a reasonable timeframe.

    Perhaps a better question would be - why do people ever think it a good idea to exchange one piece of paper / plastic that can be used to freely pay for any goods in any retail outlet in the country (or just saved in a bank account) and has no expiry date (i.e a £5/£10/£20 note) for another piece of plastic that has to be used to buy goods from one particular outlet in a specific timeframe (i.e a gift card) ?

    I never send or receive gift cards as I think they are truly a useless product - in my opionion a better campaign would be to get rid of them completely.
  • renegadefmrenegadefm Forumite
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    Perhaps a better question would be - why do people ever think it a good idea to exchange one piece of paper / plastic that can be used to freely pay for any goods in any retail outlet in the country (or just saved in a bank account) and has no expiry date (i.e a £5/£10/£20 note) for another piece of plastic that has to be used to buy goods from one particular outlet in a specific timeframe (i.e a gift card) ? 
    I used to buy them for family members as its a little more imaginative than cash in a card,  especially if dont know what to get them, but you know the shop their most likely to buy something. 
    So they do serve a purpous otherwise shops wouldn't produce them. They make no money from it.  
    But its infuriating and embarresing to find they have expired when the person you gave them to cant use them. 
  • callum5callum5 Forumite
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    I once found a gift card that I had used once for something and still had about half the value left I then contacted the issuing company explained the story and they reactivated the gift card with lost balance. 
    I know not all companies would do this but as someone above mentioned that it could be for accounting purposes, the companies could still set an expiry date for their accounting and if a customer forgets and the gift card is expired the new legislation could be that all companies are required to reissue the expired gift cards. That would be good for the consumer and if the accounting requirements is the reason it would help the company with that issue 
  • p00hsticksp00hsticks Forumite
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    I used to buy them for family members as its a little more imaginative than cash in a card,  especially if dont know what to get them, but you know the shop their most likely to buy something. 
    So they do serve a purpous otherwise shops wouldn't produce them. They make no money from it.  
    But its infuriating and embarresing to find they have expired when the person you gave them to cant use them. 

    I'm sorry but I have to disagree. A gift card really isn't imaginative at all - if you really don't know what to get them, just give them money and let them use their own imagination to the full deciding what to spend it on rather than tying them down to a particular store within a specific timeframe.
    Shops DO make money out of gift cards, from people like the OP and yourself who forget they have them and let them expire.
  • POPPYOSCARPOPPYOSCAR Forumite
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    They give them expiry dates for no other reason than to make money out of them. If Ikea, TK Maxx and TheatreTokens(Those are the ones I know of) can have NO expiry date and Amazon 10years than the others can do it.
  • edited 25 February at 6:04PM
    mjm3346mjm3346 Forumite
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    edited 25 February at 6:04PM
    Of course shops make money from them, not just from lost/expired cards but it's expenditure that is now tied to the particular shop, may well produce extra spending while they are being used and they provide a free boost to cash flow simply while they remain unspent.
    Internet goodness £27675 ckllvwc2btfb.gif
  • DCFC79DCFC79 Forumite
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    Cant see Gift Cards going anywhere really, people just need to be careful with them and not put them into a drawer and forget about them.
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