Gift cards get better, but there are still some on the naughty list

Gift cards get better, but there are still some on the naughty list

RateCity has today revealed its annual ‘naughty and nice’ gift card list, as tough new rules abolish short expiry cards.

National legislation that came into effect last month means gift cards must now have an expiry of at least three years, with the date clearly written on it.

Post-purchase fees are now also banned, to ensure that what you’re given, is exactly what you’ll get this Christmas.

The nice list:

  • Bunnings has no expiry date and will give you your balance in change if its below $10.
  • JB-Hi Fi and the Good Guys also have no expiry and will post you out a card for free.
  • Netflix and Spotify round out this year’s ‘nice’ list with, in most cases, no expiry and no hidden fees attached.

The not so nice list:

The worst offenders are typically the gift cards that are pre-loaded with money.

  • Giftstore.com.au fees can climb as high as $12.68.
  • Australia Post’s Mastercard includes a purchase fee of $5.95.
  • Westfield’s eftpos card costs $2.95, plus an extra $2.95 if you want it delivered.

RateCity.com.au research director Sally Tindall said that despite the new legislation, shoppers could still get caught out.

“Short expiry dates and post-purchase fees might have hit the scrap heap but there are still plenty of ways to get tripped up by gift cards this Christmas,” she said.

“Admin fees, credit card fees, postage fees and conditions on how the money is spent are often lurking in the terms and conditions when you do a bit of digging.”

Top traps:

  • Hidden fees.
  • Excessive postage charges.
  • Rules about where you can redeem them.

Top tips:

  • Read the terms and conditions before you buy.
  • If you have an expired card, ask the store to honour it.
  • Don’t spend extra money, just for the sake of getting your balance down to zero – If your balance is under $10, ask for it back in change.
  • If you have a few dollars on your card and you can’t get it in cash, pay it forward to someone else in the queue.

RateCity 'nice' gift card list

Company The nice bits Fees
Bunnings No expiry. Change given below $9.95. Gift cards can be personalised with a photo. Postage $2.60 for physical cards (e-gift cards are free).
The Good Guys No expiry. No fees, old expired gift cards will be honoured. Free postage for physical cards.
JB Hi-Fi No expiry. No fees, old expired gift cards will be honoured. Free postage for physical cards.
Aldi No expiry None
EB Games No expiry Free postage for physical cards.
Netflix No expiry None
Spotify No expiry for digital gift cards, 3 years for physical cards None

RateCity ‘not so nice’ gift card list

Company The no so nice bits Fees
Westfield Up to $5.90 in fees and postage, 3 year expiry. $2.95 service fee plus $2.95 delivery fee (no e-gift card option)
Australia Post

Mastercard gift card

$5.95 in fees. Purchase in store only, 3 year expiry. $5.95 purchase fee
Giftstore.com.au Up to $12.68 in fees, 3 year expiry. $9.05 postage and handling, $2.48 credit card service fee, $1.15 GST.
Coles Mastercard

gift card

3 year expiry, $5 purchase fee. Only bought in-store. $5.00 purchase fee
Sportsgirl Website says expiry is 3 years for NSW and SA and 1 year elsewhere. Gift cards can only be used in store. Postage is $6 (free over $50). No e-gift card option.
Sussan Website says expiry is 3 years for NSW and SA and 1 year elsewhere. Gift cards can only be used in store. Free postage for physical cards. No e-gift card option.

 

RateCity’s comprehensive gift card guide can be found here.

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