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Items of Interest

Items Of
Interest

  Gift Cards

Jul 08, 2009 08:59 ET

The use of gift cards has become widely popular in North America over the past few years. Approximately 80 per cent of retailers in Canada sell gift cards or certificates. As of 2007, Ontario was the first Canadian province to ban any fees or expiries pertaining to gift cards. They are now treated like cash and must clearly display terms and conditions.

No one can be charged a fee for inactivity or to reactivate a card. All cards retain their dollar value until completely used up. However, some fees can be charged for shopping mall gift cards that are redeemable at multiple stores. Also, gift cards for spa packages or lessons can have some fees and expiry dates.

Always look for the policy of the gift card and make sure you keep them in a safe place. Keep a receipt as proof of the value of the card or get the store to swipe your card and give you the balance.