A merchant selling you a prepaid card that may be used as cash (such as a gift card) must respect the following rules.

Prohibited practices

It is prohibited for a merchant to:

  • indicate an expiry date on the card;
  • charge fees for using the card. Merchants may only charge fees if the card:

    • can be used in several businesses that are not part of the same chain,
    • was issued by a financial institution and can be used wherever the payment system indicated on the card is accepted. See Fees for activation, usage and replacement for more details;

  • charge fees to replace the card, if the card is being replaced at the merchant’s request;
  • refuse to refund a balance of $5 or less on a card at your request. One exception: cards issued by a financial institution that can be used wherever the payment system indicated on the card is accepted.

Cards purchased at your home

If you purchase prepaid cards with a value of greater than $25 from a merchant who comes to your home, the merchant is subject to the rules related to itinerant sales. See itinerant sales for more details.

Cards purchased online

If you have purchased cards online or by telephone, the merchant is subject to the rules related to remote agreements. See the following sections:

If you have bought a card on a group purchasing site, see Group purchasing Web sites.

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Last update : June 15, 2018

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The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.