Merchants are required to comply with certains rules regarding prepaid cards that may be used as cash. The following information may be of interest to you.

For prepaid cards that can be used as cash, such as gift cards, merchants are prohibited from:

  • indicating an expiry date; or
  • determining a period after which the card can no longer be used, such as 2 years after the card is purchased.

Your money is never lost

The amount you paid to purchase a card can never be "lost" because it has expired. As long as it has not been used, a card that was paid $50 will always keep its value.

This rule has been in effect since June 30, 2010. If your card's expiry date is on or after June 30, 2010, this expiry date is not valid: you may still use your card.

This table indicates in which cases a prepaid card can no longer be used as a result of an expiry date or the end of a determined period.

Type of Card Example Expiry Date Allowed
Card that can be redeemed for specific goods or services Card that can be redeemed for a one-night stay at a major hotel chain No
Card that can be used as cash Card worth $100 that can be redeemed from a merchant, e.g. at a hardware store No
Calling card: cellular phones Card purchased for $25 valid for 100 minutes of local calls Yes
Calling card: long distance calls Card purchased for $10 allowing you to make calls to the United States No
Card for unlimited use of a service Card valid for unlimited use of bus services for one month Yes
Card offered by a tourism business One-day ski pass valid for a specific winter season No

Cards that can be redeemed for specific goods or services

See the Rules for cards linked to specific goods or services page for more details about expiry terms for this type of card. This page also provides information regarding:

  • cell phone cards;
  • long distance calling cards;
  • cards that provide for unlimited use of a service for a determined period.

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