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.
Last update : May 3, 2021
Were you unable to find an answer to your question? Please call us.
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.