Are you shopping for a gift card? The following tips may be of interest to you before you buy a card redeemable for a specific good or service.

A prepaid card (such as a gift card) redeemable for specific goods or services must contain the following information:

  • the terms of use of the card;
  • fees that may be charged, in cases where such fees are permitted by law;
  • how to check the card’s balance (the amount remaining);
  • the date as of which the merchant can charge additional fees for the goods or services;
  • the date when the merchant requires you to replace the card, if applicable.

These details provide you with all the necessary information regarding the use of the card. They must appear on the card. Otherwise, the merchant must provide you with a written document containing the information. In all cases, you must receive clear information about what you are purchasing.

A merchant selling you a prepaid card (such as a gift card) redeemable for specific goods or services 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;
  • charge fees to replace the card, if the card is being replaced at the merchant’s request.

Cards purchased at your home

If you purchase prepaid cards with a value of greater than $100 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 Web site, see Group purchasing Web sites.

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Before purchasing a prepaid card (such as a gift card), verify the merchant’s refund policy. It may not be possible to cancel the transaction if you change your mind.

Merchants are free to set their own refund policies. They must, however, comply with the rules they have put in place.

The Office de la protection du consommateur recommends using your card shortly after purchasing it. If you wait too long, the business where your card is valid could close or go bankrupt. Using the coupon will be difficult or impossible if this should occur.

Last update : February 28, 2023

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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.