A young girl is holding a gift card in her hand.

Merchants cannot indicate an expiry date on prepaid cards, such as gift cards. As long as the card is not used, the amount paid to purchase the card can never be "lost" due to an expiry date.

Cards used like cash

You purchased a $50 gift card in a store entitling the cardholder to make purchases up to $50. As long as it is not used, the card will always be valued at $50.

Cards that can be exchanged for a specific good or service

You purchased, in advance, a gift card that can be exchanged for a specific good or service. A card that is purchased for $50 entitling the cardholder to a specific service will always be valued at $50, even if the value of the service increases.

However, merchants can indicate on the gift card the date from which they can require a supplement to provide the said good or service. This supplement is equal to the difference between the price of the service when you bought the gift card and the price of the service when you receive the service.

Here is an example: you purchase a $50 gift card that entitles you to a massage. You use the card 2 years later. The same massage now costs $60. The merchant is entitled to ask for the missing $10 if he or she wrote on the card:

  • the value of the service at the time of the purchase;
  • the date from which the supplement can be required.

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Last update : November 24, 2017

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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.