Gift cards are a convenient and frequently used means of giving presents to people who can be hard to buy for. However, we have all likely all experienced the sense of loss or lost opportunity upon discovering one of our own gift cards or certificates that has already expired and it's not fun. The truth is that the laws around expiration, fees and timeframes are often specific to the country you reside in or in some cases even the state or province. There are definitely some details worth being informed on and we've compiled a list of common issues, questions and answers to help bring the important information to light.
For instance, in 2008 the laws in Canada changed to ensure that any gift cards with a specific dollar value are not allowed to expire. Meaning that $50 Canadian Tire card or $100 Costco card, if purchased since 2008, should remain valid until they are used. This is different than vouchers or certificates for a specific service and also different from cards (eg. from a Mall) that can be used at multiple stores. And then there's the question of taxes... should you be paying them when you buy your gift card or are the taxes applied when the card is actually used for a purchase? There is lots to learn.