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Knowing the facts about prepaid purchase cards (including gift cards and gift certificates) can save you money

It pays to know before you buy.

Prepaid purchase cards, including gift cards and gift certificates, offer flexibility and convenience, and are growing in popularity throughout Canada. However, when buying a gift card, consumers are advised to check the terms and conditions carefully, so you understand what you're getting.

Shopping | Gift Cards - Consumer Protection Office

Here are some things you may not know about prepaid purchase cards:

  • Most prepaid purchase cards never lose their value or expire.
  • Expiry dates are allowed on prepaid purchase cards that are sold for a specific good or service (like a manicure).
  • Businesses can charge fees if the prepaid purchase card was free (donated as a raffle prize).
  • Prepaid purchase cards from federally-regulated financial institutions may charge activation fees, maintenance fees, inactivity fees and more. Shop around.
  • Merchants can charge a fee to replace a lost or stolen card.

In Manitoba, prepaid purchase cards, including gift cards and gift certificates, are subject to regulations that protect both buyers and sellers. You can learn more at http://www.gov.mb.ca/cca/cpo/prepaid_cards.html.

For more information or if you have questions you can visit the Manitoba Consumer Protection Office website at manitoba.ca/cca/cpo or see the contact us page for additional contact information.