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Gift Cards (Gift Certificates) – New Rules for Merchants

Gift cards, also known as “prepaid cards,” are a modern form of gift certificate. Different types of cards are available, and include cards that can be redeemed in a single designated store and those that can be redeemed in several different stores.

Since June 30, 2010, merchants that offer gift cards have been required to comply with new rules under the Consumer Protection Act. As a general rule, the Act prohibits merchants from providing an expiry date on a card or charging for the issue or use of a card. The Act also requires merchants to refund a balance of less than $5 when the consumer so requests.

Additional information must also appear on the card in certain specific cases set out in regulation.

For more on the new rules concerning prepaid cards, refer to the Office de la protection du consommateur website.

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