The trouble with gift cards

They're a great last-minute Christmas present, but gift cards can be a waste of money.
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02.Recommended gift cards

We recommend the following gift cards as they have no expiry date:

These cards cards do expire, but can be used for everyday items like groceries so you shouldn't have trouble finding somewhere to use them:

When buying a gift card

  • Make sure you read the fine print on the card. 
  • Look for a gift card:
    • with no expiry date
    • that can be used at a number of everyday stores 
    • that can be tracked if it gets lost.
  • Avoid gift cards with:
    • a short expiry date (less than one year)
    • conditions and restrictions (eg. the card can’t be used on weekends)
    • fees - for example, Visa and MasterCard gift cards often charge activation fees, and fees to call customer service.


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The last word

“The only gift voucher I will accept is one issued by the Australian government,“ says CHOICE member Graham Brown. "These gift vouchers have so many benefits – no fees, no restrictions on where or when you can use them, and you can even use part of them and get change. The vouchers come in many useful denominations and combinations: $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. The best feature is that they can be used anywhere in any way. Now when I am given an Australian government gift voucher, it goes with my own collection of vouchers in my wallet, and can be quite useful at any time I choose.“

Your say - Choice voice

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