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PEI: New gift card legislation coming this September

By CO Staff @canadaone |

Retailers in Prince Edward Island have until September 1, 2010 to get compliant with new legislation that applies to gift cards.

The new Gift Cards Act prohibits expiry dates on most gift cards. It also prohibits most administration fees and requires that all fees, terms and conditions are clearly disclosed.

The legislation will apply to gift cards, gift certificates or any other voucher sold with a monetary value attached issued on or after September 1, 2010.


Exemptions may apply to cards given away for marketing, promotional or charitable purposes.

Businesses will also still be allowed to put expiry dates on for specific goods and services that increase with inflation, such as a manicure, a round of golf, a hair cut, or other specific goods and services.

The following cards will still be allowed to have expiry dates, for the reasons noted:

  • charitable gift cards may have an expiry date (they must have an expiry date for income tax purposes) and they can also have fees;
  • gift cards for a specific good or service, for example a manicure or round of golf, may have an expiry date (the cost of a good or service increases with inflation); and
  • marketing and promotional cards may have an expiry date and fees (since the purchaser has not paid for the card).

Other considerations

The legislation does allow businesses to charge a fee to replace a lost or stolen card, since they are not required to replace cards by law. Also, the legislation does not apply to phone cards, pre-paid bank cards and credit card branded gift cards as these are covered by federal legislation.

Some stores may choose to use up remaining cards with expiry dates, in which case the card remains in effect as if there were no expiry date.

"This new legislation will protect Island consumers and provide clear guidance to retailers," said Doug Currie, Minister of Justice and Public Safety. "My department will continue to work hard to protect the financial interests of all members of our One Island Community."

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