Gift cards will once again be a very popular gift this year. They’re easy to purchase, and with digital options, they are also very easy and safe to send to the recipient.

Here are some gift card tips to help Winnipeggers with their Christmas Gift Card shopping. Gift Cards continue to be a popular choice for shoppers and we want to make sure you know all the rules that are in place to protect your hard earned money.

Supporting small Winnipeg business is always great and we highly recommend purchasing a local gift cards. However, when purchasing a gift card from local shops, make sure they abide by these rules:

  • The card provider must inform the consumer of all restrictions, limitations and conditions on the use of the card. If it is not clear, ask more questions before buying the gift card.
  • In most cases, gift cards are not allowed to have an expiry date. However, there are some exceptions. Gift cards can expire if they are:
    • or a specific good or service, such as a manicure;
    • issued for a promotional or charitable purpose; or
    • part of a reward or loyalty program.
  • Fees can only be charged to customize a gift card or to replace a lost or stolen card.
  • When purchasing a gift card, it is always recommended to keep a receipt for back up in case of any issues. Some gift cards can be registered with the seller, which can help to recover them if the card is lost or stolen. It is good practice to treat all gift cards like cash.

Manitoba’s Consumer Protection Office (CPO) will investigate all complaints about gift cards. Businesses that fail to comply with the rules may be fined $5,000 to $20,000.