Media Release

Store credit, forget it: Aussies have $835 million in unused gift cards

        • One in five Aussies have one or more unused gift cards
        • On average, the remaining balance is $187 per person
        • How to make the most of your vouchers

31 July, 2019, Sydney, Australia – Forgetful Aussies are sitting on millions of dollars in unused gift cards according to new research by Finder, Australia's most visited comparison site.

While rules have been introduced to ensure gift cards are valid for a minimum of three years, the survey of 1,013 respondents shows one in five (23%) Aussies have gift cards with money left on them.

On average, these Aussies have two gift cards in their possession, with a combined untouched value of $187 each. This puts the cumulative total of unused gift card credit to $835 million.

Sabine Leroy, shopping specialist at Finder, said while the extended expiry date gives you longer to spend the voucher, it also makes it easier to forget.

"The three-year expiry is a big win for consumers, but this shouldn't be a reason to get complacent. When it comes to gift cards, it really is use it or lose it.

"Set yourself a reminder a few months before the voucher expires to make sure you don't forget to spend it. You might even consider saving them up for Christmas to help with the cost of presents."

Gen Y are the biggest culprits when it comes to unused gift cards, with 26% yet to spend their remaining credit. Just 22% of Baby Boomers possess unused gift cards.

NSW residents have $319 million waiting to be spent on gift cards — seven times higher than Western Australian residents, who have $45 million in limbo.

Leroy said that it's often easier to spend the full gift card amount in one hit.

"We tend to forget about gift cards when there's only a small balance remaining. Try and spend the entire amount in one sitting if possible, and if you don't, ask the sales assistant to write the balance on the card.

"If you have a gift card and you're not sure what's left over, jump on the retailer's website. Some stores allow you to check remaining gift card balances online so you can keep track of how much you have left to spend."

 
 

Aussies with gift cards with unused fundsAverage left overState total
Victoria25%$232$293 million
New South Wales23%$223$319 million
Queensland21%$148$119 million
Western Australia26%$88$45 million

 
 
How to make the most of your vouchers

  • Put the gift card in your wallet straight away. This will prevent it from being lost or swallowed up by your drawers.
  • Record the remaining balance. If you don't spend it all in one go, ask the sales assistant to write the balance on the card.
  • Swap it for cash. If the gift card is for a store you rarely shop at, see if you can exchange it with a friend, family member or colleague for money.
  • Set a reminder. Pop a note in your calendar to remind you when your gift card is about to expire so you don't miss out.

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For further information

Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.

About us

Every month 2.2 million unique visitors turn to Finder to save money and time, and to make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by two Australians: Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia. Since launching in 2006, Finder has helped Aussies find what they need from 1,800+ brands across 100+ categories.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now operate in the United States and the United Kingdom. For further information visit www.finder.com.au.

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