Here's what you need to know about buying and using gift cards at the supermarket.
However, gift cards do come with terms and conditions that you’ll need to pay attention to as both a gift-giver and receiver. Here, we explain the different gift cards available from Woolworths and Coles, how they work and what you should consider when looking at these two supermarket options.
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What gift cards can I buy at the supermarket?
Coles and Woolworths provide a selection of gift cards you can buy both in the supermarket and online. These can be grouped into two main categories:
Supermarket gift cards. These cards are designed to be used for spending at Coles, Woolworths and other participating partner brands. If you get a Coles gift card, these brands could include Liquorland, Kmart and Target, while a Woolworths gift card could also be accepted at Big W and Caltex-Woolworths co-branded service stations. Note participating stores vary depending on the type of Coles or Woolworths gift card you choose, with the most flexible options being the Coles Group & Myer and Woolworths WISH gift cards respectively.
Store and experience gift cards. Coles and Woolworths supermarkets also stock a variety of gift cards for other retailers and brands, such as iTunes, Bunnings, JB Hi-Fi, Village Cinemas and Red Balloon.
While Coles and Woolworths set the terms and conditions for their branded gift cards, the features and requirements of retail and experience gift cards are set by individual retailers. As such, we've focused specifically on Coles and Woolworths supermarket gift cards for this guide.
How to compare Woolworths WISH Gift Cards and Coles Group & Myer Gift Cards
When choosing a supermarket gift card, it's important to consider not only how much money you'll load onto it, but where it can be used. Compare the key details of Woolworths WISH and Coles Group & Myer gift cards using this table so that you can decide which one is right for your needs.
Woolworths WISH Gift Cards
|Expiry||N/A - any gift cards purchased on or after 31 March 2017 will only expire when the balance reaches $0|
(Gift cards purchased prior to this expired after 12 months)
|4 years from the date of issue|
|Min / Max Load||$10 / $500||$5 / $250|
Details correct for cards purchased in-store, based on terms and conditions cited on 4 May 2018
What other details should I consider when comparing Woolworths and Coles gift cards?
As well as where you can use these cards, the expiry date, load values and online shopping options, make sure you consider the following factors:
- Purchasing options. Both Woolworths and Coles gift cards can be purchased in-store or online, although the availability and terms and conditions may vary depending on the type of card you want to purchase. If you have a rewards credit card, you may also be able to redeem your reward points for gift cards from Coles or Woolworths, along with other retailers.
- Fees. While these cards can be purchased-in store at no extra cost (other than the value loaded onto the card), there may be other fees for purchasing physical cards online.
- Card theft or loss. These gift cards are treated as cash. This means that if they are lost or stolen, there is little chance of reclaiming the value of the card.
- Cash equivalent purchase. Woolworths and Coles gift cards are typically classified as "cash equivalent purchases", so if you use a credit card to buy them, the transaction will be treated as a cash advance. This means you'll have to pay a cash advance fee and the cash advance interest rate. The payment also won't be eligible to earn points through a credit card rewards program.
Pros and cons of using a supermarket gift card
- Choice. A gift card is more personal than giving cash but still allows the recipient to choose what they want to buy.
- Online facilities. It’s easy to manage your gift card and check your remaining balance. Simply visit the card issuer’s website to access the online tools.
- Customisable cards. Woolworths and Coles gift cards offer a range of design options to suit different occasions.
- Expiry. A gift card will expire after a period of time and any remaining value on the card will be lost.
- Limited acceptance. A gift card can only be used at certain shops and merchants.
- Limited use. Most gift cards can only be loaded with money once, and used until that balance is cleared or the card expires (whichever happens first).
Woolworths and Coles gift cards come with a range of terms and conditions. So before buying one, make sure you compare the features and acceptance of these cards so that you can choose a gift that offers the greatest value to you and the person you're buying it for.
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