Alberta’s Gift Card Regulations

Lisa C. Community, Newcomer Information

Giving away gift cards is a great idea because of the flexibility on the recipient’s part – allowing him or her to choose what to buy.

Did you receive gift cards during this past holiday season? Did you know that the Alberta government has regulations in place to protect you, the consumer, when it comes to the use of gift cards?

According to Alberta’s Gift Card Regulation, part of the Consumer Protection Act,

Gift cards bought in Alberta do not have expiry dates and fees that lower their value over time.

This regulation applies to prepaid purchase cards, such as
  • Gift cards
  • Gift certificates
  • Written certificates
  • Electronic cards or vouchers with a specific dollar value
  • Reloadable cards
This regulation does NOT apply to cards that do not have a cash value, such as
  • Promotional cards
  • Loyalty cards
  • Cards for a specific service, e.g. manicure

Gift cards issued by a financial institution can include an expiry date or extra feeds.

What to do If the business that issued the gift cards violates this regulation?
  • As a consumer, you should first contact the business and give them the opportunity to comply.
  • If this doesn’t work, please reach out to Service Alberta’s Consumer Contact Centre at 1-877-427-4088.

Word of the Day:

Consumer: a person who buys and uses goods, products or services

The latest information can be found here: