Don’t Let Unused Gift Cards Go To Waste! The Average Australian is Missing Out on $243

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According to a new investigation, Australians are losing an average of $243 due to unused gift cards.

According to the Finder study, an astounding 39 per cent of Australians have countless unused gift cards in their possession, amounting to a staggering $1.9 billion.

Australians prefer giving gift cards as presents; however, many often go unused, transferring the funds back to the retailer. Graham Cooke, head of consumer research at Finder, expresses his concern.

Gift cards are a practical gift if you’re unsure what someone will like or use. However, by not redeeming them, you’re essentially giving that money back to the retailer and losing out on a great deal of savings,” he said.

Cooke further asserted that possessing too many gift cards without precise use increases their chances of wasting them.

Racking up gift cards can become a source of clutter as they’re easy to lose track of. Until recently, retailers could issue gift cards with an expiration date as short as six months. Thankfully, they must now allow you a minimum of three years,”  Graham Cooke added.

It is illegal for retailers to issue cards with an expiry date shorter than this. If a retailer rejects your card within three years, complain. If they still don’t honour the credit, reach out to your local consumer body. Retailers may not charge additional fees to use the card after it is issued.” Cooke explained. 

Millennials are the most likely to own unused gift cards, according to a recent study that found almost half of the people aged 18-34 possess such cards, in contrast with only 31 per cent of Gen Xers.

Cooke suggests several ways to maximise your gift card usage, such as: setting a phone reminder for when the expiration date approaches, taking photos of both sides of the card in case it is lost or stolen/misplaced, considering regifting an unused one to family and friends or online market places; if you decide on reselling online, never use pictures that contain sensitive details like numbers so they cannot be skimmed.

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