December 21, 2020

Friendly Tips About Gift Cards

As the holiday season is upon us, the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA) wants to remind consumers about gift card rules.  Gift cards, also known as pre-paid purchase cards, are common gifts during the holiday season.

In order to get the most out of your gift card, here are some important facts to know:

  • In Saskatchewan, in most cases, balances on gift cards can’t expire. The Consumer Protection and Business Practices Act (Act) bans retail business gift cards from having an expiry date.  An expiration date is only allowed if a retailer issues a gift card for a charitable purpose or if a consumer has provided nothing of value in exchange for the card.
  • Generally, gift cards have no additional fees. Under the Act, most businesses cannot charge extra fees for things such as fees for activation or added service fees to purchase the card or to use the card.  An additional fee is allowed if the consumer is replacing a lost or stolen card, or if the consumer wishes to customize their card.
  • No sales tax can be charged when buying a gift card.  Retailers cannot charge PST or GST when you buy a gift card.  Check your receipt to make sure tax is not charged.  Applicable taxes will be charged on items or services you purchase using your gift card.
  • Make sure your card is not damaged or tampered with. Do not purchase a gift card that has a damaged or torn package.  If it looks as though the card has been tampered with, bring it to the attention of a store employee.
  • Use your gift cards promptly. If you have a gift card for a business that has closed, your options may be limited.  Read the terms and conditions before buying a gift card.  

If you have further questions, please contact our Consumer Protection Division at 306-787-5550 or [email protected].

For more information about gift cards, visit our website at