Retailers stand to net $360m in unspent vouchers

Australia’s retailers stand to net about $360 million in unspent store gift cards this year, it has been revealed.

According to the Daily Telegraph, consumers are expected to buy $1.2 billion worth of gift cards in 2010, but 30 per cent will not be redeemed.

The main reasons for this include the card recipient not wanting anything sold at the store, the recipient being unable to reach the store or the simple loss of the card.

Choice spokesman Christopher Zinn told the newspaper that a new code of practice is needed that could allow cards to be re-activated after the expiry date.

"Some issuers are so inflexible. They bring up the draw bridge at one second after midnight on the day of expiry," he said.

The comments may interest Aussies looking to compare debit cards in search of the best spending tools. As Mr Zinn noted, some retailers like Coles, David Jones and Myer give their cards a two-year life, but others like Westfield’s cards last just 12 months.

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