Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Making the most of Christmas gift vouchers

Chances are you gave or received a gift voucher this Christmas. Cash them in before you forget – and as soon as possible

Research carried out last month on behalf of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, based on a survey of 1,000 consumers, found that four out of ten people intended to buy a gift voucher at Christmas. One in four consumers told researchers they had failed to spend a gift card or voucher on time.

According to Isolde Goggin, chair of the organisation: “Our research shows that gift vouchers remain popular among consumers in Ireland. However, to avoid potential problems when using a gift voucher it is important that consumers check the conditions and any expiry dates from gift vouchers they purchase or receive because they vary significantly. For example, some gift cards charge a monthly fee after a year if the card has not been used. Other retailers will only allow a voucher to be used in one go.”

We’ve got some advice for making the most of your gift vouchers:

1. Spend vouchers promptly. Some vouchers incur a maintenance or inactive charge.

2. Check the expiry date. In addition, some vouchers for events or experiences will require you to book by a certain date, even if the expiry date is later in the year.

3. Check the policy on left over balances if you only partially spend a voucher.