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Shops Make MILLIONS From Your Unclaimed Vouchers

December 13, 2017, 9:00 AM
  • Some vouchers valid for just 8 weeks
  • Check the dates before you give a voucher
  • Vouchers from some shops NEVER expire
If all you get in your stocking is a voucher, be sure to spend it before it expires. Image: Getty

If you’re giving a gift voucher as a present this Christmas, you’ll need to check the expiry date on it.

Vouchers from a number of high street retailers will expire after a year, starting from the day you buy it.

Gift vouchers have always been a go to present for those who are tricky to buy for.

Shops are now phasing out paper vouchers or gift certificates, and instead selling reloadable gift cards.

Big brands like M&S, Next, and Amazon also sell “e-gift cards” and “e-vouchers” as a replacement for physical vouchers and cards.

A study by Which? found that only a few retailers will let you spend the money indefinitely.

Any left over on the gift voucher will be nullified, so the retailers will pocket the extra money when it expires.

This is estimated to total a massive £300 million a year.

Which? said, “Shops make millions from unclaimed or expires gift cards, which is why they put expiry dates on them, hoping people will forget to use them in time.

“This is really unfair, and it would be great to see all shops ditch expiry dates on gift cards.”

What are the expiry dates on my vouchers?

Ocado has an expiry date of just 8 weeks on it’s vouchers, meaning if you buy it a week before Christmas, it will be out of date by Valentine’s Day.

The following shops have one year expiry dates:

  • JD Sports
  • Love2shop
  • Pandora
  • Sunglasses Hut
  • Ted Baker
  • Westfield

The stand expiry date is two years, which these shops have:

  • Boots
  • Debenhams
  • House of Fraser
  • H&M
  • H. Samuel
  • John Lewis
  • M&S
  • New Look
  • River Island
  • Topshop

Argos’ vouchers last three years, and Tesco lasts an incredible five years.

Luckily for some shoppers, these stores’ vouchers have no expiry date:

  • Selfridges
  • Apple
  • The Disney Store

If you’re considering getting a voucher for someone for Christmas, check the expiry dates, and let the person know how long they have to spend it buy, or it might just be better to give cold hard cash.

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