Gift cards in India have specific expiry rules that consumers should be aware of to avoid losing their value. According to the terms and conditions of Amazon Pay Gift Cards issued by Pine Labs, gift cards expire one year from the date of issuance. However, customers have the option to request for revalidation of any expired gift cards, which will be revalidated after verification and subject to terms and conditions.
It is important to note that gift cards can only be used to purchase eligible products on Amazon.in and other authorised merchants. Any unused gift card balance will remain in the customer's account and be applied to future purchases, prioritising those with the earliest expiration date. If a purchase exceeds the gift card balance, the remaining amount must be paid using other payment methods.
It is also worth mentioning that Pine Labs does not charge any fees or apply any restrictions on the use of gift cards. However, gift cards cannot be reloaded, resold, transferred for cash, or used to purchase other gift cards.
Gift Card Validity and Redemption
Gift cards issued by QwikCilver, co-branded with Amazon Pay, have a minimum validity period of one year from the date of last loading or reloading. However, PPI issuers like QwikCilver can choose to issue gift cards with a longer validity period. It is important for customers to review the terms and conditions provided at the time of gift card issuance to determine the specific validity period.
To ensure that customers are informed about the expiration date of their gift cards, PPI issuers send regular reminders via SMS, email, or other preferred means of communication starting 45 days before the expiration date. This proactive approach helps customers stay updated and avoid any unwanted surprises.
When a gift card expires, the unused balance remains associated with the customer's account and can be used for future purchases. However, it's important to note that gift card balances cannot be transferred to another account. Non-bank PPI issuers are required to maintain the outstanding balance for a minimum of three years after the gift card's expiry date. If a customer requests a refund of this amount, it will be paid to their bank account.
Reactivation and Inactivity
In the case of inactivity for a consecutive period of one year, PPIs will be made inactive, and reactivation will require validation and due diligence. This measure aims to protect both the customers and the issuers from any potential fraudulent or unauthorised activities. Gift cards, however, cannot be refunded for cash.
Regulations and Limitations for Gift Cards
In India, both banks and non-bank entities are authorised to issue prepaid gift instruments, subject to certain conditions. These gift instruments have a maximum value of up to Rs. 10,000 and are non-reloadable, meaning that once the value is exhausted, it cannot be topped up. It's important to note that cash-out or refund options, as well as funds transfers, are not permitted for these gift cards. Furthermore, KYC details of purchasers must be maintained by the PPI issuer.
When it comes to usage restrictions, gift vouchers may come with specific criteria that need to be met. For example, customers may be required to claim the voucher within a specified timeframe and adhere to campaign limits set by Amazon. If these criteria are not followed, the customer may not be able to redeem the gift voucher. To ensure customers are aware of these restrictions, PPI issuers regularly communicate important information via SMS, email, or their preferred means of communication.
It's worth mentioning that gift vouchers cannot be replaced if lost or stolen. Additionally, any outstanding balances on gift cards cannot be transferred to a profit and loss account for three years after the expiry date. However, gift card holders are permitted to redeem the outstanding balance if the scheme is being wound up or directed to be discontinued by the RBI.