Kiwis could be letting up to $10 million of gift cards expire and the time limits are unfair, the consumer watchdog says.
Consumer New Zealand has called on major retailers to drop expiry dates on gift cards, with its research showing nearly a quarter are never fully redeemed.
"Gift cards are a quick fix for shopping dilemmas. But unfair expiry dates mean many consumers are getting stuck with cards they can't redeem," Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin said.
"Based on the typical gift card value, we estimate consumers could be losing as much as $10 million annually."
Surveys had found 54 percent of Kiwis believed there should be no expiration date on cards and other countries already had tougher laws about the issue, she said.
Consumer NZ has written to ten major retailer - Briscoes, Countdown, Kathmandu, New World, Noel Leeming, Paper Plus, Prezzy Card, Ticketek, Toyworld and Westfield - asking them to ditch time limits.
"Some retailers don't impose expiry dates showing they can be removed without causing problems."
Consumer NZ gift card facts: