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Millions of Aussies letting $198 go to waste

A quarter of Aussies have admitted to wasting money on gift cards they haven’t used.

Millions of Aussies have admitted to making a simple mistake when it comes to their money and it’s costing them hundreds of dollars.

New research by Finder found a third of Aussies had at least one unused gift card lying around, with a quarter having two or more they were still yet to redeem.

On average, Aussies surveyed said they had $198 worth of gift cards collecting dust - that’s $1.4 billion nationwide.

Gift cards and wasting money, and people
Millions of Aussies have admitted to wasting money on unused gift cards. (Source: Finder/AAP)

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Finder personal finance expert Sarah Megginson said gift cards were a popular present choice for many, but they often wound up misplaced.

“Keeping track of them can be challenging, and many end up unused simply because they get lost in a wallet or a drawer,” Megginson said.

“Letting gift cards go to waste is not only a missed opportunity to get value for yourself – you are effectively donating millions of dollars back to retailers.”

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A quarter of the 1,039 people surveyed admitted to losing money on gift cards, with 18 per cent saying the gift card expired before they got around to using it, 5 per cent saying they simply lost it and 1 per cent saying the store had gone out of business.

“Luckily any gift cards purchased after November 2019 must come with a minimum three-year expiry period, but don’t delay. Retailers can still go out of business or move locations, leaving you holding the bag,” Megginson said.

Megginson urged Aussies to set a reminder on their phone to use up the card before it expired, or to see if they could on-sell it to someone else.

“If you have a gift card for a store that you don’t like, consider selling it on an online marketplace for a slightly lesser value so it doesn’t go to waste,” she said.

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