The Cadillac Fairview Gift Card Scam

Cadillac Fairview Gift CardMy mom received a Cadillac Fairview Gift Card as a birthday gift a couple of years ago. You can use these gift cards as cash at any Cadillac Fairview Shopping Centre. Last weekend, my mom tried to use her gift card at Sherway Gardens.

I say she tried to use her Cadillac Fairview Gift Card because she was actually unable to use it. When the cashier entered it in the system to learn the balance, it came up as $0. Assuming there was some kind of mistake, I took it to the information desk at Sherway Gardens to restore the funds.

We were told that Cadillac Fairview deducts $2 a month for every month the card is not used, after the initial 16 months. If you buy your friend or loved one a $20 Cadillac Fairview Gift Card, and your friend or loved one fails to use it for a couple of years, Cadillac Fairview essentially keeps your money and won't accept the gift card.

I say gift cards are the same as cash. A $20 gift card should always be worth $20, even if it sits in your wallet for a couple of years. What's the incentive to buy a gift card with "use it or lose it" small print?

Do your friend or loved one a favour. Give them cash instead.

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Comments (57 - click here to join in!)


GAH! that drives me NUTZ! why do companies insist on stupid rules with gift cards. I understand that it can be a bit of a pain keeping track of them but TOO bad! if they want to offer gift cards then don't make it difficult for the customer.


March 11, 2009 @ 10:03 AM


They can legally take money off of the cards? This sounds really bad.
I can't beleive I have not heard of this earlier. What a rip off.

March 11, 2009 @ 10:13 AM

Toronto Mike

Metatheory on Twitter just told me malls are temporarily exempt from the rules on fees. The government of Ontario has to close this loophole.

March 11, 2009 @ 10:16 AM


Why are they "temporarily exempt"? Was the government "temporarily lobbied"?

Me thinks so.

Bunch of crooks.

March 11, 2009 @ 11:41 AM


That sucks. In reality they should be paying you interest on the months you don't use. Where is Peter Silverman when you need him?

March 11, 2009 @ 12:32 PM

Buffalo Boy Mike

So if you purchase a gift card and it is never used where does that money go? Its just free money that they basically steal from you. Not to mention the fact that they are probably leaving that money in an interest bearing account waiting for you to use it so your $20 is actually earning them interest.

March 11, 2009 @ 4:41 PM


I receive these same cards at Xmas from a person.
If you read the small printing on the env. that is included you see that after so many months money is taken back month to month.
I agree if the card can't be used within a year or so you should pay a fee.

March 11, 2009 @ 7:41 PM

Mike from Lowville

They had a thing on this a while back on Market Place. The A holes running the country and province were supposed to fix it.....corporations have the power to screw.

March 11, 2009 @ 7:48 PM

Toronto Mike

Money is money - the law is supposed to prohibit expiry dates and restrict fees.

This is some stupid loophole that hasn't been closed yet.

March 12, 2009 @ 9:05 AM


Don't take this crap. Write to the President Of CF. Threaten to boycot their malls.

March 13, 2009 @ 4:17 PM


It is easy to complain when you do not know all the facts. The Cadillace Fairview Shop! cards are actually contracted in by Master Card and it is master card who charges the $1.50 activation fee. When a card is activated it is essentially opening up an account. There is no fee for having this account open for the first 16 months but once the account matures to 16 months, $2.00 per month is deducted off the remaining amount. If you were to buy a master card gift card you have to pay $4.00 in activation fees, this is a deal! You can use the Shop! card at over 29 malls across Canada, that is over 4000 stores. You can also do exchanges and refunds onto the gift card as well as being able to track all purchases. There is unfortunately a fee for all these amazing services.

April 6, 2009 @ 3:02 PM

Toronto Mike

Mag123, let's not confuse a credit card with a gift card.

A gift card should be treated like cash. After 16 months, you shouldn't have the right to keep $2 a month for yourself.

April 6, 2009 @ 3:05 PM


I think there is a confusion with the card itself. The Shop! card offers more services than a regular gift card. Most gift cards work where you put, for example, $10.00 onto a card, you use it and that is it. If you lose this gift card that is too bad for you. You want to make a refund? Too bad, you can't. If a CF Shop card is lost, it can be tracked down and replaced as long as you have a reciept. No other gift card allows you to use all of these services as well as allowing you to utilize the card at over 4000 stores. It is also no "scam" or secret. There is signage when you purchase the card, in the envelope and on the card itself. As a consumer it is your responsibiliy to read up on your product.

April 6, 2009 @ 3:13 PM

Toronto Mike

Yes, there is "signage" in a minuscule font on the back of the card.

This mall gift card loophole will eventually be closed. When I witness first hand the disappearance of a $20 Cadillac Fairview gift card, I consider it my duty to alert others who don't read this minuscule font on the back of the card.

Give cash. Don't buy Cadillac Fairview Gift Cards.

April 6, 2009 @ 3:29 PM

Michael Loyst

Man you gotta read the fine print on the card. It clearly says on the back that they take 2 dollars a month after a period of inactivity. Its not only CFaairview thats doing this, other big box stores do it with their cards too.

Still, its highway robbery. they shouldnt be allowed to do this.

June 3, 2009 @ 12:16 AM

Shaun McCarthy

Mag123 must be an employee of CF or related. Sorry, but your opinion is mired in CF company facts and missing the big picture -- gift cards are essentially a vehicle for a person to say "please get what you would like from this place". The store(s) that is ALREADY benefiting from the gift card purchase is then trying to steal your money. You know what also works well for refunds and flexibility? CASH. Don't buy CF gift cards.

September 30, 2009 @ 4:35 PM


Good God act as if you have no choice in the matter and that someone held a gun to head to buy a Cadillac Fairview shop card!! I've been buying them for years..and no matter what CF mall I go to, there is always a sign on the desk clearly stating the terms and conditions. They are also printed on the receipt, on the envelope and the card (oh, and on the website). Nevermind that the reps always go through the whole shpeel on the card to the point that I tell them to save their breath because I already know. So how anyone thinks that the maintenance fee after 16 months is some big secret is beyond me! If you don't like it...don't buy it!! Simple! Typical of today's whinny society where no one is responsible for themselves...not even for something as simple as buying a gift card!

November 5, 2009 @ 9:20 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

aliciacole123, you're missing the point.

A gift card shouldn't lose value. It's like cash. Your gift card form Future Shop or Chapters won't lose value because that's against the law.

Cadillac Fairview is exploiting an unfortunate and unethical loop hole that should be closed.

November 5, 2009 @ 9:23 PM


Good God act as if you have no choice in the matter and that someone held a gun to head to buy a Cadillac Fairview shop card!! I have been buying them for years..and no matter what CF mall I've gone to, there`s always a sign on the desk clearly stating the terms and conditions. They`re also printed on the receipt, on the envelope and the card (oh, and the website). Never mind that the reps always go through the whole shpeel on the card as well. It`s got to the point that I tell them to save their breath because I already know. So how anyone thinks the maintenance fee after 16 months is some big secret is beyond me! If you don't like it, don't buy it!! Simple!! Typical of today's whinny society where no one is responsible for themselves or anything for that matter ...not even for something as simple as buying a gift card!

November 5, 2009 @ 9:32 PM


You can only use Future Shop and Chapters gift cards in those stores (or maybe two or three other stores under the same corporate umbrella). The CF card has up to 4000 choices. None of these cards are like cash...only cash is like cash. If you don`t like the rules then don`t buy them. No one is hiding what the terms and conditions.

November 5, 2009 @ 9:44 PM


I totally agree with you Alicia. Finally someone on here with some sense. I think people get so upset and irrational with these cards because they feel dumb that they didn't just simply read the back of the card! The information is there for you plain and simple! Any intelligent person knows that you must read legal information on everything, a house, a car, a new bank account and yes, even a gift card! I don't think Alicia is missing the point at all, I think everyone on here is missing the point that not every product is the same. The Shop! card is a higher standard gift card and with that comes additional characterists of purchase. And just because you say, "a gift card shouldn't lose money," doesn't mean it shouldn't lose money. Says who? The law says single retail gift cards can't have expiration dates or fees. And they don't. But the law also states that multi-retail/mutil-mall gift cards CAN have fees. Why are you only concentrating on one part of the law and ignoring the other? Why exactly is it a loop hole anyways? Because it wasn't on the news? Because you don't know all the facts and it has caught you off guard because of consumer ignorance? It's not a loop hole, it's just the law.I don't get exactly what you people expect to be done. Would you like a phone call at your home every month reminding you about the Shop! card terms and conditions? Then after that, have your diapers changed too?You don't like it, don't buy it.

November 5, 2009 @ 10:00 PM

Shaun McCarthy

MAG123 - if you care to refute the term "loophole" so be it. Regardless of the law, I would expect a company of CF's stature to have some morals or common decency or regard for it's customers. Hiding behind a law that allows a practice such as clawing back money from a gift certificate just because said gift certificate is good for multiple stores is cheap. Definitely, it's legal. However, there are many legal activities I would expect a reputable company to avoid. Whenever I'm in a store seeing someone asking about the CF gift certificate, I tell them my experience and remind them that cash is a great alternative. EVERY single person I've told has taken my advice. I'm up to 23 people told just at the Eaton Centre alone. I kind of enjoy it.

November 9, 2009 @ 12:57 AM


You should realize, that since the CF cards are sourced by MasterCard that they fall under the jurisdiction of bank laws. Banks are within their rights under the law to charge a fee to keep accounts open after a certain period of inactivity. A simple questioning of the rationale behind the fees will get you this answer. Nothing is hidden, and all the staff I've ever encountered offer full disclosure of these fees. If you don't like it, you don't buy the cards.

Secondly, as with many corporate gift cards that are good across many provinces or states, these programs MUST be run through a bank to maintain national standards. Individual provinces/states are free to pass laws governing how gift cards are accepted/sold there, but have no control over what banks do since they are regulated federally. For programs like this to run, standards must be set in place.

Do the fees cause inconvenience to some? Sure, but there is some onus on the consumer to be aware of the terms and conditions on their products and to use them according to the specifications set out by the manufacturer.

Seriously, people. Get a grip.

November 11, 2009 @ 9:29 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Consumer, this isn't about the legality of what Cadillac Fairview is doing with their gift cards. I'm aware it's legal.

All because it's still legal doesn't make it right. I advice all family and friends to stay away from these Cadillac Fairview mall cards.

November 11, 2009 @ 9:35 PM


Based on Consumer's response... that's fine, a person who doesn't like it shouldn't buy it. But how does this validate the person who received the gift. They didn't have a say in it. Basic principle of this is... a gift shouldn't depreciate in value before you even begin to use it. Basically, the person giving the card might know of the restrictions but that doesn't mean that the person receiving the card is usually aware of the limitations so technically, they're getting screwed. I certainly never hand over a gift to a person and say, "Oh and btw, you need to use this by this date or you won't be able to use it." That's just uncultured.

December 29, 2009 @ 1:11 PM

Nixon Thakkar

Well said Anwesha.. I totally agree with your remarks..

January 16, 2010 @ 7:47 PM


I had 2 gift cards, still in the orginal envelopes. One of them, from a couple years ago DOES say valid 1 year from date of purchase. Buuut, on the one from the previous year, same lay out and everything, NOWHERE does it say it expires.

January 22, 2010 @ 4:51 PM


That is unbelievable! That card has to be worth $20, actually, it should be worth more in the future due to inflation! That's horrible! Looks like cash is the way to go!

July 26, 2010 @ 6:39 PM

slippy sloppy

Is it legal to do that? Because that happened to me and my sister with five below gift cards.

October 24, 2010 @ 1:40 PM


I WON a cadilac fairview gift card at an event. I was in the USA for school for 1 year shortly after. I come back to Canada try to use my gift card and it is useless.

It was bought 4 months before the event where I wont it...and now I am ripped off. EFF YOU FAIRVIEW!! Funny thing is I work in Sherway Gardens...So I am sure to tell everyone to avoid these cards like cancer!! Buy my store gift card instead!

December 6, 2010 @ 12:41 PM


And another bites the dust and is suckered.
Just found out my card is worth $21 less and counting.
It's just not right. And how long before action is taken? Considering this blog was dated more than a year ago.
And all the fine print on my card is solely in french. Here I can add in the need for free french lessons (and first aid) in this bilingual country - minus Quebec of course, where this card was purchased.

December 18, 2010 @ 2:53 PM


and $15 is now $0.

I wonder if I will continue to get charged? Maybe if I am lucky and wait long enough, my baIance will be negative and I will owe CF money! Huzzah! I wonder if they will let me pay my overdraft with another gift card?

a ridiculous scam. anyone who doesn't see this for what it a CF employee. i guess if it is CF's policy to steal from their customers, we must adopt our own policty (per alicia's suggestion): don't deal with CF.

December 30, 2010 @ 12:53 PM


I had two cards valued at @25.00 each and now they are worth 0. The company has $50.00 of money. Cash does not depreciate in value and so these cards should not. I will now advise others to not use these cards.

December 30, 2010 @ 4:20 PM


note, for those seeking relief, there is ways to get your money back.
In Ontario, the consumer protection law states:

"(c) the card has a notice on the front of the card in 10 point font indicating that there is fee information on the back of the card;" (retrieved from which cadilliac fairview cards violate. Without this writing they are not legally allowed to apply fees to your card.

I have had an ongoing discussion at store financial (the company that handles their gift cards) in which I received a complimentary $15 gift card that does not cover their fees (after the individual told me he was going to vanquish the fees).

I am now contacting cadilliac fairview Toronto office, and their National Gift Card Manager (which is currently on vacation). If you would like to try and get your money back as well, if you do not have writing on the front of your card, please feel free to contact me: ultrahex at gmail dot com, and maybe we can fight this together.

December 31, 2010 @ 12:31 PM


Oh, yes, I can relate!
My $28.00 balance is now $0.00 how frustrating is this. Not only do they charge you a service fee for purchasing the card, I believe it is $1.50 each card that is purchased, they then take your money if you don't use the card. I am surprised I have not received an invoice from CF for monthly service fees once my card was at $0.00 and I was still in possession of the gift card. A total RIP OFF!!! Will never purchase a gift card from CF again, and will tell everyone I know not to buy their gift cards. 100% dissatisfied customer.

January 25, 2011 @ 10:52 AM

Sheila Cook


April 19, 2011 @ 7:06 PM


and $25 is now $0
for a Eaton center gift card operated also by Store Financial! I received it as a gift for my birthday about 2 years ago, it comes in a package which nothing about the fees is noted on the outside; I know it's a gift card, I didn't have a chance to use it and I never open it and to read everything that's in there. For me, gift card is gift card, it should never be expired. Not that my friend who gave me the card mentioned about this "fine print" that I should be careful about either. Now 2 years after, I just found out today my birthday gift is been stolen by this Store Financial company! What a RIPOFF! TOTAL SCAM! For me, activation should be the first date I start to use my card, but no! it's activation date its the date when the gift card is been purchased! So the person who receives this gift card has to find out when the card is being bought, and start calculating when it's the "deadline" for using the card before he/she will start losing money!? If this is the case, why would anyone wants to buy this kind of gift card!??? It's too complicated and all the so-called benefits of spending over multiple stores, easy to refund....etc and all that can be done with cash too without any complications about deadline and fees! Cash will do for the future then! I told Eaton Center customer service today after finding out about this, they should change other gift card company, because this one sucks and if everyone knows about these details and possible complications and losing value possibilities, who, seriously who!? will want to buy this card as gift!?
I will tell everyone I know to stay away from these gift cards, not just Eaton Center gift card, but all Store Financial gift cards that have a fees!

August 18, 2011 @ 2:00 AM


...but can you imagine if all these shopping centres DIDN'T have gift cards?
Customers expect gift cards everywhere (gas stations, grocery stores, clothing stores, movie theatres), in order to keep up with the growing trend of giving gift cards as gifts, malls MUST offer gift cards.
The reason that the mall gift cards decrease in value is because the gift cards need to be valid at all the stores in the Cadillac Fairview shopping centres. The only way for this to happen is to make it into a reverse credit card. As soon as a credit card company is involved, there are fees. The fees are delayed by 15 (16?) months, but in the end, the fees are taken from the gift card if it hasn't been used.
Of course it stupid and it feels like a cash grab, but people who purchase the gift cards should be made aware of it...
as someone said (much) earlier- everything else we purchase has fine print, why do people think that gift cards would be any different?
As for people who WEREN'T informed about the reduction on the card, maybe you should be upset with the person who gave it to you.

Hey Blue81, as a point of interest, there is only one company in all of North America who offers this gift card program for malls. That means that every mall who offers gift cards in North America uses Store Finacial... there's no competition, no alternative for malls to turn to for a better deal for their customers, Store Financial (associated with the Bank of America) is the only choice. Malls are stuck; they have to offer gift cards but they can't find a better way to offer them to their customers. And I doubt the people at the Information desks/Guest Service desk are happy to be explaining this to unhappy (and by the sound of this comment thread, rude) customers. Maybe your choice comments to the Eaton Centre customer service employees would have been better directed to their mall administration... you know, the people who actually make the decisions.

December 27, 2011 @ 5:31 AM

Karyn Dirks

They are one of the worst companies i have ever worked for. They are always doing something like this.

March 28, 2012 @ 6:51 PM


Funny, you must fit right in.

May 30, 2012 @ 8:52 PM


@Sheila Cook, I am the "Allen" at Store Financial you were speaking of, and Lloyd is my colleague. You spelled my name (and a few other things) incorrectly in your post. We are not running a scam, we provide a service to shopping centres with the parameters they specify, and under very close supervision of the fact in many cases the gift cards are also taxed each month after not being used within the 16 months.
If you are not going to use your Shop! card within 16 months I implore you all not to buy one, as it will only end in an angry phone call to myself. And by the way, no matter how much you shout at us, there is absolutely nothing we can do about the fees.

September 26, 2012 @ 11:31 AM


@Kendra, we do not have a monopoly on mall gift cards in North America. There are several other choices malls have for gift card programs, including American Express, and Discover. We operate on the MasterCard and Visa networks, which are simply preferable to many of our clients because of the higher acceptance rate and greater profitability of these cards.

September 26, 2012 @ 11:35 AM


I got a present and the card lost its value without me using it ,there is a fee on your cash if you don't use it ....ridiculous and totally scam ..this is totally nauseating how this company makes money on your money if you DON"T USE IT ....this is totally BS ....

November 29, 2012 @ 7:37 PM


By the time I used my $500 gift card it was only worth $463. I was so shocked. NEVER going to buy CF gift card again, just going to a pre-paid VISA as a gift this way it can be use anywhere anytime for the purchase amount.

June 20, 2013 @ 1:21 PM


This is extremely frustrating, I thought charging gift card maintainance fee is illegal in Canada. My gift card is reduced to half. NEVER GOING TO GIFT A CF gift card.

December 16, 2013 @ 4:17 PM

Disappointed with CF policy

This is definitely an unfair policy, even if they state the charges on the back of the card. I will NEVER purchase a CF gift card. I'll pay the $5 to Amex or Visa for a card that never expires and never incurs service fees. And I will also make sure to warn 10-20 people about this incident, because it is a true racket only benefiting Cadillac Fairview and Mastercard.

December 18, 2013 @ 12:53 PM


I was given a $85 gift card a few years ago that was issued by Calgary Eaton Centre TD square (The Core). The mall had been under construction for a number of years so I avoided it. I recently went to use it and found out like the others that there is a 0 balance. I was surprised because Alberta had brought in legislation in 2008 that said it is illegal to 1) have an expiry date and 2) charge maintenance fees on gift cards. As it turns out they use this same loophole mentioned by Mike stating that since they use the Bank of America they are regulated by the Federal government and provincial rules do not apply. Federal regulations allow for maintenance fees to charged after a year. For those people above that say you should know the rules, how would we - it's not like these firms are transparent.

Yes, this is totally unfair - I will be writing my MP and my MLA because I find it so unfair. Meanwhile I will be posting all over the Internet warning people about these cards and avoiding this mall. I hope keeping the $85 was worth it.

August 6, 2014 @ 2:11 PM



I'm shocked. This card was my b-day gift recently from a friend. I guess they just got scammed. There's some really clever jerks out there that will literally do anything to take your money out of your pocket. This is why I've learned to double and triple background check people and companies.

November 2, 2014 @ 7:44 PM

Jeff @ T.O.

So much for a "temporary loophole". 6 years after the original post, my 17 year old daughter just got burned by this scam: she got a couple of cadillac fairview gift cards from friends, 2-3 years ago (probably Aug. 2012). maybe $10-$25 on each card. she went shopping on Sunday and was told by a store clerk that both cards were worthless. the clerk didn't even hand them back; just tossed em in the trash. I was really pissed when she came home (not at her); thought the Ont. govt had put a stop to this abuse already.
You'd think it'd be enuf for CF that they get to keep (and use and invest) your money for as long as possible without having to pass it along to their vendors. So why also charge us a fee for the privilege of loaning them our money? Isn't it usually the borrower who pays?! And I checked online: CF's terms and conditions state their "maintenance fee" is now up to $2.50 per month! Anyone think for a minute that this draconian fine print is pointed out to teens (or anyone else) buying gift cards at the customer service counter?

March 24, 2015 @ 5:17 PM


Don't buy Cadillac shopping card! It's the worst gift card you could give somebody. You might as oell give somebody flat cash instead. My husband received $50 Cadillac gift card for his birthday present 2012. Then he totally forgot about it for few years. By the time we tried to use it , it has $0 left in the card. It turned out that the company deducted $2.50 each month after 16months after activation. The maintenance pretty much ate up the money in the card. It's a shame that somebody hard earned money gone down to drain. The government should have done something about it.

August 29, 2015 @ 3:23 PM


My advice is if you want to give a gift card give Tim Horton's - plain and simple- I actually phoned Cadillac today about a card I was carrying around for a while and of course $000 left on it...I was pissed but did not argue with them as I ain't got the time!!! if I had received a Tim's card, that baby would been used the first week!!!! Just saying....

November 25, 2015 @ 3:24 PM


Yes, this is definitely a scam and it's on going. My daughter's gift card just got deducted to zero bal jan this yr (2015). She has not used $1 out of that her aunt paid $20. This should be illegal. How can the government allow this criminal act???

December 8, 2015 @ 11:44 PM

Maintenance Fee No More???

So it appears that Cadillac Fairview has quietly done away with the monthly maintenance fee for unused cards. My husband received a card as a gift a few weeks ago, and nowhere does it say anything about this fee. We were very suspicious, but when he registered the card, it now just says the card itself is valid for the next 10 years; it does not say anything about maintenance fee payments. Compare that to the CF gift card I received a few months ago: when I registered that card, it shows the date that maintenance fees will start to be removed.

I want to know what the catalyst was for this change, but couldn't find any answers. I have lost money on these gift cards before too and would love to know if we can go after Cadillac Fairview to get that money back. Why all of a sudden remove the maintenance fee if there wasn't some shady legality with it? Also, does this mean that they will no longer take maintenance fees off the older cards?

Also, if they plan to continue with maintenance fees for the older cards, it may be worth looking into whether the balances on those cards can be transferred to a new card.

It may be worth looking into whether the older CF cards can be transferred onto a new card that doesn't

March 20, 2016 @ 10:29 AM


I didn't realize I got scammed - I got a CF gift card. I thought the "Activation Date" was the date you made your first purchase. I never checked the balance.

Turns out the Activation Date is the date the card-purchaser obtains it.

That is misleading. How would the recipient know what date of card purchase is?! Nowhere on the card is it shown that the Activation Date is defined as the date the card is purchased.

Of course, you can find this after the fact by going through their boilerplate PDF legal agreement found online. But are people going to find this online?


Agreed with above comments - don't help CF - buy a gift card to Winners/Homesense - cheaper items so you get more bang for your buck.

March 21, 2016 @ 8:09 AM


lol sounds like you're employed by Cadillac Fairview. I think you're the one who doesn't have any sense. Why defend Cadillac Fairview? It was a stupid lobbying effort on their part. The fact that they build up so much resentment can only negatively affect their bottom line, regardless of their reasons. With gift cards, retailers often come out on top because of unused balances, and increased business from using the cards (even without the transaction fees). American Express found that they actually got over 100 million in "free" money from unused traveler's cheques (this, without stupid maintenance fees!). Gift cards are a similar concept. Once people smarten up, they'll stop buying CF cards, and possibly even avoid their malls (I certainly did). To begin with, why the hell would anyone "smart" put their loved ones through reading an essay on terms and conditions for their gift? It's only natural to assume that it's like any other gift card. All your points are idiotic, I can only assume you're an employee of the company. Do them a favor and tell them to smarten up, it's costing them business. You're right about one point though: people have a choice of whether or not to buy their cards. But that doesn't mean they can't warn others about the dangers, and I believe anyone with sense would avoid their cards with a ten-foot pole.

September 26, 2016 @ 6:00 PM

Donna, Calgary

It's not only CF gift cards. I "purchased" a South Centre card with employee recognition points that I had earned and was assured by my employer that no maintenance fees would be taken despite what the card showed, because it was not legal in Alberta under the Fair Trading Act. I checked my balance recently and sure enough more than $60 in fees were taken. I sent an email to StoreFinancial, the card ADMINISTRATORS, and was given the explanation that because the card was issued by the Bank of America, NA, a financial institution, the AB Fair Trading Act doesn't apply (the loophole Nancy and Mike mention above.). The card is clearly branded South Centre so why would I be looking for or care that a bank issued it? And no where on the card or in the agreement does it indicate that gift cards issued by financial institutions are exempt from Fair Trading Acts. Wow, banks are exempt from trading fairly with their customers - may be this should not be a surprise but it's very misleading when it comes to gift cards. Continue to spread the word people and avoid buying these types of gift cards; as others have suggested, give cash if you want your family/friends to enjoy full use of your gift to them.

October 11, 2016 @ 3:07 AM


I got burned as well. I received a $50 cf shop card as a wedding gift and used $25 and forgot the rest until today. Behold, it’s 0.00 now.
The only new thing now is; They have shortened the non-used dates to 12 months and increased the fee to $2.50 a month. They must be enjoying this scam.

January 24, 2018 @ 12:19 AM

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