We were recently given a couple dozen gift cards from multiple web sites, but as far as I can tell the same parent company (website design is the same, about us page is the same etc.).

I've already determined they're actually just a scam (each gift card for each website is almost exactly the cost of the item on that site, but shipping is exorbitantly high; e.g., $16 for a single bath towel).

My question is the following:

These were given to me specifically labeled in multiple locations as "Gift Cards", with codes on each card labeled "Gift Card Number: ". However, when I try to apply multiple gift cards to my account, it's not allowed. I could understand if these were marketed to me as promotions or discounts or something else, but they go out of their way in the package to explain how these are "gift cards" and have already been "paid in full".

Are there specific terms that define what is and isn't a "gift card"? My assumption was that if I have two $50 gift cards to a company, these are considered $50-same-as-cash -- however, the company insists these are ineligible to both be applied to the same order.

How legal is this?

Quick Note: The terms on the back do say they can't be combined or used for shipping costs. But I'm just curious if these sorts of terms are legal in conjunction with what's considered and labeled as a "gift card".

1 Answer 1


It would depend on the terms and conditions of the gift card.

If the gift card is a present of the shop owner, then they can set (within reason) the terms and conditions they like.

If I buy a gift card for a shop to give to someone as a birthday present, I wouldn't expect any restrictions. If there were restrictions, I'd likely not buy that gift card. If the restrictions are hidden in the small print, consumer protection laws might make the restrictions illegal.

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