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Frequently Asked Questions

For Purchasers

What is the Gift Card?

The Gift Card is a prepaid card that comes with a set dollar value that is printed on the front of the Gift Card. Select Gift Cards can be loaded with any amount within a specified range. It is not a credit card, charge card or debit card. The Gift Card can be used virtually everywhere American Express Cards are accepted in Canada and the U.S. Some usage restrictions apply. See the Gift Card Cardholder Agreement for more details.

Where can I purchase the Gift Card?

Gift Cards are currently available for purchase from Mac’s (in Ontario only), Shoppers Drug Mart® Pharmaprix®, 7-Eleven®, Couche-Tard, Circle K and Quickie Convenience Stores. You can also redeem for the American Express Gift Card using:

How much does it cost to buy the Gift Card?

The purchase charge for the Gift Card varies by denomination:
  • $3.95 + applicable taxes for a $25 Gift Card
  • $4.95 + applicable taxes for a $50 Gift Card
  • $5.95 + applicable taxes for a $100 Gift Card
  • $6.95 + applicable taxes for a $200 Gift Card
  • $8.95 + applicable taxes for a $200-$500 Gift Card (choose your load amount)

What denominations of Gift Cards are available?

  • Currently, $25, $50, $100 and $200 denominations of the Gift Card are available for purchase.
  • Gift Cards that you can choose your load amount within a $200-$500 range are also available at select retailers.
  • Aeroplan®* Miles can be redeemed for a $250 American Express Gift Card. Call 1-800-505-6849 to learn more.
  • Are you a business looking to purchase specific denominations? Learn more

Is there a limit to how many Gift Cards can be purchased?

The number and total value of Gift Cards that can be purchased may vary by product availability and the policy of each individual seller. If you have a question, please check with the seller before purchase.

Can I buy Gift Cards online in Canada?

No. Currently, you can only buy Gift Cards at retail locations. Are you a business looking to purchase? Learn more

Where can the Gift Card be used?

The Gift Card can be used virtually everywhere American Express Cards are accepted in Canada and the U.S. In some cases Gift Card acceptance may be restricted to certain merchant locations (e.g. mall) which we will indicate with the Gift Card if applicable. You may also call customer service for more information at 1-800-505-6849. Some usage restrictions apply. See the Gift Card Cardholder Agreement for more details.

Are there places where the Gift Card cannot be used?

Yes. The Gift Card cannot be used outside of Canada and the U.S. It cannot be used at certain Merchants such as casinos, cruise lines and car rental companies. Also, the Gift Card cannot be used:

  • For recurring billing payments such as utilities, subscriptions, or cellular phone service.
  • For receiving cash or cash equivalents, such as at ATMs or at a bank.
  • At other merchants or merchant industries that American Express may determine.
  • For transactions requiring preauthorization for less than the full value of such transactions.
  • In some cases Gift Card acceptance may be restricted to certain merchant locations (e.g. mall) which we will indicate with the Gift Card if applicable. You may also call customer service for more information at 1-800-505-6849.

Additional usage restrictions apply. See the Gift Card Cardholder Agreement for more details.

Can the Gift Card be used outside of Canada?

Yes. The Gift Card can be used virtually everywhere American Express Cards are accepted in the U.S. in addition to Canada. Usage restrictions apply. See the Gift Card Cardholder Agreement for more details.

In some cases Gift Card acceptance may be restricted to certain merchant locations (e.g. mall) which we will indicate with the Gift Card if applicable. You may also call customer service for more information at 1-800-505-6849.

What should I do if I have additional questions about buying or using the Gift Card?

If you have any additional questions about the Gift Card, please call our toll-free Customer Service number at 1-800-505-6849.

How do I know whether to choose the American Express Gift Card
or the American Express Reward Card?

The American Express Gift Card is an excellent solution if you plan to use the card(s) over an undetermined length of time, thus avoiding the possibility of having the balance of the card subject to monthly fees after 12 months.

The American Express Reward Card typically has a lower upfront purchase fee. However, a service fee of $2.50 starts on the 13th month after issuance, so if your plans are to use the cards right away the Reward Card may be the best solution for your needs.

For Recipients

I’ve received an Gift Card. What is it?

Your Gift Card is a prepaid card that comes with a set dollar value printed on the front of the Gift Card. It is not a credit card, charge card or debit card. You can use it virtually everywhere American Express Cards are accepted in Canada.

To avoid card declines and have a smooth experience when using your Gift Card, always know your balance and tell it to the cashier before you pay for a purchase. Some usage restrictions apply. See the Gift Card Cardholder Agreement for more details, including usage restrictions.

What should I know about using my Gift Card?

To avoid card declines and have a smooth experience using your Gift Card, you should always know your balance and tell it to the cashier before you pay for a purchase.

Where can I use my Gift Card?

The Gift Card can be used virtually everywhere American Express Cards are accepted in Canada and the U.S. In some cases Gift Card acceptance may be restricted to certain merchant locations (e.g. mall) which we will indicate with the Gift Card if applicable. You may also call customer service for more information at 1-800-505-6849. Some usage restrictions apply. See the Gift Card Cardholder Agreement for more details.

Are there places where the Gift Card cannot be used?

Your Gift Card cannot be used outside of Canada and the U.S. It cannot be used at certain Merchants such as casinos, cruise lines and car rental companies. Also, the Gift Card cannot be used:

  • For recurring billing payments, such as utilities, subscriptions, or cellular phone service.
  • For receiving cash or cash equivalents, such as at ATMs or at a bank.
  • At other merchants or merchant industries that American Express may determine.
  • For transactions requiring preauthorization for less than the full value of such transactions.
  • In some cases Gift Card acceptance may be restricted to certain merchant locations (e.g. mall) which we will indicate with the Gift Card if applicable. You may also call customer service for more information at 1-800-505-6849.

Additional usage restrictions apply. See the Gift Card Cardholder Agreement for more details.

Can my Gift Card be used outside of Canada?

Yes. The Gift Card can be used virtually everywhere American Express Cards are accepted in the U.S. in addition to Canada. Usage restrictions apply. See the Gift Card Cardholder Agreement for more details.

In some cases Gift Card acceptance may be restricted to certain merchant locations (e.g. mall) which we will indicate with the Gift Card if applicable. You may also call customer service for more information at 1-800-505-6849.

Do I need to do anything before using my Gift Card?

Before using your Gift Card, sign the back of your Gift Card. Also, please write down your Gift Card number and the Customer Service number (1-800-505-6849) on a separate piece of paper and keep it in a safe place. If you were given a receipt with your Gift Card, you should keep that too. You will need this information to replace your Gift Card if it is lost or stolen.

Does my Gift Card expire?

The funds on your Gift Card do not expire. However, your plastic card has a “Valid Thru” date used by merchants for security verification and authorization purposes. After the “Valid Thru” date has passed, please do not use your Gift Card. Instead, call Customer Service (1‑800‑505‑6849) to obtain a replacement Gift Card loaded with the current unused Available Balance. You will not be charged any fees for getting a replacement Gift Card. See the Gift Card Cardholder Agreement for more details.

Why is there is a “Valid Thru” date on my Gift Card if it does not expire?

Some merchants require the “Valid Thru” date on front of your Gift Card to process transactions. Although your Gift Card funds do not expire, please do not use your Gift Card after the “Valid Thru” date as merchants may deny your transaction. If your Gift Card “Valid Thru” date is about to pass or has passed, call Customer Service (1‑800‑505‑6849) to obtain a replacement Gift Card loaded with the current unused Available Balance. You will not be charged any fees for getting a replacement Gift Card. See the Gift Card Cardholder Agreement for more details.

What should I do if my Gift Card is lost or stolen?

If your Gift Card is lost or stolen, contact Customer Service immediately at 1-800-505-6849 to notify us. You will be asked for your Gift Card number or information from your Gift Card receipt or package to help us process a replacement request. If there is an Available Balance remaining on your Gift Card, we will cancel your Gift Card and send you a replacement Gift Card with the Available Balance that was on your Gift Card at the time you notified us that it was lost or stolen. NO REFUNDS OR REPLACEMENTS WILL BE PROVIDED TO COVER AMOUNTS DEBITED FROM YOUR LOST OR STOLEN GIFT CARD PRIOR TO THE TIME YOU NOTIFIED US. See the Gift Card Cardholder Agreement for more details.

Can value be added to my Gift Card?

No. Your Gift Card is not reloadable. Once the value of your Gift Card has been depleted, it is no longer valid and should be cut in half and discarded. However, we recommend that you retain your Gift Card until you are sure that you do not intend to return any merchandise purchased with it.

How do I keep track of the value of my Gift Card?

  • You can check your balance at americanexpress.ca/gift.
  • You can also keep track of your balance by using the balance tracking section on the back of your Gift Card. When you pay for a purchase, deduct the amount you have paid from your previous balance and write the new balance in the box on the balance tracking strip on the back of your Gift Card. Keep it up to date, so that you can always know your balance and avoid card declines.

What if I don’t have enough money on my Gift Card to buy what I want? How do I combine other forms of payment?

If your Gift Card does not have a sufficient Available Balance to cover your purchase, it may be declined. Depending on the Merchant’s policy, you may be able to make a purchase with your Gift Card and another form of payment. To make a purchase for more than the Available Balance on your Gift Card:

  • Tell the cashier the Available Balance on your Gift Card (for your Available Balance click here or call 1-800-505-6849).
  • Ask the cashier if another form of payment can be accepted for the balance of your purchase.
  • Tell the cashier to only authorize your Gift Card for the Available Balance.
  • Provide a second form of payment. We do not guarantee that the Merchant will accept two forms of payment.

Are there guidelines for using my Gift Card at restaurants and other “tip” oriented merchants?

Some Merchants (such as restaurants and salons) may obtain a pre-authorization on your Gift Card for an amount up to 20% more than the total bill to cover any gratuity that may be added. Although only the actual amount you authorize will ultimately be deducted from your Gift Card’s Available Balance, the entire pre-authorized amount will remain unavailable until the Merchant posts the final transaction (typically within 3 business days).

To avoid a decline of your Gift Card or having a hold placed on your Gift Card funds, ask the Merchant to authorize only the specific total amount you’d like to pay for your purchase including gratuities.

We do not guarantee that the merchant will fulfill this request.

What are the guidelines for using my Gift Card at gas stations?

Gas stations will generally secure a pre-authorization on your Gift Card for the estimated total purchase amount to ensure that your Gift Card’s Available Balance is sufficient to cover the final purchase. Although only the actual amount you authorize will ultimately be deducted from your Gift Card’s Available Balance, the entire pre-authorized amount will remain unavailable until the Merchant posts the final transaction (typically within 3 business days).

To avoid a decline of your Gift Card or having a hold placed on your Gift Card funds, we recommend that you pay for gasoline inside the station.

How do I find out about transactions made on my Gift Card?

You can click here or call Customer Service (1-800-505-6849) to get information on transactions made on your Gift Card.

How do I handle returns, exchanges or problems with the merchandise that I’ve purchased with my Gift Card?

If you wish to return or exchange any merchandise purchased with your Gift Card, you will be subject to the Merchant’s return/exchange policies. If the Merchant agrees to issue a credit to your Gift Card for merchandise returned, the credited funds may not be available for 3 to 7 days.

Please be aware of the Merchant’s return or exchange policies before making your purchase.

What do I do if my Gift Card is declined?

Call Customer Service (1-800-505-6849) to find out why your Gift Card may have been declined. Among other reasons, your Gift Card can be declined if it does not have sufficient Available Balance to cover the full amount of your purchase or if a Merchant is unable to authorize your Gift Card. If you are unsure of your Available Balance, you can check it online or by calling the Customer Service number (1-800-505-6849).

What should I do if I have questions about my Gift Card?

If you have additional questions, please call our toll-free Customer Service number
(1-800-505-6849).

Is there a currency conversion applied if I use my Canadian Gift Card for U.S. dollar transactions?

Yes. If you use your Canadian Gift Card for U.S. dollar transactions, the transaction will be converted into Canadian dollars on the date American Express processes the transaction (usually the day that the merchant submits the transaction to us). The processing date may not be the same date that the transaction was authorized. The treasury system will convert the transaction from U.S. dollars to Canadian dollars using a currency conversion rate selected from customary industry sources on the business prior to the processing date.


Avoid Card Declines

Always know your Gift Card balance and tell it to the cashier before you pay.

Learn more

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