This agreement (agreement) governs your use of the American Express® Gift Card (card). By purchasing and/or using the card, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions of this agreement. The terms you and your refer to the person who purchased the card and/or the person who uses the card. The terms we, our, us and Amex Bank refer to Amex Bank of Canada. If you have not yet used the card and do not wish to be bound by this agreement, you may cancel the card and obtain a refund by calling us at 1-800-505-6849.
Arbitration: This agreement contains an arbitration provision which provides that any claim or dispute relating to this agreement will be resolved by arbitration. See the section titled Arbitration.
Issuer: Amex Bank of Canada. Call us toll-free at 1-800-505-6849 or visit us online at www.americanexpress.ca/gift
Restrictions on Use: The card is not reloadable and you cannot make cash withdrawals. Please see the section About Your Card.
Deposit Insurance: Does not apply to the card. Please see the section About Your Card.
Fees: If a fee is charged when the card is purchased, the amount is written on the exterior packaging. If there is no exterior packaging, the amount is disclosed in writing prior to the card being sold to you. There are no other fees associated with the use of the card.
Expiry of Funds: Funds do not expire. See the section “Valid Thru” Date.
Lost or Stolen Cards: See the section Lost or Stolen Cards. Write down your card number and store it securely and separate from the card.
Verifying the Card’s Balance: See the section About Your Card.
Partial Payments: See the section Split Tender.
ABOUT YOUR CARD:
The card is a prepaid payment device that has a set dollar value that is either printed on the front of the card or selected by the purchaser at the time of purchase. The card is not a credit or charge card. To find out the amount of funds available for use on your card at any given time (available balance) or to request information about previous transactions, visit www.americanexpress.ca/gift or call toll free within North America 1-800-505-6849 (customer service number). Neither your card nor your available balance is insured by the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation. Cards can be used for purchases up to the available balance at merchants in Canada and the United States that accept American Express Cards, including mail order and online merchants (each a merchant). Restrictions may apply, for example some cards are only accepted at certain American Express merchants or at American Express merchants in a particular location, such as a mall. We will tell you of any restrictions on where you may use your card. The card cannot be used for recurring billing, such as utilities and subscriptions, at casinos, for cash or cash equivalents or for transactions requiring a pre-authorization for less than the full value of the transaction (such as some car rental and cruise line transactions), or for any other transactions, merchants and/or merchant industries that we may determine.
HOW TO USE YOUR CARD:
Sign the back of the card where indicated and write down the card number and our customer service number and store in a secure location that only you can access that is separate from the card. We cannot replace the card without the card number. You will need to contact us and provide this information if your card is lost or stolen or if we have to issue a refund or replacement. You may experience a delay in activation and use of the card for up to 4 hours after purchase.
Available Balance: As you use your card, the available balance will be reduced by the full amount of each purchase, including taxes. Once the available balance is depleted, your card is no longer valid and you agree not to use the card. It is your responsibility to keep track of your available balance as merchants do not know your available balance. Your available balance will reflect all authorization requests that have been submitted by merchants.
Split Tender: Depending on the merchant’s policy, you may be able to use the card with another form of payment, such as cash, cheque or another card, to make a purchase. This is known as a split tender transaction. To make a purchase for more than the available balance ask the merchant if another form of payment can be accepted for the balance of your purchase.
Transactions in U.S. Dollars: If you use your card for U.S. dollar transactions, the transaction will be converted into Canadian dollars. The conversion to reflect the final amount of the transaction will take place on the date the purchase or credit is processed by us, which may not be the same date on which we authorize the transaction. Unless a specific conversion rate is required by applicable law, you understand and agree that we will use a conversion rate based on the interbank rate that we select from customary industry sources on the business day prior to the processing date. If a transaction is converted by a third party prior to being submitted to us, any conversions made by those third parties will be at rates selected by them.
Pending Transaction: A pending transaction is a transaction authorized by us but not submitted by the merchant for processing (pending transaction). The value of a pending transaction will be reflected in the available balance until processed. Merchants like gas stations and restaurants obtain pre-authorizations for more than the purchase amount to ensure a sufficient available balance. Pre-authorizations will be reflected as pending transactions until the final transaction is submitted for processing. A pending transaction in U.S. dollars reflects the converted Canadian dollar value on the date it is authorized by us. A pending transaction amount may be different from the final amount of the transaction reflected in your available balance if the conversion rate on the date we authorize the transaction is different than the conversion rate on the day we process the transaction.
“Valid Thru” Date: The “valid thru” date on the front of the card is the date through which your physical plastic card number may be used. This date is required to process transactions at merchants that request an expiration date. Even if the “valid thru” date associated with a card has passed, its available balance remains unchanged and intact. In order to keep making purchases with your available balance after a card’s “valid thru” date has passed, please call 1-800-505-6849 for a free replacement card.
Lost or Stolen Cards: If your card is lost or stolen, contact us immediately at 1-800-505-6849. You will need to provide the card number and any other information we request in order to replace a lost or stolen card. Subject to our approval, if there is an available balance remaining on the card, we will cancel the card and send you a replacement card with the available balance that was on your card at the time you notified us that it was lost/stolen. We may require a receipt in order to issue a refund or replacement. NO REFUNDS OR REPLACEMENT CARDS WILL BE PROVIDED TO COVER AMOUNTS DEBITED FROM YOUR LOST/STOLEN CARD PRIOR TO THE TIME YOU NOTIFIED US. We reserve the right to decline to issue a replacement card for lost or stolen cards.
Use of Card at Merchants: You acknowledge that purchases made with the card are similar to those made with cash. You cannot stop payment or lodge a billing dispute on such transactions. Any problems or disputes you may have regarding a purchase with the card should be addressed directly with the merchant. If you have a question about a transaction that has been posted to the card, call us right away (no later than 60 days from the date of the transaction) at 1-800-505-6849. If you return merchandise purchased with the card, it will be subject to the merchant’s return policies. If the merchant agrees to issue a credit to the card, such funds may not be available for 3 to 7 days. If a credit is processed in U.S. dollars, the terms under Transactions in U.S. Dollars will apply. If you have a complaint, problem or dispute with a merchant, including any goods or services purchased with your card, you agree to settle the dispute directly with the merchant. If a merchant fails to honour the card, please call the customer service number to report the incident.
OTHER IMPORTANT TERMS:
Changing the Agreement/Notices: We have the right to change this agreement at any time and will communicate changes by posting them at www.americanexpress.ca/gift which you agree is the information system through which you will receive such information. We will generally communicate changes within 30 days of the effective date, unless changes are required to comply with applicable law or necessary to protect the security of our network or our customers. You agree to accept any changes as a condition of your maintaining or continuing to use the card. If you do not agree with the changes, you can cancel this agreement by calling us at 1-800-505-6849. We may also suspend, cancel, add or modify any feature or benefit offered in connection with the card at any time and will post notice of any relevant information at www.americanexpress.ca/gift. You can call 1-800-505-6849 to request a paper copy.
Limitation of Our Liability: We are not responsible or liable to you for: (i) any delay or failure of a merchant to accept a card, (ii) problems with goods or services purchased with your card, (iii) any dispute with a merchant, (iv) any costs, damages or expenses arising out of our failure to carry out our obligations if the failure is caused by a third party, a system or data processing failure or any other act or omission outside of our control; and (v) any loss of profits or incidental, indirect, consequential, punitive or special damages regardless of how they arise.
Assignment and Waiver: We may assign this agreement to a third party at any time without notice to you. If we reimburse you for a lost or stolen card, or if we otherwise provide you with a credit or payment in respect to any transaction made with the card, you are automatically deemed to assign and transfer to us any rights and claims that you have, had or may have against any third party for an amount equal to the amount we have paid to you or credited to your card. You agree that you will not pursue any claim against, or reimbursement from, such third party for the amount that we paid or credited to your card, and you will cooperate with us if we pursue the third party for the amount paid or credited. If we fail to exercise any of our rights under this agreement, this will not be a waiver of our rights and will not prevent us from exercising them later.
Notice of Use of Personal Information: In this notice, the words we, our and us mean Amex Bank of Canada, its affiliates (including Amex Canada Inc), and their agents and service providers (acting on their behalf). Personal information (personal information) is any information which relates to an individual and allows that individual to be identified. We collect, disclose, use and process personal information to enable us to provide you with refunds or replacements in respect of your card, to facilitate a resolution to complaints that you have initiated with us about your card, to comply with legal and regulatory requirements and for any other purposes that we may disclose to you. To obtain more information about our policies and procedures in protecting your privacy, you can visit our website at www.americanexpress.ca/privacy or call us at 1-800-869-3016 to request a copy of our Privacy Code.
Complaints Procedure: If you wish to bring a concern to our attention, we encourage you to follow the complaint procedures outlined here. Please see the “Timelines” section below.
Step One: Please contact our Customer Service Department at 1 800 505 6849 or write to us at P.O. Box 3204 Station “F” Toronto, ON, M1W 3W7.
Step Two: If the issue remains unresolved to your satisfaction, you may contact the internal Amex Bank of Canada Ombudsman as follows: Mail: Amex Bank of Canada, P.O. Box 3204 Station “F” Toronto, ON, M1W 3W7 – Attn: Amex Bank of Canada Ombudsman. Telephone: 1 888 301 5312 (toll free) or 437 836 7400 (outside Canada/US, please call collect). Fax: 1 855 683 3769 (toll free) or 1 647 259 8770 (outside Canada/US). TTY: 1 866 529 1344 (toll free). Website: www.americanexpress.ca/ombudsman. Once the Amex Bank of Canada Ombudsman’s Office has provided a decision on your concern, and you are still not satisfied, the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) can provide you with information and a further review of your complaint. OBSI can be contacted as follows: Mail: Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments, 401 Bay Street, Suite 1505, P.O. Box 5, Toronto, Ontario, M5H 2Y4. Telephone: 1 888 451 4519 (toll free) or 416 287 2877 (local). Fax: 1 888 422 2865 (toll free) or 416 225 4722 (local). TTY: 1 855 889 6274. Email: email@example.com. Website: www.obsi.ca.
Timelines: If you have not followed the complaint escalation steps as outlined above, we may forward your concern to the appropriate complaint handling level for investigation and response. Once your complaint reaches Step Two, we will do our best to provide a response detailing your concern and the appropriate resolution or explanation within 90 days. In the event that we are unable to respond within that time period, a notice will be provided to you estimating the completion date of the investigation. We encourage you to use our internal complaints handling process first. However, 90 days after reaching Step Two, you have the right to contact the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI). OBSI may contact the Amex Bank of Canada Ombudsman’s Office to facilitate the earliest possible resolution of your complaint.
Obtaining a Status Update on Your Complaint: At anytime during the complaint handling process, you can obtain an up-to-date status of your complaint, including which step in the process your complaint is in and what the next step is by calling to 1 888 301 5312 (toll free) or 437 836 7400 (outside Canada/US, please call collect).
Definitions: In this arbitration section, the words we, our and us mean Amex Bank of Canada and its affiliates (including Amex Canada Inc.); and the term claim means any claim, dispute or controversy between you and us, arising from or relating to your card, this agreement, or your relationship with us. The term claim also includes any claim, dispute or controversy that arises from or relates to (a) the purchase and/or use of the card, (b) advertisements, promotions or oral or written statements related to the card, and (c) the benefits and services related to your card. This arbitration section also applies to any claim you may have regarding the enforceability or validity of this section.
Initiation of Arbitration Proceeding/Selection of Administrator: If you have a claim, you must try to resolve it in accordance with the steps outlined in the Complaints Procedure section of this agreement. If your claim is still not resolved after following those steps and you want to pursue it further, you are required to resolve it by way of binding arbitration. The sole exception is if you follow the “Small Claims Proceedings” section below. Arbitration will follow the National Arbitration Rules (the rules) of the ADR Institute of Canada, Inc. (the administrator) or its successors. For a copy of the rules, to file a claim or for other information about the administrator, contact them at: ADR Institute, 234 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 500, Toronto, Ontario M4P 1K5; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Before you commence a claim we have the right to change or replace the administrator and the rules at our sole discretion. Small Claims Court Proceedings: You have the right to commence a claim in the Small Claims Court in your province of residence (as opposed to arbitration) so long as the claim relates to you alone, the Small Claims Court has jurisdiction to hear it and you have not commenced the same or similar proceedings elsewhere. If you have contacted our Bank Ombudsman or the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) and either one is investigating your claim, they will stop their investigation once you commence a claim either in Small Claims Court or by way of arbitration.
Consolidation: If you commence arbitration or Small Claims Court proceedings, it must relate only to your claim and cannot be on behalf of anyone else or anyone else’s claim. You agree that arbitration is a more efficient and cost effective way to resolve claims than court litigation. You further agree that the arbitrator will have no jurisdiction or authority to consider any claim you commence if it appears that it is in any way on behalf of any other person or group of persons.
Arbitration Procedures and Appeal: The arbitrator will take reasonable steps to preserve your privacy. If your claim is less than $10,000.00 there will be no oral pre-trial testimony unless the arbitrator feels it is necessary. The arbitrator’s decision will be final and binding. Unless prohibited by law, any party can appeal the arbitrator’s award to an appeal panel administered by the administrator, and the appeal panel may re-hear all elements of the claim. Where the award under appeal is for $10,000.00 or less, the appeal will be to a single appeal arbitrator and where the award under appeal is for more than $10,000.00 the appeal will be to a three-member appeal panel. The appealing party will have thirty (30) days from the date of the written arbitration award to notify the administrator that it is exercising its right of appeal. The administrator will then notify the other party that the award has been appealed. The administrator will appoint the appeal panel that will conduct an arbitration pursuant to the rules and issue its decision within one hundred and twenty (120) days after the date of the original written notice. The decision of the three-member appeal panel will be by majority vote. The appeal decision will be final and binding and there will be no further appeal. The appeal decision will be considered as a final award.
Location of Arbitration/Payment of Fees: Any arbitration hearing that you attend will take place in the province or territory where you reside. We will be responsible for paying the arbitrator and arbitration administration fees (including filing, administrative, hearing and/or other fees) unless the arbitrator or appeal panel determines that your claim was frivolous or vexatious, in which case, the fees will be in the discretion of the arbitrator or appeal panel. Awards of legal costs will be in the discretion of the arbitrator or appeal panel but in the event you are unsuccessful in the arbitration, or appeal where applicable, you will not be responsible for our legal costs unless the arbitrator or appeal panel determines that your claim was frivolous or vexatious.
®: Used by Amex Bank of Canada under license from American Express.