Guide to Woolworths and Coles Gift Cards

Information verified correct on October 28th, 2016

Discover how to make the most out of your supermarket gift card

Gift cards are a popular way to say thanks to the people who know what they want in a present. However, gift cards come with terms and conditions that you’ll need to pay attention to. We have a look at how gift cards work, the pros and pitfalls, and put two of the most popular gift cards in Australia side by side: the Coles Myer and Woolworths gift cards.

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What are the features of a supermarket gift card?

Gift cards more or less work the same. These features are common to most gift cards.:

  • They expire. Most gift cards expire after a period of time after which time any remaining funds on the card are lost.
  • Single-load. Most gift cards are single-load. The value of the gift card is decided at the time of purchase. However, there are some gift cards that can be reloaded with money.
  • Acceptance.  Some retailers have exclusions about where the product can and can’t be used. For example, you may only be able to use the card at the merchant that issued the gift card.
  • Security. If a gift card is lost or stolen, there’s little chance of reclaiming the value of the card.
  • Availability. Some gift cards can be purchased online, others are only available in-store.
  • Online access. You can check the balance of gift cards from most major retailers online.

What should I be wary of?

There are some common traps in the terms and conditions that people looking to buy a gift card should consider:

  • Do I get change? A common gift card condition is that you can’t claim any remaining money on the card as cash following a purchase. It’s worth checking whether the merchant will give change at all.
  • Does it work online? Check to see whether the gift card can be used to make purchases on the internet. Some gift cards have an in-store purchases only policy.
  • When does it expire? Be sure to check when the gift card expires. Up to two years is a common length of time for the product to remain valid.
  • Don’t lose it. If you misplace your gift card or it’s stolen, the merchant has no obligation to honour any request for a reimbursement.

Comparing the Woolworths WISH Gift Card and Coles Group & Myer Gift Card

The Coles and Woolworths gift card range puts forward a number of similar products from Australia’s main competing supermarkets.  Woolworths and Coles Group & Myer Gift Cards are purchased to be used at the respective stores and group partners:

  • What can I buy? The Woolworths WISH Gift Card boasts a slightly greater range of participating retailers; however, the Coles Group & Myer Gift Card can be used at the Myer department store, which boasts a diverse catalogue of items from electronics to manchester.
  • Expiry. The Woolworths WISH Gift Card will expire after 12 months whereas the Coles Group & Myer Gift Card is valid for 2 years.
  • Online shopping. Another point to consider is the Woolworths WISH Gift Card can be used to shop online. The Coles Group & Myer Gift Card can only be used in-store.
  • Website. Woolworths gets some points for a slick gift card website and a far greater range of gift cards available to buy online.

The main point to compare is where these cards can be used. A gift card is just a card. The real gift comes when the money on the card is redeemed for goods and services.

About Woolworths WISH Gift Cards

Woolworths WISH Gift CardColes Group and Myer Card
Participating stores
  • Home Timber & Hardware
  • Masters Home Improvement
  • CellarMasters
  • Woolworths Supermarkets
  • Dick Smith
  • BWS
  • Dan Murphy’s
  • Thomas Dux
  • Branded Caltex Woolworths and Caltex Safeway Petrol Stations.
  • Coles
  • Coles Express
  • Target
  • Kmart
  • Officeworks
  • Liquorland
  • Vintage Cellars
  • 1st Choice Liquor Superstores
Expiry12 months24 months
Min / Max Load$5 / $500$5 / $500
Use onlineYesNo

*List of participating retailers correct: 08/01/14.

Pros and cons of using a supermarket gift card


  • Choice. A gift card is a little more personal than giving cash. The recipient can choose what they want to buy from a particular merchant.
  • Online facilities. It’s easy to manage your gift card and check your remaining balance. Simply visit the card issuer’s website to access the online tools.


  • Expiry. A gift card is like cash, but with terms and conditions. A gift card will expire after a period of time and the value on the card will be lost.
  • Acceptance. A gift card can only be used at certain shops and merchants.

These products come with a pile of terms and conditions. Gift card rules are available for everyone to see. Be sure to do your due diligence and read up about the restrictions and conditions of the gift card so you’re not throwing money away.

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Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between an e-gift card and a regular gift card?

An ‘e-gift card’ is a gift card you purchase online to be used online. Unlike a traditional gift card, these products are made for digital use only at participating retailers.

Why doesn’t my gift card work?

If your gift card doesn’t work, check to see whether the card is still valid first. If you’re trying to use the product in-store and you get a bad read message, check to see whether the magnetic strip on the back or card is damaged or not. If it is damaged, you may need to arrange for a replacement. This can be organised by contacting the card issuer customer service.

What if I want to return goods purchased with the gift card?

You should be able to return goods you’ve purchased with your gift card; however, return policies can vary depending on the store where the items were purchased. You will need to contact the merchant directly to enquire about their gift cards return policy.

How do I find out about the balance of my gift card?

Most gift card issuers allow you to check the balance of your gift card online. You will need to visit the gift card website and look for the option that lets you log in to your gift card account.

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Jacob Joseph

Jacob is a writer and video journalist with Credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts are his bread and butter, and he likes nothing more helping people understand the sometimes overly complex world of personal finance.

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16 Responses to Guide to Woolworths and Coles Gift Cards

  1. Default Gravatar
    Diane | January 27, 2016

    I was given a Australia Post Load and Go Gift card for Xmas for $200.
    When I went to use it to purchase some goods it would not allow me to have the $200 so I used $190. Next day I phoned Aust Post and they said there was a balance remaining of $9-10? (not sure why) so I said I would like to close it…OK THAT WILL COST YOU $15… Is this legal. What a rip off. It cost my family member $6.95 to purchase it.ME THINKS ….BE WARY OF AUSTRALIA POST LOAD AND GO CARDS . Have others had this experience

    • Staff
      Jonathan | January 28, 2016

      Hi Diane, thanks for your inquiry!

      As per the product disclosure statement of the Australia Post Load&Go Reloadable Visa Prepaid Card the cancellation cost is $15.00. To further inquire into the cancellation fee and your current account balance you can contact Australia Post on 13 POST (13 7678) available Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm.



  2. Default Gravatar
    natashia | December 26, 2015

    I brought a woolworths visa gift card and says pretty much use anywhere visa is accepted why can’t i use it at Kmart

    • Staff
      Ysa | December 28, 2015

      Hi Natashia,

      Woolworths WISH Gift Cards can be used in any Woolworths Group participating stores, including Home Timber & Hardware, Masters Home Improvement, CellarMasters, Woolworths Supermarkets, BWS, Dick Smith, Dan Murphy’s, Thomas Dux, and branded Caltex Woolworths and Caltex Safeway petrol stations.

      However, if your gift card still doesn’t work with the above participating stores, check to see whether the card is still valid. If you’re trying to use the product in-store and you get a bad read message, check to see whether the magnetic strip on the back or card is damaged or not. If it is damaged, you may need to arrange for a replacement. This can be organised by contacting the Woolworth’s customer service.

      I hope this helps.


  3. Default Gravatar
    Elaine | December 23, 2015

    I have recently found a gift card in my old purse, it is for Dan Murphy’s it is for 100 dollars the girl at the check out says I would be able to get the expired card changed to new one do you have a number I can call them please

    • Staff
      Debbie | December 23, 2015

      Hi Elaine,

      Thank you for your inquiry.
      Please refer to the contact numbers I have sent to your email.

      To understand more about cashback and gift cards, kindly check this page.
      I hope this helps.


  4. Default Gravatar
    matt | December 21, 2015

    can you clarify if Dick smith still accepts wish gift cards? i thought woolies sold them?

    • Staff
      Sally | December 22, 2015

      Hi Matt,

      Thanks for your question. While you can purchase Woolworths WISH Gift Cards at Woolworths, you can still use the cards at Dick Smith.

      I hope this has helped.



  5. Default Gravatar
    Mary | April 1, 2015

    How do I get a balance left on my gift card. Shop won’t tell me what I have left?

    • Staff
      Jonathan | April 2, 2015

      Hi Mary, thanks for your inquiry!

      Please refer to the link I have sent to your email which will allow you to check your gift card balance.



  6. Default Gravatar
    Mary | April 1, 2015

    how can I find out the balance left on my Woolworths gift card?

    • Staff
      Jonathan | April 2, 2015

      Hi Mary, thanks for your inquiry!

      Please refer to the link (Woolworths Gift card website) I have sent to your email.



  7. Default Gravatar
    loresha | November 20, 2014

    Can you track or trace a lost Or stolen gift card

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | November 21, 2014

      Hi Loresha,

      Thanks for your question.

      To my knowledge this isn’t possible. You’ll need to get in contact with Woolworths directly to report the gift card stolen. If you have any details such as card number or purchase/redemption information, keep that handy.

      I hope this has helped.



  8. Default Gravatar
    wish | January 9, 2014

    thank you for your clarification re my out of date
    gift card.

    however there still remains some disappointment
    in the result…….”buyer beware” is a term associated with scammers and businesses that have little regard for public relations.
    Woolworths has now joined this group so that future gift card dealings will be done with Coles,
    with a two year time frame.

    • Default Gravatar
      Tammy | January 4, 2015

      Please don’t buy Gift Cards. These are a rort, and these companies pray on vulnerable people who unfortunately mis-place their gift card, and then it expires. If one household in the country had an expired gift card, these companies make billions for nothing. Don’t let them do it. In my opinion Gift Cards should never expire, as the company already has been paid for the transaction up front. They need to honor this to all customers, and it’s time they shouldn’t get away with it any longer. Coles just did this with me, and it’s now goodbye Coles forever. I will never step back into any of their partner stores either.
      x Tam

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