Frequently Asked Questions about Heritage Gift Cards



I've been given a Heritage Gift Card. How does it work?


The Heritage Gift Card is a prepaid or stored-value card that carries a certain amount of spending power. Each time the card is used to make a purchase, the purchase amount is deducted from the card's available balance. Once its value has been exhausted, it cannot be used for more purchases, because negative balances are not supported - it is not a credit card.

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How do I activate a card? Why do I have to do this?


Your card must be activated before you can use it. If the letter to which your card was attached asks you to activate your card, please do so on this website or by phoning the number shown on the card. You will need to enter the 16 digit card number and your 4 digit authentication code. This is a necessary security step - the same as banks do when despatching credit or debit cards through the post.

"Zero Balance" cards are activated automatically -- they are ready to spend as soon as funds have been loaded.

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Where can the card be used? Where can it not be used?


Heritage Gift Cards can be used in any store in Australia or overseas or for internet purchases where a VISA prepaid card is accepted, provided the merchant can process it electronically. They can be spent in about 499,000 places in Australia and 24 million overseas. Temporarily we have blocked transactions with USA merchants due to an unprecedented level of fraudulent transactions.

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Are there any transaction types for which the card cannot be used?


The card cannot be used for mail or telephone orders or at ATMs.

Use of the card at automated fuel bowsers will require the card to have a balance of at least $49, although only the actual amount spent will be deducted from the card's balance.

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Can I use the card to get cash from an ATM?


No. Sorry. Heritage Gift Cards cannot be used at an ATM.

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When a merchant asks me "Credit, Cheque or Savings?" and "Sign or PIN?" how should I answer?


"Credit" (even though a prepaid card is not a credit card, we use credit card settlement processes) and "sign" (your 4 digit authentication code is not a PIN).

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What if the value of the purchase I want to make is greater than the value / balance on the card?


You will need to supplement the spending power on the card with cash or other payment method accepted by the merchant.

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What if the value of the purchase I want to make is less than the value / balance on the card?


Only the exact value of your purchase will be deducted from the balance on the card, so you can use the card for more purchases later. No change will be given.

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Why might a proposed transaction using my prepaid card be declined?


There are several possibilities:
  • your card has not been activated
  • the amount of the purchase exceeds the available balance
  • authorisations of transactions with USA merchants are presently blocked, due to an unprecedented level of fraudulent transactions 
  • your card has expired
  • your card has been reported lost or stolen
  • your card has been suspended
  • a previous voided or interrupted transaction may have been authorised, and the reserved funds have not yet been released
  • the signature panel on the back of the card has not been signed
  • your signature on the purchase receipt does not match the signature on the back of the card
  • you have entered your 4 digit authentication code, thinking it was a PIN, instead of signing the docket
  • the merchant does not accept VISA prepaid cards

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Are there any "special" merchants I should know about?


Yes. At the petrol station: it's better to pay at the counter after filling your tank, rather than using your card at the pump itself before filling up. Why? Because, even if you need only a few litres of petrol, an authorisation for $49 will be sought, and that $49 will be reserved until the actual value of fuel purchased is posted to the account - sometimes a day or two later.

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How can I check the balance - the value left on the card?


By visiting or by phoning the number shown on the card. Merchants cannot do a balance enquiry through their point-of-sale system.

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Can I see a list of purchase transactions made with the card?


Yes - by visiting

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Are there any fees for using the card or checking its balance or transactions?


Generally there are no fees for using your Heritage Gift Card: the balance on the card is entirely for your use.

If you use a Heritage Gift Card overseas, a foreign currency conversion fee of 3% of the transaction value will apply.

Visiting the web site is free - to check your card balance or transactions or for any other purpose.

Phone calls will generally attract a small fee - but you will be advised of that fee and given the chance to hang up before any amount is charged to your Card balance.

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Do I have to remember a PIN?


No. Your card does not have a PIN.

But to check your card balance or transaction history, you will need to remember your 4 digit authentication code.

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Can I reload my Heritage card with more spending power?


No. Heritage gift cards are not reloadable.

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Who can use the card?


Anyone who has legitimate possession of the card and who has agreed to the terms & conditions of using the card - by signing the back of it, or offering it to a merchant in full- or part- payment for goods and services. We recommend the card not be given to young people less than 12 years old.

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What happens if I need to return an item to the merchant?


Each merchant has its own policy about accepting returned items. If a merchant does accept the return of goods purchased with a pre-paid card, then the merchant can process a negative transaction so the spending power of the card is restored. However such credits are not immediate - please check your transaction history on

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Does the card have an expiry date?


Yes. It will expire at the end of the month shown on the front of the card. This means that most cards have a life of between 12 and 18 months.

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What happens if there are still funds on the card when it expires?


Whatever value is left on the card after its expiry will not be available to you. We encourage you to use your card before it expires.

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May a merchant add a surcharge to the cash price?


Yes. It is the same as when you use a credit card: Reserve Bank reforms in 2004 mean that merchants are now permitted to add a small surcharge to recompense them for paying the Merchant Service Fee to their bank. Most merchants do not surcharge.

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What should I do if my card is lost or stolen or damaged?


Phone 1800 174 239 immediately to report a stolen card, so we can stop any subsequent transactions from being authorised.

If the balance on the card exceeds $15 at the time you report its loss, you may order a replacement card, which will be loaded with the balance of the lost / stolen / damaged card at the time its loss was reported, less an administration fee of $15.

Or if you have lost the card and think you will find it again, you may take the precaution of suspending it by visiting
(Remember to unsuspend your card after you find it.)

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What are the terms and conditions of using these cards?


Please see the terms and conditions here.

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What about security?


Like all payment cards, prepaid cards should be safeguarded, treated like cash. However Heritage cards are more secure than cash, because your signature is required for a purchase. And if your card is lost or stolen, you can report its loss so it can be disabled and replaced, unlike many store cards. However we will not replace lost / stolen cards that were purchased over-the-counter.

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What is your privacy policy?


We are committed to adhering to the Australian Privacy Principles. We will not disclose your personal details to anyone except for the purpose of operating these prepaid card programs, or as required by law. All data transmitted via the internet is encrypted. To see our Privacy Policy, click here.

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My company wants to buy prepaid cards as incentives for its employees - what should I do?


Please phone (02) 9556 7560 and ask for the Universal Gift Card sales department.

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How do I contact you if I have more questions?


Either phone 1800 174 239 (or +1 954 514 8958 if you are outside Australia) or send us an email

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