Feds ban expiry dates on prepaid credit cards

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty speaks to the media after Question Period at Parliament Hill in...

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty speaks to the media after Question Period at Parliament Hill in Ottawa Oct 17, 2012. (ANDRE FORGET/QMI AGENCY)

Jessica Hume, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 3:03 PM ET

Prepaid credit cards must have its fees clearly displayed and can no longer expire, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced Wednesday.

Under the new regulations, prepaid cards must fully disclose any fees and conditions, must not expire and eliminate any unused balance, and also can't have maintenance fees for a year after card activation.

"We want to be sure Canadians understand what fees and conditions apply to prepaid products so that they can continue making informed decisions in the day-to-day lives," Flaherty said.

The Deputy Commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada said broadening the regulations' reach would "improve consumer awareness".

Bruce Cran, director of the Consumers' Association of Canada, said he wasn't sure what the government was reacting to, but that regulating the way prepaid cards are used couldn't be all bad.

"We're not upset by this, but we're not enthralled either."

 


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