Gift Cards That Can’t Be Used Online

A friend went to Bunnings last week and bought me a gift voucher. We’re in lockdown here in Melbourne and the only way to shop at Bunnings is online and then you collect your order from the car park when they tell you it’s ready.

I think it’s pretty appalling that a company the size of Bunnings doesn’t allow gift vouchers to be used as payment in their online store and moreso that they sell a gift voucher, they’ve got the money in their account, but I literally have no way of using it.

I know this is unfair, but is it legal? Can you think of any way to work around it?


Never mind. The Bunnings gift voucher will be there when we in Melbourne can escape from lockdown.
I believe that those cards have a long expiry time. The alternative is Bunnings electronic gift cards, which would be usable for online use.


They have no expiry date as far as I am aware so yes a looooonnnnngggg expiry date.


@yesplease72 explicit concern was that Bunnings do not accept gift cards for online purchases. I assume voucher means gift card in context?

What if the holder of a gift card was doing it hard under COVID and needed something for immediate home maintenance? No cash and no product, so sad too bad, let the water leak?

From Bunnings web site they state ‘You can’t pay with a Gift Card online at this time. This service will be available in the future.’ so they understand they need to ‘fix it’ and are apparently doing so.

Back to the OP, @yesplease72, have you tried to ring in and order by phone even though it is not a documented method?


How can this possibly be a Bunnings failure in their gift card options?
It is very clear that the gift cards can be used for in-store purchases only.
Through no fault of theirs they have been restricted to online and pickup operation by Government mandate.
They do offer an electronic voucher alternative that can be used online.

I find this sort of company bashing is unsupportable.

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Product definition is not in keeping with current norms or good customer service.

Bashing? DJs had the same issue a few years back and dealt with it. It is not as if it is/was only Bunnings, it is/was short sighted management.

Pointing out deficiencies and suggesting a potential work-around is not bashing as I understand it, it is criticism and problem solving.

Purchasing any gift card puts cash-in-hand into a business. Anything they do or do not do to allow that ‘cash’ to be spent, especially when shops are closed excepting for online, may be reasonably called out in my opinion.


So what do you propose @PhilT?
While lockdowns are in place, businesses that sell Bunnings gift cards, like supermarkets, should pull them off display?
Prominent warning displayed, “cannot be used during store closure due to Pandemic lockdowns”?
The company fast track computer system changes at considerable cost and risk to accommodate what you consider should be the right thing to do in a situation that is supposed to be temporary.?

Had an acquaintence who worked in the IT department of Bunnings years ago. He was astounded at the antiquated and cumbersome systems that were in use by Bunnings; with no prospect of any upgrades. I don’t know if things have improved at Bunnings IT since then.

Perhaps Bunnings’ inability to pivot with changes resulting from COVID is a result of their cumbersome IT systems?


I don’t think the discussion got to anything beyond seeing if there was a workaround, and I noted Bunnings is ‘working on it’ for some time in the future.

It appears you have dismissed the possibility of them taking phone orders, whether possible or probable or not as a work-around.

They would be far from alone.

However I can ring many businesses and order and pay on the phone. It seems it should be a reasonable expectation to be able to do so. Sometimes it is a back room problem to do, and sometimes it is just a bad policy; unless one is inside, one could never know which.


If the amount of change is less than $10 from use of the gift card how do they then reimburse that to the user? Perhaps this creates the reason why for the conditions of use?

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Another potential ‘back room problem’ but I always thought gift cards were managed like a debit card is to its transaction account, and if so change could be applied. If not, a new (change made) digital gift card should be an easy answer.


As it is a delivery order (lockdown) I’m not sure how/if they trust their delivery providers. The gift cards are set amounts and the lowest is a $10 one, anything in change under $10 is given as cash eg $19.95 would be a $10 gift card and $9.95 in cash. They could print a voucher??? but I am guessing could be easily lost or damaged when packed with the delivery. Providing a variable amount Gift card is another possibility if they decide to create them, wouldn’t think that would be too hard to do but not knowing their internal accounting and IT systems maybe too hard currently?

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Since one could buy with any credit card I am confused why it would be different because of the drivers. Any charge or refund would be made at time of purchase, and if necessary emailed or texted as a digital card. I buy click and collect from Bunnings while in lockdown since I am in a 5km radius of my local, but two weeks ago the local did not have the product shown in the online inventory (what a surprise) and they organised it for delivery, no charge, from another Bunnings. No dramas and an excellent experience.

Again, I allow for back room problems because of archaic or badly thought out systems, IT, manual, or worse.


Their set policy is the problem. The process is what it is and requires a rethink and response from head office. Gift cards are only ever exchanged for Gift cards and only cash when the change is below $10, no exceptions is their rule. I have bashed my head against that brick wall more than once.



Wouldn’t it be fun to find the person responsible and ask why it is as it is, and why they cannot change it, at least not in the immediate term since they claim to be working on it for ‘someday’.


As it can’t be used online (it appears that the online/electronic gift cards also can only be used in store as well)…and based on requirement to use in store, it might be worth ringing their trade/service desk. They might be able to process an order instore using the gift card that you have. I don’t know if it will work, but it is worth trying.


Coles eGift Cards cannot be used online either only instore.

Awful to own if you are in lockdown and low on funds.

Inconvenient if you are disabled and always use Home Delivery Services…


Maybe Coles needs to lift is game, as with Woolworths ones you can use theirs in store and online, plus you can add each card, to their woolworths money app


I would not put it past some management to ‘design’ their gift cards limitations, often sold for 3~5% discounts as perks by utilities to clubs, as ways to get people into store so they will buy what they need as well as a few impulse purchases. As others posted, online leads to fewer impulse purchases.

That would explain the companies that only become more customer friendly through exposure and competitive pressures. Posting ‘we are working on it’ may be a PR tactic or may be that they are, but how hard could it be no matter how antiquated their back end systems? If they can accept, process, and refund a credit/debit card how hard it would be to add a gift card processing path in the checkout.

IF Regular (Visa | Mastercard | Amex ) DoThis;
ELSE IF (MyCompanyGiftCard) DoThat;
ELSE ErrorProcess

Unfortunately in the name of fewer software errors, software has become so complex through opaque libraries and the lack of enforcing good practices (just get it out the door development) sometimes nobody ‘there’ can figure out how it works any more, likely to be part of the problem.


I live in NSW so am in lockdown and can’t visit a Kmart to spend my gift card. I also just found out that I can’t use my kmart gift card to purchase online at Kmart. Is this even allowed?