Gift cards to be valid for three years

Are you one of those people that gets given a gift card, only to lament when you go to use it and find out it has expired?

If so, then fear no more.

Consumer advocacy group Choice is now calling on all states and territories to match the Berejiklian government's move to force retailers in NSW to honour gift cards for at least three years, set to be announced later on Tuesday.

"It's great news because it's estimated we waste around $200 million a year by not redeeming the value on these cards," Choice spokesman Tom Godfrey said.

"Essentially what you're doing with a gift card ... (is) putting terms and conditions on cash."

The NSW government estimates Australians spend about $2.5 billion a year on the cards but the cash contracts too often burn consumers.

A 2014 Choice survey found a third of respondents had lost the full value of at least one gift card in the previous three years.

Gift card holders are also among the last creditors to be considered when a company goes bust.

More than 45,000 gift cards at a value of $2.7 million were not honoured after Dick Smith Electronics called in administrators in January 2016.