Almost half of all Irish people have let a gift voucher expire, the National Consumer Agency claims, as it reminds the public to spend Christmas presents before they go out of date.
The group says it received over 800 calls to its helpline last year from people with queries about gift cards and tokens.
And it is warning us companies are under no legal obligation to honour a voucher that has expired.
Consumer spokesperson Fergal O'Leary says you also have little come-back if the firm has gone bust:
"Unfortunately, in that case, consumers would become what's known as an unsecured creditor ", he said.
"You are, in that case, at the end of a very long line - behind staff, behind Revenue, and behind other entities who'd be paid out before you.
"The quicker you use it, the less chance there is that you're going to be caught out."