New legislation to extend consumer protections for people buying gift vouchers is to be in place before Christmas.

A range of new protections will be put in place with all gift cards having a minimum expiry of five years. This will ending a practise whereby cards go out of date and consumers lose their value entirely.

A new ban will also be introduced on the requirement to spend a voucher in one transaction.

In some cases outlets refuse to offer change or retain your balance on the gift card if you do not spend the full amount on the voucher.

The Consumer Protection Bill was put forward after much controversy about businesses imposing harsh terms on gift vouchers, which often led to big losses for consumers.

Today one of the biggest gift voucher sellers, One4All said the new legislation would not impact or affect its customers as their cards currently have no expiry date and can be used across several transactions.