Effective March 25, 2021, Sainsburys changed the terms governing how their gift cards expire. As a card user (I get a 5% discount through the discount portal at work), I clearly missed it but thought I would let others know in case some are unaware of it.
Earlier, using the card, checking the balance or adding money to it extended the expiry date by 2 years. From March 25, only adding money extends the date, that too for the physical cards which work only in the store. Minimum amount that can be added is £1. If you have an electronic card (like the one issued by Top Gift Cards), then the expiry date is a hard one as these cannot be reloaded. The original expiry date of 2 years hasn't changed so if you buy a new physical or electronic card, you get 2 years to use it.
In my opinion, this is a bad change for consumers. I can understand removing the ability to extend the date just for doing a balance check but using the card should still be available, especially if the main reason is to improve their balance sheet (for those unfamiliar with this, gift card balances are treated as a liability until redemption or expiry).
Sadly, I wouldn't be surprised if more retailers follow Sainsburys.