Frequently Asked Questions about Universal Gift Cards

I've been given a Universal Gift Card. How does it work?

The Universal Gift Card is a prepaid or stored-value card that carries a certain amount of spending power. Each time the card is used to make a purchase, the purchase amount is deducted from the card’s available balance.

Some Universal cards, like the TRUST U Universal Expense Card, are reloadable - their purchasing power can be topped up with more value. [back to top]

How do I activate a card? Why do I have to do this?

Your card must be activated before you can use it. If the letter or pack to which your card was attached asks you to activate your card, please do so on this website or by phoning the number shown on the card within 6 months of receiving the card -- or the card may be cancelled. You will need to enter the 16 digit card number and your 4 digit authentication code – sometimes that is the ddmm (day day month month) part of your date of birth. This is a necessary security step – the same as banks do when despatching credit or debit cards through the post. [back to top]

Where can the card be used?

Universal Gift Cards can be used for internet purchases or anywhere in Australia or overseas where VISA or MasterCard prepaid cards are accepted. They can be spent in about 499,000 places in Australia and 28 million overseas. Temporarily transactions with merchants in USA have been blocked due to unprecedented fraud. [back to top]

Are there any transaction types for which the card cannot be used?

Most Universal cards can not be used for mail or telephone orders or at ATMs.  [back to top]

Can I use the card to get cash from an ATM?

Most Universal Cards cannot be used at an ATM. [back to top]

When a merchant asks me "Credit, Cheque or Savings?" and "Sign or PIN?" how should I answer?

1. "Credit" (even though a prepaid card is not a credit card, we use credit card settlement processes).

2. Usually you should answer "Sign" because single-load cards do not have a PIN. (Your 4 digit authentication code is not your PIN). But if the terminal is requesting you to enter a PIN, simply press OK. 

3. However if your card is reloadable (4365 xxxx or 5290 xxxx), you must enter its PIN instead of signing. [back to top

What if the value of the purchase I want to make is greater than the value / balance on the card?

You will need to supplement the spending power on the card with cash or other payment method accepted by the merchant. [back to top]

What if the value of the purchase I want to make is less than the value / balance on the card?

Only the exact value of your purchase will be deducted from the balance on the card, so you can use the card for more purchases later. No change will be given. [back to top]

Why might a proposed transaction using my prepaid card be declined?

There are several possibilities:

  • your card has not been activated 


  • the amount of the purchase exceeds the available balance

  • the merchant is located in USA -- these transactions are being blocked temporarily, due to unprecedented levels of fraud
  • your card has expired
  • you have tried to enter a PIN instead of signing the merchant's docket. Singleload Universal Gift Cards (4249 xxxx or 5227 xxxx) do not have a PIN.
  • your card has been reported lost or stolen 
  • your card has been suspended


  • a previous voided or interrupted transaction may have been authorised, and the reserved funds have not yet been released


  • the signature panel on the back of the card has not been signed


  • your signature on the purchase receipt does not match the signature on the back of the card


  • for reloadable cards (4365 xxxx or 5290 xxxx) -- you have entered your PIN incorrectly


  • the merchant does not accept VISA or MasterCard prepaid cards



[back to top]

Are there any "special" merchants I should know about?

Yes. At the petrol station: it's better to pay at the counter after filling your tank, rather than using your card at the pump itself before filling up. Why? Because, even if you need only a few litres of petrol, an authorisation for $49 will be sought, and that $49 will be reserved until the actual value of fuel purchased is posted to the account - sometimes a day or two later. [back to top]

How can I check the balance - the value left on the card?

By visiting or by phoning the number shown on the card. Merchants can not do a balance enquiry through their point-of-sale system. [back to top]

Can I see a list of purchase transactions made with the card?

Yes - by visiting [back to top]

Are there any fees for using the card or checking its balance or transactions?

Generally there are no fees for using the card: the balance on the card is entirely for your use. If you use a Universal Gift Card overseas, a foreign currency conversion fee of 3% of the transaction value will apply. Visiting the web site is free - to check your card balance or transactions or for any other purpose. A phone call to report a lost or stolen card is free. Calls to the IVR computer will generally incur a $1.10 fee, and if you choose to talk to a human operator you will generally incur a fee of $4.40. If your card is reloadable, an account fee of $2 per month may be deducted from the card’s balance.

[back to top



Do I have to remember a PIN?

It depends. Our singleload cards (4249 xxxx or 5227 xxxx) do not have a PIN. Our reloadable cards (4365 xxxx or 5290 xxxx) do have a PIN, and you must enter its PIN instead of signing a docket. To check your card balance or transaction history, you will need to remember your 4 digit authentication code, which is not a PIN. Clear as mud.

[back to top]

Who can use the card?

Anyone who has legitimate possession of the card and who has agreed to the terms & conditions of using the card - by signing the back of it, or offering it to a merchant in payment for goods and services. We recommend the card not be given to young people less than 10 years old. [back to top]

What happens if I need to return an item to the merchant?

Each merchant has its own policy about accepting returned items. If a merchant does accept the return of goods purchased with a prepaid card, then the merchant can process a negative transaction so the spending power of the card is restored. However such credits are not immediate - please check your transaction history on [back to top]

Does the card have an expiry date?

Yes. It will expire at the end of the month shown on the front of the card. This means that most cards have a life of between 12 and 18 months.

Reloadable cards show an expiry date 36 months after their date of issue, but active reloadable card accounts will never expire – a fresh card will be sent to you automatically as each expiry date approaches. Please ensure your Profile on this website is up-to-date, so the new card is sent to the correct address! [back to top]

What happens if there are still funds on the card when it expires?

Whatever value is left on a singleload card after its expiry or cancellation will be forfeited: we encourage you to use your card before it expires. However an active reloadable card account may continue in perpetuity, so the remaining balance on an "old", expiring reloadable card is transferred to the new, fresh card automatically.  [back to top]

May a merchant add a surcharge to the cash price?

Yes. It is the same as when you use a credit card: Reserve Bank reforms in 2004 mean that merchants are now permitted to add a small surcharge to recompense them for paying the Merchant Service Fee to their bank. Most merchants do not surcharge. [back to top]

What should I do if my card is lost or stolen?

Phone 1800 174 239  immediately to report a stolen card, so we can stop any subsequent transactions from being authorised.

If the balance on the card exceeds $15 at the time you report its loss, you may order a replacement card, which will be loaded with the balance of the lost / stolen card at the time its loss was reported, less an administration fee of $15.

Or if you have lost the card and think you will find it again, you may take the precaution of suspending it on this website. (Remember to unsuspend your card after you find it.) [back to top]

What are the terms and conditions of using these cards?

Please see the terms and conditions here. [back to top]

What about security?

Like all payment cards, prepaid cards should be safeguarded, treated like cash. However Universal cards are more secure than cash, because your signature is required for a purchase. And if your card is lost or stolen, you can report its loss so it can be disabled and replaced, unlike many store cards. [back to top]

What is your privacy policy?

We adhere to the Australian Privacy Principles. We will not disclose your personal details to anyone except for the purpose of operating these prepaid card programs, or as required by law. All data transmitted via the internet is encrypted. To see our Privacy Policy, click here. [back to top]

How do I contact you if I have more questions?

Please send us an email [back to top]