Scotland Loves Local - Frequently Asked Questions for Customers

How much is the card for?

The card if for £120 to be spent in any of the 140 business that have signed up in Argyll & Bute area only

Where can customers use their card?

At any of the current 140 participating business in Argyll & Bute. Argyll and Bute Gift Card | Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards ( New businesses are signing up each day so this will no doubt increase

Who is eligible for a card?

A household where at least one resident was in receipt of Council Tax Reduction (CTR) for any period between 28th April 2022 and 31st October 2022 and had it awarded before 31st October 2022. There are approx. 6,700 eligible recipients across Argyll and Bute.

What about claimants who had their CT awarded after 31st October 2022, but backdated to before that date and didn’t receive a card in this exercise?

If you fall into this category then you are not eligible for a card at this time. However the Council will review the position in March 2023 and if funding is available to roll out cards to people in this category then it may make the decision to do that. It is impossible to predict the outcome of the review at this time.

What are the exceptions?

Households where no CTR is applied or households who applied after 1st November 2022

Exempt households

Residents of Care Homes

When are the cards being sent?

Eligible citizens will received 2 letters, the first with the activation code will be posted on 21st/22nd November followed by the second letter containing the card on 28th/29th November.

How long do customers have to activate their card?

They will have three months (28th February 2023) to activate their card. Customers who have received replacement cards will also have to ensure their card is activated by that date.

How long do customers have to use their card?

Customers will have 12 months from the date of activation.

Can council customer service Agents validate a card for a customer who cannot do this themselves?

Yes, customers can contact the council for assistance with card activation on: 01546 605512.

What happens if a customer has a damaged card?

If the 16 digit card number is not visible i.e. Glue Damage the council can activate the card on their behalf and provide them with the card number. If the barcode is damaged the council can request a replacement card. Their activation code will remain the same and so should be retained.

What happens if a card has been lost or not received? 

Council agents will check to see if the card has been activated and if it has been activated advise customer there is nothing the council can do. If it has not been activated a new card can be requested, however, this cannot be done until 10 days after the initial cards have been issued which will be Friday 9th December to allow time for postal delays. The activation code will remain the same.

Can a replacement card be issued?

Only if the card has not been activated. Only one replacement card will be issued per household and the original card will be disabled. The activation code will remain the same.

How to check if a card has been activated

By calling the Balance Enquiry Number: 0121 260 28949 or National website link Get My Balance

Customer has received their card but no activation code?

Council customer service agents will check to see if the card has been activated and if it has, advise that as it has been activated there is nothing they can do. However, if it hasn’t they can either activate it for the customer or provide them with the activation code after relevant identity check have been completed.

Customer has an activation error

Council customer service agents can attempt to activate the card on behalf of the customer. If the error still persist, they can arrange for a replacement card to be issued

Can Agents check a balance on a card?

Customers can check their own balance by calling the Balance Enquiry Number: 0121 260 28949 or logging on to Get My Balance but if they cannot do this, council agents can also check by logging on to the same site.

How can customers make an enquiry?

Customers  can telephone the Benefits Golden Number: 01546 605512, Visit a customer Service Point, use the council’s online Webchat facility or log on to the Website Scotland Loves Local - Argyll and Bute Gift Card ( They will also have the option of completing an online Enquiry Form (except where they have an activation issue).

Can a customer make a purchase for more than the balance on the card?

Yes but this is at the discretion of the vendor.

Card sent to a person now deceased

If the deceased was the sole Council Tax Reduction (CTR) claimant then it should be returned to the council to be cancelled.  If the CTR was a joint claim then the remaining claimant can use the card.