Gift cards: All you need to know

A gift card is a form of payment used to make purchases at retail stores, gas stations, restaurants, and more. You or your gift card’s receipt can spend the money into the accepted locations when you load some money into the card. 

Most retailers offer their customers a gift card to shop money to friends, both online and brick-and-mortar variety. And there are two types of gift cards available, and both forms come with a wide range of features and benefits. And if you want to buy a gift card as a present for others during a special occasion or you want to buy them for yourself, it helps to recognize how they compare with other payment methods. 

Gifts cards can be a suitable and appropriate substitute for cash when you want to make some purchases or give someone a gift. It can be stored in stores or online; on the other hand, digital gift cards are designed to be used online or over the phone. It can also be added to mobile wallets, which makes the purchase more effortless and secure. But you should regularly check the physical and e-gift cards expiration date before you plan to reload the money. 

Gift cards can be categorized into two types: open-loop and closed-loop. An open-loop gift card can be used anywhere where the brand of card is recognized. An example of Visa logo branded gift cards can be used to make purchases anywhere Visa is accepted. 

On the other hand, closed-loop cards can only be used in specified deals. So in case, if you purchase a gift card from Starbucks or Amazon, the gift card’s receipt would only be able to be used to make a purchase only at the retailer issuing the gift card. 

Things to know about gift cards:

  1. Retailers want you to use that card:

When you give a gift card as a present to someone, they tend to think of it as free money and splurge a little bit. It’s a false assumption that retailers don’t want you to use their card so they can keep its entire value. But the truth is that they prefer that they be spent. They make more if they’ve spent at the retailer. When any consumer retrieves a gift card, 65 percent spend an average of 38 percent more than the card’s value.

  1. Storing gift cards on the phone is a common thing now.

Through mobile technology, many people are redeeming more and more gift cards. It is easier to store a gift card on your phone than in stores. Some stores allow their customers to take a picture of the card and store it along with the recorded balance. 

  1. You can shield some gift cards from robbery and loss.

Some gift card issuers claim that the cards were as easy to spend as cash. But unfortunately for some consumers, cards are like cash in another form. If it’s lost or stolen, you’ll lose it permanently. But these days, you can get these with bank-branded cards and register the cards with the issuer to protect them from loss or theft. The funds will be replaced in case they are lost or stolen.

  1. There is a treatment for cards that don’t work.

Sometimes when you step up to the register and pull out the gift card, and get to know that it’s not good or much worth it than promised. When you activate the gift card, you don’t activate them correctly. But the slip of paper, a gift card giver-the person who bought the gift card can, at last, prove that the card was activated. And you can quickly return the malfunctioning gift card. And if it’s a store gift card, you can take it back to the store. And if it’s a bank-branded gift card, you can contact the toll-free number on the back of the card. 

  1. There are generally two kinds of cards and two menus of fees.

You have to often pay the purchase fee for the card that carries the credit card brand name. In return for that, you can use them at any place that accepts that card brand. And if you buy a gift card at or any particular retailer, you only have to pay the card’s face value. But you can use that gift card at the specified retailer and sometimes at affiliated businesses. Most gift cards don’t have expiration dates, activation payment, or dormancy fees, and banning them in the first year. 

  1. You can stretch more out of cards. 

If the gift card is $50, can it be worth more than $50? You can use it to score a discount or free shipping. And most of the retailers have moved to this-digital-and -physical environment. So, if you’re purchasing with a gift card, shop both the trick-and-mortar location and the store’s website to see if one of them will offer a discount, free delivery, or free shipping. 

  1. You have to treat them gently. 

Most of the plastic gift cards still utilize magnetic stripes, like pre-chip credit cards. And those stripes can occasionally get demagnetized by other things that you regularly carry in your pockets or purse. And some other cards include a scratch-off panel. So, if you are too vigorous or use something too sharp accidentally, you can remove the numbers underneath. And other gift cards which are made of paper or thin cardboard, you should put them in a separate envelope and be super careful.

If you are not sure about what you should get for the special people in your life, gift cards are the best choice and make great presents for several reasons. Here are some of the reasons why gift cards are the perfect gifts:

  1. You can easily stay on budget

When you give someone gift cards as a present, you don’t have to be worried about spending too much on something you are unsure would be perfect for another person. With gift cards, you can decide on an amount, and with that, you can easily stay on budget. It’s more like having cash in your hand for a specific store.

  1. You can save with discounted gift cards and trade-ins.

You can save a lot more when you give someone a discounted gift card when you give someone a $5 or $10 discount off their face value. This can work very well with the restaurants and cafes. Many dining establishments know that if some customers are coming in with a gift card, they are likely to spend more than what’s on the gift card. So, it is a great idea to get them food and look for discounted gift cards.

  1. Flexibility 

Gift cards are flexible as the recipient can choose an experience of a new thing. They also can choose and buy anything of their choice. It also takes some of the buyer’s anxiety that is associated with finding just the right gift. Cash is a flexible option, but sometimes it is considered a little dense. So, giving a gift card is always a more flexible option.

  1. An element of thoughtfulness 

Many people dislike gift cards because they are often considered so general. Getting a prepaid debit card or general gift card is very convenient because some people think that the gift cards are impersonal. But the gift card doesn’t have to be impersonal, though. Gift cards are the perfect and most straightforward way because they combine the flexibility of cash with the personalization that comes with a specific store.

  1. Gift cards build brand awareness. 

Gift cards are a cost-effective advertising method that helps to keep your business top-of-mind within your market. Traditional types of plastic gift cards offer wallet-sized advertisements to share your company’s motive and message, and they will cost you a lot less than a life-size billboard. Virtual gift cards are convenient and can help promote your brand messages with your customers online. 

  1. Gifts cards improve cash flow. 

Gift cards improve the cash flow of any business, especially versus other marketing techniques. Traditional marketing tactics that have a proven return on investment require time to produce results. So, selling gift cards allows you to generate revenue in advance of providing products or services. 

Some of the cons or disadvantages of gift cards are:

  1. Feels Impersonal

Gift cards can feel impersonal when someone else has gifted you as a present. It is fun to predict what each person will give you, and personalized gifts can add feelings to the relationship. A gift card can feel tacked-on like it was just picked randomly without making any effort. So maybe you can add something like a handwritten note to cover the base or attach it to a small, personalized gift. 

  1. Useless small balances 

The biggest problem with gift cards is the collection that contains sixty-eight cents in store credit. When a person stays under the balance of the card, they are more likely to end up with a useless amount of money that they are too disinclined to throw away because you never know if they have every intention of using them or they can easily be forgotten when there’s so little utility left. 

  1. Fees and Conditions 

Some of the gift cards include fees and conditions. There are no hard or fast rules while issuing the gift cards, but different places will place different restrictions on their gift cards. Sometimes the rules are different when used online and in-person, or the credit can’t be used towards the more popular items. You can do a little research ahead of time, and maybe it’s best to pass on the card when you’re too busy or confused to choose anything for a present. 

Types of Gift Cards 

  1. Closed Loop Gift Cards

Closed-loop gift cards are usually marketed by stores, allowing cardholders to purchase anything they like from the specified retailers. They can generally only be used with a single merchant, either at the store or on its website. However, if one company owns several different retailers, it might issue different gift cards that can use at any of them. 

Activation fees are usually not necessary in closed-loop gift cards. On the other hand, these gift cards will not have a processor’s logo, but they will include the merchant’s, which acts as a form of advertisement for the store.

Closed gift cards are usually not reloadable, so they cannot be further used for the purchase after the balance is spent. Closed Loop cards can also have a specified expiration date, which requires the user to use the card within a specific timeframe. They are more popular gifts for wedding and baby registries. 

  1. Open Loop Gift Cards 

Open-loop gift cards are offered as the equivalent of cash, and more precisely, and more importantly, they can be used at any merchant where that card is accepted and online. Many central and credit card issuers/ processors like American Express, Visa, Discover, and Mastercard offer open-loop gift cards. They will display the payment processor’s logo and can be used to make all the electronic payments neatly anywhere. 

Open-loop gift cards serve as a standard prepaid cards. These cards are usually reloadable that allows users to fund on their own as well. But these cards can require an activation fee that must be paid when the card is purchased. 

  1. Digital gift cards 

Gift vouchers from retailers are provided to you through email and the Get Upside mobile app as digital gift cards. Digital gift cards work just like regular gift cards. However, a code is emailed to you in a digital gift card. You can also use this code online and in the store, depending on the retailer. These cards are very effective when you have an indecisive buyer in the store. 

How to Sell Gift Cards

You can easily sell your gift cards and get paid immediately in naira or cedis by visiting Giftcardstonaira.com

Conclusion 

Gift cards make a great present for anyone and can be a good substitute for cash. If you are still aren’t sure about the gift ideas for people in your life, gift cards make a good choice. You can easily stay on a budget and save a lot with discounted gift cards and deals. They are flexible and easy to present attractively. They can be used to purchase at retail stores, gas stations, restaurants and other locations. Gift cards can be of various types and you can choose gift cards of your choice. 

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