What Is Gift Cards?
A gift card also known as gift certificate in North America, or gift voucher or gift token in the UK is a prepaid stored-value money card, usually issued by a retailer or bank, to be used as an alternative to cash for purchases within a particular store or related businesses.
What Is Gift Card Used For?
A gift card is a form of payment that can be used to make purchases at retail stores, gas stations, restaurants, and other locations. You load money onto the card, which you or the gift card’s recipient can then spend at accepted locations. Some prepaid gift cards charge a fee to purchase them.
How Do Gift Cards Work?
A Gift Card looks and works like a Debit Card, but it is preloaded with certain amount of money by the one who gifts it. The receiver of the Gift Card can then spend the prepaid amount on a number of electronic payment purchases made online or in retail shops.
Sometimes you can use a Gift Card to make part payment on a purchase too. You can read more on how to use a Gift Card here. However, you cannot withdraw the cash loaded in the card; it can be used only for payments made through the card. Also, Gift Cards issued by banks have an expiry date that may range from 3-12 months.
Types of Gift Cards
There are basically three types of Gift Cards on the basis of acceptance:
- Open Loop (or network): This is widely accepted as it is associated with a particular network – be it Visa, MasterCard, American Express or similar. Therefore, these type of Gift Cards can be used at any place that accepts all cards of the brand.
- Closed Loop: This is accepted only at select locations or can be used only for a few select brands.
There are also two types of cards based on their ability to reload:
- Reloadable: Gift Cards that can be reloaded with money time and again till its date of expiration.
- Non-reloadable: These kind of Gift Cards can be loaded only once. However, in some cases, non-reloadable cards can turn reloadable after a certain registration process with the issuing bank.
There are two types of Gift Cards based on the issuer:
- Banks/Credit card companies: Gift Cards issued by banks are usually open looped and may involve administrative fees. However, with this, you get electronic authorisation on the purchased Gift Card, which will have an expiry date. The option to reload or not also comes with such cards.
- Retailer / brand / individual business: Gift Cards issued by them are usually a way to retain customer loyalty and increase business.
How are Gift Cards better than cash?
Gifting cash in India can be inappropriate sometimes as the amount gifted are judged. There are a couple of more reasons why one should choose a Gift Card over cash:
- Safety! Gift Cards can be registered online and hence on loss, can be frozen, saving the balance money in the card.
- Convenience! Gift Cards are a convenient way to let young shoppers enjoy within set limits. You can also send mobile Gift Cards through SMS or email, which can be conveniently carried in a mobile phone. Since the Gift Card will be associated with a particular phone number (that of the receiver), it is more secure.
Gift Cards are also available in an electronic form – e-Gift Cards. The recipient of an e-Gift Card receives it along with the card number and a PIN in his/her email. The one who has purchased it also receives the PIN as a confirmation of the email sent to the recipient. An e-Gift Card can be used like a physical Gift Card to shop online or in stores.
Gift Cards may be an easier pick than a well-thought gift, but before you choose one, consider the person’s likes and interests you intend to give it to. This is because different Gift Cards may be associated different brands, so choose right for your gift to be appreciated.
Gift Cards Prices In Ghana:
The cost of Gift cards in ranges from GH₵ 50.00 to GH¢2,841 due to the type you might want to purchase on the markets..!!!!