The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Gift Card Company for Your Gifting Needs

As the holiday season approaches, many of us are looking for the perfect gifts to give to our loved ones. Gift cards have become a popular choice for many, as they allow the recipient to choose something they truly want. However, with so many gift card companies out there, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. In this ultimate guide, we will explore some of the best gift card companies and provide insights on how to choose the best one for your gifting needs.

What should you consider when choosing a gift card company?

– Factors such as card variety, customization options, fees, and security should be taken into account.

Can you purchase gift cards in bulk?

– Yes, many gift card companies offer bulk purchasing options for businesses or individuals.

What are some popular gift card categories?

– Some popular categories include retail stores, restaurants, entertainment, and travel.

Can gift cards be personalized?

– Yes, many gift card companies offer customization options such as personalized messages or images.

What security measures should you look for in a gift card company?

– Look for companies that offer fraud protection, balance tracking, and the ability to report lost or stolen cards.

2. With a reliable gift card provider, you can enjoy a stress-free gifting experience and easily customize your gift to match the recipient’s interests and preferences.

A gift card also known as gift certificate in North America, or gift voucher or gift token in the UK 1 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. Gift cards are also given out by employers or organizations as rewards or gifts. They may also be distributed by retailers and marketers as part of a promotion strategy, to entice the recipient to come in or return to the store, and at times such cards are called cash cards. Gift cards are generally redeemable only for purchases at the relevant retail premises and cannot be cashed out, and in some situations may be subject to an expiry date or fees. American Express , MasterCard , and Visa offer generic gift cards which need not be redeemed at particular stores, and which are widely used for cashback marketing strategies. A feature of these cards is that they are generally anonymous and are disposed of when the stored value on a card is exhausted. From the purchasers point of view, a gift card is a gift , given in place of an object which the recipient may not need, when the giving of cash as a present may be regarded as socially inappropriate. In the United States , gift cards are highly popular, ranking in as the second-most given gift by consumers, the most-wanted gift by women, and the third-most wanted by males. Gift card sales are not limited to banks or retailers such other companies as airlines , cruise ships , hotels , barber shops , train companies, theme parks , restaurants and other type of companies may offer gift cards as well. Neiman Marcus introduced the first gift card using a payments infrastructure in late , 8 though Blockbuster Entertainment was the first company to do so on a wide scale, 9 test-marketing them in and launching them around the country the next year. In the beginning, the Blockbuster gift card replaced gift certificates that were being counterfeited with recently introduced color copiers and color printers. Blockbusters first gift card transactions were processed by what was then Nabanco of Sunrise, Florida. Nabanco was the developer of the first third-party platform for the processing of gift cards using existing payment infrastructure. Neiman Marcus and Blockbuster were later followed by the Mobil gas card, which initially offered prepaid phone value provided by MCI. Later Kmart and Mobil dropped this feature, as it was not profitable for them. The Kmart Cash Card was the first replacement for cash returns when a shopper did not have a receipt for a gift. This practice of giving a cash card in place of cash for non-receipted returns is commonplace today with most merchants. From these early introductions, other retailers began to adapt a giftcard program to replace their gift certificate programs. A gift card may resemble a credit card or display a specific theme on a plastic card the size of a credit card. The card is identified by a specific number or code, not usually with an individual name, and thus could be used by anybody. They are backed by an on-line electronic system for authorization. Some gift cards can be reloaded by payment and can be used thus multiple times. Cards may have a serial number, barcode , magnetic strip , which is read by an electronic credit card machine. Many cards have no value until they are sold, at which time the cashier enters the amount which the customer wishes to put on the card. This amount is rarely stored on the card but is instead noted in the merchants database , which is cross linked to the card ID. Gift cards thus are generally not stored-value cards as used in many public transport systems or library photocopiers, where a simplified system with no network stores the value only on the card itself. To thwart counterfeiting , the data is encrypted. The magnetic strip is also often placed differently than on credit cards, so they cannot be read or written with standard equipment. Other gift cards may have a set value and need to be activated by calling a specific phone number. Gift cards can also be individually custom tailored to meet specific needs. By adding a custom message or name on the front of the card, it can make for an individualized gift or be used as a gesture of appreciation towards an employee. Gift cards are divided into open loop or network cards and closed loop cards. The former are issued by banks or credit card companies and can be redeemed by different merchants, the latter by a specific store or restaurant and can be only redeemed by the issuing provider. The latter, however, tend to have fewer problems with card value decay and fees. Inactivity fees and card expirations are both limited by the new law. In either case the giver would buy the gift card and may have to pay an additional purchase or activation fee, and the recipient of the card would use the value of the card at a later transaction.


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