Gift cards are a popular way for consumers to shop and give money to friends online and in physical stores. There are two gift cards: physical and digital (e-gift cards). Each comes with its own set of advantages and limitations. If you’re looking for gift cards for others during the holiday season or yourself, knowing how these cards work and the pros and cons of each type will help you make a smart purchase.
How do Gift Cards work?
Before giving away a gift card, knowing how they work is essential.
A gift card is a type of payment that may be used to make purchases at stores, gas stations, restaurants, and other places. The money on the card can be spent at locations that accept credit cards.
Open-loop and closed-loop gift cards are two types of cards. A closed-loop gift card can be used at any merchant that accepts Visa cards. For example, you could use a Visa-branded gift card to make purchases at any location where the Visa network is accepted.
When it comes to gift cards, there are two types: open and closed-loop. A closed-loop card, for example, can be used only at a certain number of businesses. If you buy a Starbucks or Amazon gift card, for example, the person receiving it or the giver may use it wherever they choose.
Physical Gift Cards Vs. Digital Gift Cards: Which is Better?
Physical or digital? Physical cards come in the form of paper or a card, while digital gift cards are virtual and lack a physical form. Digital gift cards, unlike paper ones, may be used to make purchases through online retailers. The most popular type of present card is still physical cards, but this is predicted to alter soon.
Digital gift cards are quickly gaining ground as the preferred way to give a present card for many reasons. For one thing, an e-gift card is safer than a paper or plastic version. While paper and plastic models can be misplaced or destroyed if they aren’t used, digital versions stay with the person who receives them and maybe activated when convenient.
Physical gifts and digital gifts each have their pros and cons. Physical presents are often hand-picked, whereas a digital gift voucher can be sent quickly to anyone with an email address or phone number. In addition, physical cards may come with shipping fees, while digital gifts need no packaging or postage costs. Digital present cards can also be more versatile than physical ones; usually, they come with fewer restrictions on how they may be redeemed.
Pros of Gift Cards
Are you looking for gift cards for any occasion? If so, here are some pros to buying them:
1) One-of-a-kind Presents
The most important pro is that present cards allow surprising someone with something unique. You can’t go wrong with a gift card because of the wide selection of products and businesses to choose from.
2) Little Effort on Your Part
You don’t have to spend hours thinking about what present you should buy or where you’ll find it; instead, pick out one right for the person you are buying for.
3) Relief for Givers
Gift cards also make great gifts because they are stress-free. If you have no idea what to get your sister, brother, friend, or husband/wife, you can relax knowing they will not feel let down when they receive a present card.
4) Appropriate for Any Occasion
Since the items and places on present cards vary, you can give a gift card for any reason. You may use them for birthdays, holidays, significant milestones like weddings or new jobs, and other celebrations.
5) Save money
You don’t have to pay for shipping, you save time, and your original gift idea doesn’t turn out as expensive as you thought.
Cons of Gift Cards
While there are many benefits to giving present cards, it’s always good to have the cons in mind too so you can decide if they are suitable for your loved ones. Some of them are:
1) No Physical Gift
If the person receiving your present card doesn’t have access to a computer or is not tech-savvy, this gift will be challenging to use.
2) Limited Access to Convenience
Even though many present cards can be used online, some cannot.
3) No Choice in Present
The worst thing about giving a gift card is that the receiver doesn’t get to choose what they want, no matter how thoughtful. This can be seen as a good thing since you give them the ability to go shopping without any restraint or obligation.
4) Can’t be Returned
Once a card is given, there’s no going back. The person receiving the card can’t return it for another or cash.
Physical gifts and digital gift cards both have their pros and cons. If you are in a time crunch or you don’t know the person well, present cards can be a smart alternative to giving something hand-picked.
Overall, gift cards can be a nice gift, but it is essential to think about the advantages and disadvantages of giving one before buying it.