In today’s world payment is often made with the aid of cards. Cash transactions are taking a backseat as more people prefer to use cashless transaction options. Cards help people to make purchases without the use of cash. The cards can be credit cards with a credit limit or a debit card which is linked to the bank account of an individual. This means that when a debit card is swiped to make a purchase, then the amount is directly deducted from the bank account of the person.
On the other hand, using credit cards means that a form of credit is taken while making the purchase with the help of the card and then the amount has to be paid back to the credit providing agency. Apart from the well-known credit and debit cards, there are several other types of payment cards which are being used by individuals for streamlining the process of payment. A gift card is one such form of a preloaded card which means that a certain sum of money is loaded in the gift card and then it used in the outlets or places where that gift card is accepted.
The process of procuring a gift card
The process of obtaining a gift card is not completely similar to the process present for acquiring other cards. In the case of credit cards an application has to be made, but in case of gift cards, the person who wants to purchase a gift card can simply visit a merchant that offers such cards. Acquiring a gift card from a merchant or store won’t provide the purchaser with the option to personalize the card with a name, but if a person wants to get a personalized gift card, then specific merchants have to be chosen and the order has to be placed online. When the card is bought immediately, it gets activated, and the amount that is given is loaded in the card. The balance on the card can be checked directly from the merchant or the gift card holder can call customer service for knowing the balance.
Delineating the important features of a gift card
For people who are not acquainted with the different aspects of a gift card should know that gift cards are quite similar to payment cards but have one basic difference which is that once the balance is used up, then the card cannot be reloaded. This means the amount which is paid to load the gift card is a onetime payment and this amount will be used as long as the card doesn’t reach the expiration date. After the expiration date has passed even if there is a balance left in the gift card it won’t be available for use. However, if the balance is used up before the expiration date, then the gift card cannot be reloaded again. The vital factors that govern the use of gift cards are given below:
Gift cards can be used in all retail and merchant outlets that accept that card. For example, a CITGO Gift Card will be accepted at their appointed outlets.
Similarly, other gift cards will be accepted by merchants who accept payments through those gift cards. Online transactions can be successfully completed by using gift cards where those are accepted. A person can check the accepted cards enlisted in the payment gateway for online purchases to ascertain whether the gift card can be used for making the online transaction or not.
During a purchase or paying a bill if it is seen that the balance in the gift card is not enough then also the transaction can be completed through the process of split tender. In this process, the merchant accepts the payment in two parts. The balance present in the gift card is taken, and then the remaining payable amount is taken in the form of cash or check from the purchaser.
Using gift cards in fuel pumps is accepted. If a person wants to pay for petrol in a gas station through a gift card, then the balance has to be around 75 dollars. However, only the price of petrol taken has to be paid by the individual, but there is a balance limit for the gift card for making the payment. If the balance is lower than the prescribed limit, then the person has to go inside the gas station for making the payment.
Transactions made through gift cards don’t have any additional cost, but the merchant can levy a fee for processing the transaction. This fee is given in the agreement present for processing transactions by that particular merchant. There are some charges which are levied on a gift card when the card is left unused, or replacement is required in case of loss of the gift card.
Gifting a gift card
Many merchants sell gift cards. From online to offline stores gift cards are available. If a person is not sure about presenting a person with an appropriate gift then giving a gift card is a very good idea. There can be many reasons for not being able to choose a gift. Time constraints and not knowing the preferences of the person are well-known reasons that often propel a person to purchase gift cards instead of gifts. But the most important reason for giving a gift card is to allow the person for whom the card is purchased full liberty to choose his gift. It is the best way of gifting because the person can get the opportunity to purchase something which he/she likes or wants. In many cases, it has been observed that the same gift is given by two different people, but with a gift card, there will be no such cases of getting same gifts because the gift will be chosen and not received.
Hence, a gift card is quite useful and can be used as a mode of payment for a variety of purposes. It is also a great kind of gift that allows people to select and purchases items which they like.