Electronic gift cards, egift cars, or digital gift cards are a modern form of the traditional gift card that has been with us for years.
Electronic gift cards are bought online and sent and redeemed using email, text messaging and apps to create a seamless, physical card free experience.
The biggest retailers such as Amazon offer electronic gift cards, but they are also available from many smaller online shops.
How Electronic Gift Cards Work
Digital gift cards are usually bought online. The purchasing process if very much like any other online purchase. The difference lies in the delivery of the product.
When purchasing, you’ll usually enter the email address or telephone number of the recipient of the card.
After purchase is completed, the recipient will receive notification that they are the beneficiary of an egift card. This may come via email, a text message or other means. Smart phone apps are providing a way of delivery where appropriate.
Benefits of Electronic Gift Cards
Electronic gift cards offer many benefits over traditional physical cards.
A digital gift like this can be delivered immediately. You don’t have to be there in person or arrange to have the card sent in the mail. As long as the recipient can receive the email or text, they can receive the gift.
In addition, many egift cards can have their delivery timed, so that they arrive at just the right moment.
Digital cards are also a secure way of sending gifts, especially when the value of the gift makes sending or having a physical card problematic.
Downsides of Electronic Gift Cards
There are a few things that you need to be careful of when navigating the world of online gift cards.
Principally, you have to make doubly sure that you have the right address or telephone number of the person who will be receiving the gift.
If you enter an incorrect, but properly constructed email address, the company you have bought the card from will have no way of knowing that you entered the wrong address. Subsequently, the wrong person may receive the gift.
Make a note that’ll often see in the terms and conditions that the issuer of the cards will protect themselves in such circumstances and you may well not be able to receive a refund in such situations and certainly not if the gift is subsequently redeemed.
Alternative Uses Of Gift Cards
Nowadays, with the growth of online gift cards, their use has grown out of the sphere of simply being a way to send a gift.
Increasingly, gift cards can be a way to purchase things online for which the card was not originally intended.
Many smaller value crypto currency transactions are made using gift cards because of the security they provide during payment. Paxful has many gift card options for those who want to buy Bitcoin and many other crypto currencies.
In addition, there are a growing number of gift card reselling websites. Many will offer a cash option, but expect to receive significantly less than the face value of the card.
Things To Look Out For
A few tips will make your experience much smoother.
First off, consider carefully when you purchase the card. Check with the issuer when the delivery will take place. You may want to have more control over when the card is to be delivered.
Many companies that issue gift cards offer some form of timed delivery.
Next, think about delivery. If the person you give the card to is going to be buying a physical product online, then you may want to include the cost of postage into the amount on the card. You wouldn’t want to give a gift that someone had to pay to have delivered...
Digital cards can be redeemed online or in-store. But check with the issuer when you purchase to make sure you know exactly how the card can be redeemed so that you are not in for any surprises later.