Please see information on Gift Cards below.


Gift Cards

What are Gift Cards?

Gift cards are similar to prepaid credit cards – in that they are pre-loaded with funds, and can then be used to pay for products and services everywhere their logo is accepted (for instance, Visa Debit, Amex Debit or MasterCard Debit).

They are not credit cards – so there is no borrowing facility or risk of debt. Once the funds on the card have been spent, the gift has been given! Many gift cards come with special offers associated with the card firm (for example, Amex).

Once the value of the card has been used, the card can no longer be used. There are various types of gift cards in the US, including business gift cards. Business gift cards are used by businesses to promote a product or for customer incentives, and have been found to be very effective for increasing sales.

How to Use Your Gift Card

It is very easy to use a gift card. Use the card to make a purchase is very similar to using a regular credit card – just hand the card to the cashier in a store. The amount you spend will be automatically deducted from your card balance.

Can a Gift Card be Used Worldwide?

Sometimes, though not in all cases. Gift cards are not always like regular prepaid cards which can be used worldwide like a credit card. Many gift cards can only be used within certain countries, usually the US and its related countries (including Puerto Rico) – find out in advance if you are not sure where it is accepted. Most US-only cards will have a statement on the card saying “valid only in the United States” on the front.

Can a Gift Card be Re-Loaded?

No. Once a gift card has been used, it can no longer be re-loaded, and should be destroyed. However, it is usually encouraged to keep your card until you are sure you do not want to return / refund any of your items.

Can it be Declined?

Yes, a gift card can be declined, if it is not accepted or if there are not enough funds on the card. Therefore it is essential that you keep an eye on your card balance before you make purchases. Many merchants can provide you with information on your balance.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Gift Cards?

Gift cards are a great way to give something to almost anyone – you don't need to know their likes and dislikes like when giving a regular gift! They can be used widely, and often carry special promotions or offers which make them even more attractive.

Gift cards are extremely popular in the US, and it isn't difficult to see why! Of course there are always one or two things to keep in mind: make sure you check if the card carries any fees, such as purchase fees or penalty fees (for being declined). Once the funds on the card have been depleted, it can no longer be used – so make sure you enjoy it while you have it! Some gift cards carry load limits, though often these are high - $75,000 is normal.


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