Gift cards make an excellent gift because the recipient can use the card for something of their own choosing. This can be particularly beneficial for those friends and family members who are hard to shop for. They also offer time-saving convenience for the purchaser. Even more convenient, however, are eGift cards.
The term eGift simply means that it is an electronic gift card that can be emailed to the recipient. While some may feel that sending a card via email is ever-so-slightly less personal, there are actually loads of benefits to sending an eGift card.
We have created a one-stop place where you can learn everything you need to know about buying and gifting eGift cards online. Within this useful guide to eGift cards, you will be able to learn about all of the benefits of purchasing eGift cards for yourself or others. You will also find 10 helpful tips that you can keep in mind when purchasing a digital gift card. We have also rounded up the top frequently asked questions about buying eGift cards so that you can have all of your questions answered. Let’s get started, shall we?
What Are Some Of The Benefits Of eGift Cards?
They make great last-minute gifts. If you have ever had one of those “uh oh” moments when you realize that you spaced it on someone’s birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion, purchasing an eGift card can really save the day.
eGift cards make great employee gifts. In today’s landscape, remote work is very common. That means that employees are spread out all over the country. Sending an employee an eGift card is a great way to congratulate them on job performance or acknowledge their work anniversaries or birthdays. A little employee appreciation goes a long way towards increasing employee job satisfaction.
They are perfect gifts for the tech-savvy. Know somebody who is on their phone or sitting in front of a computer all day? Don’t we all! eGift cards are perfect for people who spend a lot of time online. They will love receiving a gift in their email that they can immediately go use. Some eGift cards can even be sent via text message. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
You can’t lose an eGift card. Regular gift cards are great, but they can be easily lost and most of the time they are not replaceable. eGift cards, on the other hand, are tied to an online code for the transaction. Even if the recipient accidentally deletes the email containing the eGift information, the transaction can be traced by the company’s customer service team and resent to the recipient.
Helpful Tips For Buying eGift Cards
There is no doubt that eGift cards are convenient and make great gifts. They can also be useful for personal purchases as well. When you are shopping for eGift cards online however, there are a few helpful tips that you can follow to make sure that you have a successful transaction.
1. Make sure that you read and understand the terms and conditions. The key to a successful transaction is understanding what you are purchasing. If the terms of the eGift card purchase are not clear or you do not understand how and where the gift card can be used, it is probably best to look for another eGift merchant.
2. Purchase your eGift card from a trustworthy source. Make sure that the merchant you are purchasing from is reputable and has positive reviews. This will help you ensure that others have purchased from that site and had good experiences. It is also important to ensure that your transaction will be secure. Check for the lock symbol in your browser and look for mention of how the merchant is handling secure payment processing on their payment form.
3. Keep the payment confirmation for your records. When you make any financial transaction online, you should receive an emailed receipt. Keep this for your records or forward it to the recipient of your eGift card purchase. This will give you something to reference should there ever be a problem with the digital card.
4. Find out if there are any related fees. Some eGift cards may have fees associated with their activation or use. Find out if you will be charged a fee when you purchase or activate the card, or if there are any maintenance fees associated with using the digital card.
5. Look for eGift cards that have deals. Some digital gift card sites offer special pricing for certain monetary amounts on eGift cards. For example, you might be able to find a $50 gift card for just $48, saving yourself some money on the transaction. Not all digital gift card sites offer these deals, so be sure that the site is valid and you will be receiving the correct amount after purchase.
6. Find out if there is an expiration date. Most eGift cards don’t have an expiration date, but the terms and conditions are really up to the retailer who issues the card, so be sure to verify if there are any associated time windows or expiration dates for use of the card before you purchase.
7. Remember that gift cards are not bank cards. You can not withdraw money from an ATM using a gift card and you will not be able to transfer funds from a digital gift card to a bank account. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also warns that you should never use a gift card as a form of payment. Reputable businesses or organizations will never ask you to pay them using a digital gift card or physical gift card and if someone is requesting this, you should be leary of a scam
8. Find an app that will help you keep track of your eGift card balances.
Yes, there’s an app for that. Check out apps like Raise and Cardpool that allow you to enter in your digital gift card information and track balances from your smartphone. Most smartphones, like the iPhone, also have a mobile wallet that allows you to store gift cards.
Keeping all of your gift card information in one place not only helps you keep track of balances, but it also helps you remember to use them!
9. Be aware that your gift card may only work online. While there are some digital gift cards out there that work both in-store and online, the majority of eGift cards sold in the marketplace are designed specifically for online use. Before you make a purchase, determine whether or not you will need to use the gift card online or in stores and make sure that you choose one that will work where you need it to.
10. Make sure you enter the correct contact information at purchase. Merchants are not obligated to refund your money if you have provided incorrect contact information. For example, if you inadvertently provide the wrong recipient email address at checkout, but the digital gift card is delivered to a valid address, the merchant does not have to refund your money. Many merchants will work with you if there is an error, however, and may be able to put a stop on the transaction before any funds on the card can be used by an unintended recipient.
Frequently Asked Questions About eGift Cards
eGift cards are very convenient and can be used for a large variety of different occasions. Like any purchase, however, there are understandably questions that can arise before people spend their hard-earned money on an eGift purchase. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions related to eGift cards or digital gift card purchases.
Are eGift cards refundable? Unfortunately, no. Once an eGift card has been successfully delivered to an email address, the transaction is complete. No buyers remorse returns will be accepted. If you believe there was a problem with your transaction, try reaching out to the retailer that you purchased the gift card from. They may be able to work with you on a solution.
What happens if I accidentally entered the wrong address? You might be out of luck. Once an email has been successfully delivered, the transaction will be completed. However, if the gift card has not been activated by another recipient, you may be able to contact the merchant and have them cancel the transaction. The availability of this option will vary depending on the merchant. Be sure to double-check the contact information before you complete the transaction!
What kinds of gift cards are available as eGift cards? There are always exceptions, but these days most brands offer an eGift option. There are also great retailer sites out there that specialize in eGift cards, like Dundle.com. They offer a large variety of different eGift cards, online payment cards, and gaming cards that are all delivered instantly via email.
Are there restrictions on the amount of eGift cards that I can purchase? There is typically no restriction on the number of eGift cards or the amount that you can purchase. eGift cards usually come in preset denominations just like regular gift cards, but you can purchase as many as you would like.
Some people like to purchase gift cards in bulk after the holidays or whenever there is a sale or incentive for purchase. This can save money and allow you to use gift cards throughout the year for gifts or personal purchases.
Do eGift cards expire or have usage fees? This will depend on the merchant. Most digital gift cards do not have expiration dates or usage fees. Some digital payment cards may have usage fees, such as a Visa gift card, so just be sure that you check the terms and conditions provided by the gift card merchant before you purchase the card.
What are some of the top gift ideas for eGift cards? eGift cards make fun and practical gifts for a variety of occasions. Many people buy digital gift cards for birthdays and holidays such as Christmas or Hanukkah too. Employers also purchase eGifts for employee incentive programs, important work anniversaries, and team-building exercises.
Do eGift cards work internationally? Some do. Most often, when you purchase an eGift card, it will tell you what denominations and what countries the funds can be used in. Commonly, eGift cards are specific to a certain country, however if it is an international brand, or you are purchasing a universal payment card of some sort, it may work in other countries.
How will I know when my gift has been delivered? Most eGift card sites will send you a confirmation email when your gift has been delivered by the recipient. Some sites will even send you a notification when your gift has been opened. However, this varies from brand to brand, so you may need to reach out to the recipient to be sure that they received the gift.
The person I sent an eGift card to says they did not receive it. What should I do? Due to the nature of the way digital gift cards are delivered, there is always a chance that the email could get flagged as an unknown recipient and end up in someone’s spam filter. If you have purchased an eGift card and the recipient says they never received it, be sure that they check their spam filter.
You may also want to be sure that they are checking the correct email account. Many people have more than one email address. There could be a chance that you had it sent to a different email account.
If the recipient has searched spam folders and verified the email address and still does not see the gift, contact the merchant that you purchased the eGift card from and ask them to verify the address on their end as well.
How long does it take to have an eGift card delivered? Delivery time depends on a few things. First, it can depend on the merchant you purchase the card from. Some merchants take longer to process transactions than others. It can also depend on the recipient's email carrier. Sometimes there can be a delivery delay. Typically, however, you can expect your eGift card to be delivered instantly or at a maximum 24 hrs.
Where can eGift Cards be used? If the gift card is for a specific brand, the funds on that eGift card will only be able to be spent on that brand’s website or marketplace. However, some brands, such as clothing or home decor retailers have a co-op of brands and the gift card may work across all of their brand sites. Digital payment cards typically work online anywhere that payment method is accepted.
eGift cards can also occasionally be used in-person at a store location. This usually requires some sort of printable barcode that would be delivered with your eGift should it be an available option. The best thing to do before purchasing an eGift card is to read the merchant’s card agreement description for any rules or limitations.
How can I check the balance of my eGift card? This will vary depending on the gift card provider. Oftentimes you can check the balance of a gift card if you have an online account with that merchant. Sometimes the eGift will just be a way to load credits to an account. iTunes gift cards for example, load credits or funds to your iTunes account. You will be able to monitor the credits through that platform. Other digital gift card providers may offer a 1-800 number that you can call to check your funds, or an online link that you can follow.
What forms of payment can I use to purchase an eGift card? The form of payment accepted for your purchase depends on the merchant that you are purchasing the eGift card from. Some vendors accept standard payments such as all major credit cards. Other eGift cards sites like Dundle.com, for example, accept over 63 forms of payment for your purchase, including PayPal, ApplePay, and even Bitcoin.
Enjoy Using eGift Cards
From convenience to practicality, there are plenty of reasons to take advantage of purchasing eGift cards online from trusted merchants and retailers. Whether you need a last-minute gift, are trying to save money by shopping with discounted gift cards, or want a good employee incentive solution, digital gift cards provide plenty of bang for your buck.
Buying eGift cards online is safe as long as you are doing so from a reputable site. When you do your research and understand all of the terms and conditions and ins and outs of the gift cards you purchase, you are sure to become a fan of eGift card purchases.