Universal Gift Cards Make for Better Rewards Than Cash

Nothing can be more awkward than giving an employee a gift for a job well done and then seeing hints of displeasure on his or her face.

This is when the benefit of giving a universal gift card comes in. You can think of it as rewarding your employee with cash, only that it doesn’t look and smell like money.

It’s no wonder why many employers of today choose to establish their appreciation for positive behaviour or commendable achievement by handing out gift cards instead of the usual cash.

Put simply; the universal kinds are what other people refer to as open-loop gift cards. You can think of them as VISA cards that may be used to purchase any item or take advantage of any experience at any location that accepts them.

They are the complete opposites of what’s referred to as closed-loop gift cards, which can be redeemed at specific retail stores or used for specific experiences only.

So, in other words, they do not provide the kind of freedom associated with the use of open-loop gift cards. By being able to spend the money on what the holders want, the incentive can be appreciated all the more, thus enabling them to realise that their hard work didn’t go unnoticed.

Read on to know why it is a good idea to replace distributing cash rewards with gift cards in the workplace as a form of incentive.

universal gift card
Image Credit: corporateprepaidgiftcards.com.au

Combination of Cash and Merchandise

Some employers prefer to reward their employees with cash, while others rather express their appreciation with some merchandise. But why choose one between the two when it is possible to offer both at the same time in the form of a gift card?

You can think of it as gifting your employee with cash, only that it can be used to get his or her hands on a favourite product or experience a much-desired service.

It can be quite easy for the recipient to establish the fact that a gift card is not a part of the monthly salary because of the form that it comes in.

As a result, it’s less likely for it to end up disappearing into the family budget or utility bills. And once its entire value is spent, a gift card can double as a souvenir that can serve as a reminder of being appreciated.

Helps Build Brand Awareness Effectively

The employees are not the only ones that can benefit from a universal gift card, but also the employers as well as the brands associated with them.

That’s because gift cards also serve as marketing and branding tools. You can consider them as miniature billboards that go wherever their holders go and are seen by everyone who comes across them, such as the person at the cash register and the customers waiting in line.

Once they step foot outside the workplace, employees who are given gift cards serve as brand ambassadors that spread the news about your business or sponsors.

In this digital age, traditional forms of advertising still work, albeit the majority of them are more expensive than their online counterparts. But thanks to gift cards, it is possible to advertise in the traditional approach minus the steep costs associated with it.


Gift cards, in particular the universal kinds, can be appreciated more by the employees than cash. The good news is that they benefit not only their receivers but also their givers, which means that all parties involved are winners.

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