Don’t Give a Gift Card as an Award… Give 500 of Them!

Wouldn’t you just once like to give a gift that was guaranteed (well at least almost guaranteed) to be the one that the recipient really wants?  Take a look at this article on Consumer Reports that speaks to the new electronic options for gift cards.  While somewhat unrelated to the subject, it starts by mentioning that…

“the number of people getting a gift card of any type this year has dropped over the last few years.”

Has a gift card become less popular as gifts this year, or is it that the economy has caused most of the decrease?  In another Consumer Report article it shows that eight in ten consumers intend to give a gift card this season.  In fact gift cards were the #1 gift this year as they have been for the last several years.  So why do folks like Consumer Reports like to look on the negative side of gift cards?  Because in the spirit of full disclosure, they think they owe it to the unsuspecting public that there are some negatives in purchasing and giving gift cards, such as fees, expiration dates, the fact that people often add money to them to get what they really want, and of course that some of the cards are never used, estimated at below 10%.  And, they’re right, although recent legislation has dramatically decreases the problem of fees and expiration dates. 

What about gift cards as used for employee awards…do they have some of the same problems?  Sure, when you purchase them on your own, but to a lesser degree because you supposedly know what your employees want.  However, when you use an Award of Choice card, the answer is a resounding “NO!” they don’t have the same problems.   When you use an Award of Choice card you give your participants a choice of over 500 of the most popular gift cards to choose from.  And there is a decided difference when someone gets to choose the gift card that they really want, one that fits their own lifestyle.  When they really want that card, they use it, and they usually use it within a short time of receiving it.  All internal focus groups that we’ve conducted as well as survey’s to participants after programs have issued rewards show that the vast majority use the cards for items that they want, and often items that are discounted at sales by the retailers so they actually get a bonus on the amount on their card.

So, if you want to use gift cards as awards, consider using the Award of Choice, it will almost guarantee that your participants will get the award that they really want.  And when you can buy the Award of Choice for the same price as purchasing a card on your own, it will save you lots of time in acquiring it which can translate into money saved as well.

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