E gift cards, also known by the name of digital gift cards are not actually tangible cards. These are some codes which can be bought online and are sent to you either on your phone through SMS or are emailed to you.
These codes can be used at the outlets of stores where they are accepted for buying products and services.
For example, restaurants or retail stores sell these codes online and you can redeem them at their outlets just by providing the exact code which was sent to you and you are allowed to buy items and services within the stipulated amount.
However, e-gift cards often come with certain restrictions. They may have expiration dates, typically ranging from one to two years, which vary by issuer.
Some may have restrictions on where and how they can be used, such as being valid only for specific stores or online purchases.
Additionally, e-gift cards are generally non-transferable, meant for the recipient named during purchase.
It’s crucial to check the terms and conditions of each e-gift card to understand any limitations and ensure a seamless gifting experience.
Do E-Gift Cards Need To Be Activated?
Now the question is, do you need to activate a digital gift card? The answer is, yes. Activation means making the card ready to be used for a purchase.
Activation process for an e gift card is easy and quick. It usually involves following the instructions sent to you through email or through a message on your phone.
You might be asked to follow a link and as it opens, you would be required to enter the e gift card code. Once it is entered, the card will be activated and you can make a purchase at a store or online.
How Do Electronic Gift Cards Work?
While it is easy to use an e card at retail store, because you can just show the code to the cashier at billing time, at restaurants, it might seem a bit tricky.
This is because a waiter approaches you with a bill instead of you going to the point of sale. So, handing him your phone to be taken to the cash counter doesn’t seem appropriate due to security and safety reasons.
And even if you do, what if the lock screen times out before the code can be entered or scanned by the cashier? You obviously do not want him to become a pinball between your table and the cash counter. So, how to use e gift card at restaurant?
To make the redemption process smooth, here are a few tips;
- You can get the print of the code before you leave for a restaurant. This way, you can just hand over the printed code to the waiter and he’ll take it to the cashier. This can save you of embarrassment if your internet doesn’t work in the restaurant or the battery dies out.
- Or else, when the waiter approaches with bill, write the code on it and tell him you want to redeem the e gift card.
- The third option would be to go physically to the counter with your phone and let the cahier copy or scan the code to be entered in the billing system.
Where Can E-Gift Cards Be Used?
During the past few years, we have seen a surge in the use of e gift cards due to the convenience they offer as opposed to other payment types.
These digital gifts are rapidly becoming a norm and are being offered by many retail stores, online businesses, and even banks.
Although, most e cards can be used in both the online and retail purchases, some e card providers restrict their use to only online purchases. For example, Visa e-gift cards can be used online only.
To make sure a restaurant or a retail store allows both online and in-store redemption, check their website. Besides, the e-card merchants also explicitly mention if an e-card can be used only for online purchase.
What is The Difference Between Gift Card And E-Gift Card?
The conventional gift cards are the tangible plastic cards which resemble a credit card. The e gift cards on the other hand are in the form of codes and sent to your email, phone, a gift cards app, or social media.
These are not tangible. Here is a comparison between the physical gift cards and the e gift cards for a better understanding;
|Physical Gift Cards||E Gift Cards|
|Tangible Plastic||Intangible codes|
|They need to be shipped, so shipping charges might apply.||These are sent to your mobile or email address and no shipping charges apply|
|The delivery is not instant and can take a few days.||These are delivered instantly.|
|They need to be carried and stored with you.||The codes do not need to be stored or carried around; these are stored in the cloud.|
|Physical gift cards can be lost.||These cannot be lost as they are safely stored in cloud.|
How Do I Convert My E Gift Card To Cash?
While e gift cards received as a gift are almost always a pleasant surprise, but sometimes you might not be interested in buying from a retailer that the e card concerns to.
If this is the case with you, your e gift card doesn’t need to go waste, you can rather turn it into cash. Yes, that’s right.
There are several websites which will buy your e gift card for a little less than its value. For example, some of the trustworthy websites where you can sell your e cards include Raise, CardCash, ClipKard, Gift Cash, and others.
Similarly, you can sell your e card on some apps as well. For example, you can download CardSell app and place an offer for your unused e card. They transfer the amount to your PayPal or pay through check within 48 hours.
Can You Use An E Gift Card in Person?
Yes, it is very much possible to use your e gift card in person if the retailer provides in-store purchase facility using e gift cards.
Some retailers however only allow online payments through e gift cards. You can refer to their website to check if they offer in-store purchase through e gift cards.
How Do I Use a Gift Card Online?
When a merchant confirms your purchase of the e gift card, an email or an SMS is sent to you containing the code.
While making an online payment, you need to enter this code in the specified place asking for card number and your transaction will be done in no time.
Can You Use Gift Cards Internationally?
Most of the e gift cards cannot be used internationally. They can be used only in the country where they were bought.
Even some of the biggest multinational companies are not offering an e gift card which can be used internationally.
However, to send someone an e-gift card, you can buy one from a retailer in their country. However, some like Mastercard and Visa e gift cards can be used internationally.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can E Gift Cards Be Printed And Used?
Yes, you can print them for your ease and hand the print to the concerned person who will then copy the code from the print. Although, all you need is just the code and not a tangible printed copy.
Are E Gift Cards Safer?
When bought from a trusted merchant, the chances of scam are minimum. Do check the reviews before buying.
Can E Gift Cards Be Sent Internationally?
Not all e gift cards can be used in countries other than where they were purchased. to gift an e card overseas, you mostly need to buy it from a merchant in that country.
Do Digital Gift Cards Expire?
Legally, e gift cards do not expire until at least 5 years. however, some companies may withdraw certain privileges associated with their e gift cards or the number of stores allowing redemption after a certain period of time.
How Do I Activate My Gift Card?
You simply need to follow the instructions in email or SMS. You would be asked to follow a link and enter the code for the e-gift card to be active.
Can You Print an E Gift Card?
Although it isn’t necessary to print an e gift card because all you need to make a purchase is the code, but for your convenience you can print and keep it with you.
E-gift cards have certainly added to the convenience in purchasing products and services from various retailers. These are much safer than the plastic gift cards as the former cannot be lost.
However, you need to be wary while buying one, as there are number of scams out there in the name of e card sellers. Never forget to check the reviews before buying an e gift card.