Employee Gift Card Programs

Employee Gift Card Programs

Imagine you are buying a gift for someone’s birthday. What is the first question that will come to your mind? “Will they like the gift I buy?” 

This is exactly what an employee gift card program is for. This program allows companies to issue timely rewards that the employees prefer and will actually use. 

It is also a way for companies to show their employees that they value and recognize their efforts. In this article, let’s look in detail at employee gift card programs and how they can benefit an organization.

What Are Gift Cards for Employees?

An employee gift card is a card with funds that can be used to purchase products or services from another brand. 

Gift cards are a way to appreciate, reward, and encourage employees for their achievements. Instead of giving them cash or some rewards that they won’t use, gift cards allow employees to choose the gift they want.

Gift cards are a safe choice for companies when they don’t know what their employees prefer. It also gives employees the opportunity to choose the gist they want for themselves. 

This also gives employees a sense of personalization, knowing that the company is valuing their contributions. This will also motivate them to work and contribute more to the company.

What are Employee Gift Card Programs

Companies can have employee gift cards as one of their employee recognition programs.

With an effective employee gift card program, companies can issue useful and memorable gift cards to outstanding employees instead of rewarding them with something they probably won’t use or pass off to someone else.

With a gift card program, companies can also let employees choose what gifts they want from the collection of gift card options.

Types of Gift Cards

There are two types of gift cards: open loop and closed loop. Companies have to first decide on which type they are going to use before starting an employee gift card program.

Open Loop

Gift cards that include an open loop are often branded with a credit card company, like Visa. Unless otherwise stated, these cards can be used to purchase goods from other brands.

Employee ability to choose their own rewards is greatly reduced by closed-loop cards. Open loop cards, on the other hand, give employees the freedom to use the cards any way they see fit and select what they want.

Closed Loop

Closed-loop gift cards only function at a single retailer or manufacturer. For instance, gift cards from a particular store may only be usable at that store or other branches of the same store.

The Benefits of Gift Cards for Employees

1. Employees get to choose their reward

Unlike other rewards programs, employees can choose what gift they want with gift cards. They will have ample gift card options to choose from in the gift card platform.

2. Multiple gift card options allow companies to cover all employees’ preferences

Employers can’t go around asking each employee their preference and what gift they want. Having multiple gift card options allow employers to personalize their rewards for each employee.

3. Instant gift for employees

Companies can reward employees instantly when they achieve something. They could even reach employers who work outside the office premises with digital gift card programs. 

4. Digital gift cards simplify the recognition process

With digital gift cards, companies don’t have to manually enter or track data. The gift card platforms will store all the data making it easier for HR executives. 

5. The budget for gift cards is adaptable

Be it a gift card for $20 or $100, companies can adjust the budget for the gift cards according to how much they can afford. 

How Much Do Gift Cards for Employees Cost?

The cost of gift cards will vary greatly, depending on how much you’re ready to spend. 

Obviously, there will be costs associated with the platforms that streamline and simplify the employee recognition program. Some networks have minimal yearly fees or gift card markup costs.

Before choosing a gift card platform, companies must examine platform functionality along with employee gift card programs. 

While some platforms provide all-in-one employee management solutions, others are just for employee awards and recognition. 

So, the cost of each platform differs based on its functions and features. Companies can compare them and choose the one that better suits their needs.


Companies must make recognition impactful and memorable to succeed in a recognition program. And employee gift cards are one of the best ways to achieve that.

With personalized gift card options catered to each employee’s needs, companies can give their employees the recognition they deserve. 

There are many gift card platforms that companies can use. Integrating them into their recognition program can be very helpful for them.


1. What Is the Best Gift Card To Give an Employee?

Since each employee is unique and has different preferences, no one gift card may be used for all of them.


It is best to let employees select the gift card they desire from a variety of options. This can also make the gift personal and memorable.

2. Is It Okay To Give Gift Cards to Employees?

Gift cards are a good way to thank staff members for a job well done or for going above and beyond the company’s expectations.

Gift cards are also a practical way to express your gratitude and appreciation for their hard work. 

3. How do gift card programs work?

If the gift card is purchased in person, the cashier chooses the gift card program from the POS system and activates the gift card with the required value. 


The customer pays for the gift card and receives it, as well as a printed receipt containing the gift card balance. The gift card is subsequently given to the recipient by the customer.

4. Can I buy gift cards for employees?

Giving gift cards is one of the most popular methods of recognizing your employees. People enjoy getting recognized for their efforts.


Gift cards also provide several possibilities for employee recognition gifts. They are ideal for employee incentive programs.

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