Gift cards are special prepaid cards that have been preloaded with a certain amount of cash.
Gift cards are usually issued by online stores like Amazon, Wal-Mart, eBay, itunes etc so that their customers can use it to buy any product from their online store.
The value (price) of a gift card is often determined by the amount of preloaded cash in the gift card. For example An Amazon gift card that has been preloaded with $100 cash will be sold at $100 while a gift card that has been loaded with $1000 will be sold at $1000 and so on.
A gift card holder can only use the gift card (the preloaded funds in the gift card) to buy products within the price range of the gift card from the online store that issued it. For example the holder of a $100 Amazon gift card , can use the Amazon gift card to buy products from the Amazon online store whose price tag doesn’t, exceed $100; the value of the gift card. You can add as many products as you can to your online shopping cart when shopping on Amazon with a $100 giftcard but the total price of those products shouldn’t exceed $100 i.e. the preloaded cash in the gift card.
Due to the fact that a gift card is like a normal credit card ( just like our usual visa or MasterCard) in function, somebody may likely want to ask this very important question. What is the essence of a gift card (another credit card)??.
That’s exactly the question I also asked when I first heard about gift cards. I felt it will look stupid (idiotic) for somebody to use his or her credit card (visa or MasterCard) to buy another credit card (gift card) just to use the gift card for a purpose their normal credit card or PayPal account would have easily accomplish in the first place. I thought the gift card conception was a very foolish idea. However I thought wrong.
Gift cards as their name implies, were specifically designed to serve as gift items (presents) and not as an alternative to our normal PayPal, visa or master cards.
For example if you wish to buy a gift worth $100 from either Amazon , Wal-Mart or eBay for your gf but don’t know exactly what to buy for her , you can simply buy a gift card worth $100 from Amazon or Wal-Mart and send to her . Your gf will then use the Gift card to buy any $100 product she likes from Amazon or Wal-Mart.
It’s often said that nobody knows what is good for a particular person more than the person itself. Our wants are unlimited and diverse. Apart from that, you don’t need to send your visa or MasterCard to your gf. Your gf may end up spending more than the $100 you have set aside for her gift. We all know that girls are shopaholics.
Summarily, gift cards will enable us not to give bad gifts to our love ones. So if you have little or no gift sense like me, gift cards were specifically designed for you.
Important point to note
Gift cards are totally specific i.e. They are not universally accepted by all online stores. For example you can, t use an Amazon gift card to shop on EBay and vice versa. In other words, you can only use a gift card to buy products only from the online store that issued it. So if your gf or bf wants to send you a gift card, make sure you tell him or her, your favourite online store. If you are an eBay shopaholic like me, tell your gf or bf to buy you a gift card from eBay because if he or she buys an Amazon gift card, you won’t be able to use the gift card to shop on eBay.
You can’t withdraw the preloaded funds in a Gift card through an ATM machine or transfer the funds in your gift card to your PayPal account. You can only use the funds in a gift card to buy something from the online store that issued the gift card. For example if somebody (maybe your mum) sent you a $100 Amazon gift card and you don’t like any of the Amazon products, there’s no way you can cash out (withdraw) the $100 cash in the gift card from an ATM machine. However nowadays there are many websites were you can exchange (sell) your unwanted gift cards for cash. You can sell a $100 gift card for $80 on those websites. You can also sell your gift card to a friend or family member who needs a gift card.
Please also take note that Gift cards also expire. The expiry date of a Gift card is often written on a Gift card. So if somebody sent you a gift card and you can’t find a product to buy with that gift card, I will advise you to sell the gift card rather than leaving it to expire. You can sell it to me and many other gift card buyers out there.