6 Questions About Gift Cards

6 Questions About Gift Cards

When it comes to expanding your message and fostering customer loyalty, providing your own branded gift card to customers is a proven marketing strategy. We often receive numerous questions regarding the various applications, restrictions, and advantages of implementing a gift card program for your customers. As a business owner thinking about introducing a gift card program, we wanted to answer the most common questions about gift cards.

1. Do gift cards have an expiration date?

Bank gift cards, which carry the logo of a payment card network (e.g., Visa, MasterCard), are subjected to the Credit Card Act protections and can be used wherever the brand is accepted. Under the law, a gift card cannot expire until at least five years from the date it was activated.

2. What if my gift card is unused for a long time?

Under federal law, a gift card cannot expire in less than five years after the date of purchase. However, if it is not used within 12 months, fees for inactivity, dormancy or service can be charged to the card each month, diminishing its value.

3. Do gift cards need to be activated?

The activation process is determined by the provider of your card, so you will need to follow the instructions provided with your card. Many Visa Gift cards are activated automatically upon purchase and may be used immediately. However, some Visa Gift cards must be activated by the recipient before they can be used.

4. What states do gift cards not expire?

In Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming the state can collect the balance in 3-5 years regardless of the gift card having an expiration date.

5. What information should be on a gift card?

On the back of the gift card, we recommend putting your address, email, website, or other contact information. You want people to be able to find you. Many people receiving custom gift cards for your business may never have been there before, so you want them to be able to easily reach out to you.

6. Can gift cards save money?

Overspending is easy when shopping for traditional gifts. Although you might have a dollar limit in mind, finding something you like within that range isn’t always possible. You can save money with gift cards, however, because you decide how much money to spend and then put that exact amount on the card.

Vanguard ID Systems is a leading manufacturer specializing in custom-made card solutions and RFID technology. Our range of custom card solutions includes gift cards, loyalty cards, and direct mailers, all of which can effectively enhance the exposure of your brand and attract a wider customer base. Our RFID technology solutions are designed specifically for your business needs, enabling you to enhance efficiency and profitability throughout your organization. Our personalized RFID solutions include labels for inventory management and asset tracking, and bands and cards for access control to name a few key areas. Contact one of our Vanguard ID Systems Technical Representatives today at 1-800-323-7432 or email us at

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