Difference between standard Prepaid Cards and Gift Cards – ICICI Blog
Difference between standard Prepaid Cards and Gift Cards
A Gift Card is steadily coming up as the gift of choice for a variety of occasions. At the same time, there are Prepaid Cards that are a lot like Gift Cards. You can swipe a Prepaid Card until the balance on it is exhausted. So, what are the differences between these two types of cards? Read on to find out!
1. Limitations on the use of gift cards -
You can only use a standard Gift Card at a specific number of places. Based on the shop from where you buy the Gift Card, you can redeem it either at the same store or at any other branch of the store. On the other hand, you can swipe a Prepaid Card anywhere at a Point of Sale terminal. The sole precondition to use prepaid Gift Cards is that they need to have sufficient balance in them.
2. Balance present in the card -
Usually, you can swipe a Gift Card only until the balance in it gets exhausted. After the balance gets exhausted, there is no use for the card any more. On the other hand, you can use Prepaid Cards until they have some balance on them. In simple words, if your card gets refilled before the actual balance is exhausted, you can still continue to use it.
This is something that you can’t do with online Gift Cards, particularly in the case of code based Gift Cards that only work on e-commerce sites. As the Prepaid Card amount gets regulated, you can also give it to someone with the aim of regulating their spending.
3. The expiry dates -
Both Gift Cards and standard Prepaid Cards have a date of expiry. Also, in both cases, the date of expiry is mentioned clearly. As Prepaid Cards work in the same way as Credit Cards, they have the date of expiry printed on the face of the card.
The store Gift Cards tend to have a shorter expiry date. In fact, sometimes it expires within just a few days, though it might last a couple of months in some cases. The Prepaid Cards might come with a longer expiry date, although it varies from one card issuer to another.
4. The point of purchase -
Usually, the Gift Cards are bought from the store from where you plan to buy the gift for the recipient. The Prepaid Cards can be purchased from banks or the Credit Card issuers. As such, you can buy a Prepaid Card, get it loaded with a certain amount before giving it to the intended individual.
Gift Cards that you buy from a store are usually not that flexible because they have to be redeemed at the store itself. But there is one point of similarity – you will find both online Gift Cards and Prepaid Cards to buy easily these days for any occasion.
5. The fraud protection -
A bank or a card issuer issues the Prepaid Cards. Similarly, even Gift Cards can be issued by banks. Thus, both these cards typically have a couple of inbuilt protection mechanisms to come in handy if the card is stolen or lost. But a Gift Card bought from a store might not have a similar protection system. When you lose the Gift Card, you also lose the money on it.
Both Gift Cards and Prepaid Cards have their utilities and uses. Based on the purpose, make sure you choose the right card for your needs. You can also contact an ICICI Bank representative regarding this matter.
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