Gift cards which carry restrictions or gotchas do not make great gifts. It's the reason why understanding terms and policies is so important before making a purchase.
ScripSmart's gift card reviews and Gift Card Scores are an easy way to help identify consumer friendly gift cards. However, if you're in the market for a bulk gift card purchase on behalf of a business, the terms of the gift card your considering may not be as consumer friendly as it's direct-to-consumer counterpart. In fact, they might even carry an expiration date which is lower than usual 5 years currently allowed under federal gift card law.
A Note To ScripSmart
It's a bit confusing and this post was inspired by a note I received from a ScripSmart visitor looking to purchase ~600 MasterCard Gift Cards. He wrote:
"When trying to work with the gift card providers directly in buying cards directly in bulk, I found that the terms were not nearly as good as the cards I see in retail stores. For example, most of the cards they offer begin accruing inactivity fees after only 6 months and have expiration dates earlier than 5 years. So, my question is - how are they getting around the laws covering gift cards?"
Promotional & Incentive Gift Cards
Federal gift card law provides an exclusion for "loyalty, award, or promotional" gift cards. In fact, several states also exclude such gift cards under their gift card laws. These exclusions allow merchant's to offer time sensitive incentives to consumers. A classic example if the "FREE card with purchase" promotion. For the most part I agree, businesses should be able to offer free gift cards without having to be restricted by federal expiration laws.
Often times you'll see these promotional gift cards labeled as 'incentive cards', 'bonus cards' or 'rewards cards'. This a subtle but important distinction and indicates the terms of the gift card may not be governed by federal gift card laws. For example, when looking at the Vanilla MasterCard, two products are offered: a Vanilla MasterCard Gift Card and a Vanilla MasterCard Rewards Card.
Currently, ScripSmart focuses on direct-to-consumer gift cards. For example, we're interested in helping consumers who are considering buying a Bust Buy Gift Card for family or friends, not a Home Depot Gift Card for a corporate rewards or incentive program.
In other words, the abbreviated terms on ScripSmart may vary from the gift card you're considering for a business related purchase. In either case, be sure to understand the terms and policies for the gift card you are considering purchasing.