As part of the Walmart's Christmas Price Guarantee campaign, the company will issue gift card to consumers instead of cash. The program starts November 1st, 2011 and runs through Christmas Day. In short, if you purchase an item at Walmart and find it for less, they company will issue a Walmart Gift Cards for the difference. Check out the full details here.
A Growing Trend: Gift Cards Not Just For Gifts
I've written about the trend of merchant's using gift cards to compensate consumers before. This is another example of a company leveraging it's gift card program in a nontraditional way. There are several reasons why companies like to offer consumers gift cards instead of cash. Here are three reasons:
1) Walmart knows where the money will be spent.
2) Gift cards bring consumers back to the store at a later date.
3) Often consumers spend more than the gift card's balance.
In the future, you can expect to see gift cards used for more than just gift giving. In fact, I recently received a $5 Target Gift Card for making a purchase at Target. Basically, instead of needing to use a $5.00 off coupon, I paid full price for the product and received my gift card at the checkout counter.