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Maximizing the Effectiveness of Prepaid Cards to Boost Rewards and Incentives Programs

Maintaining an engaged workforce is top of mind for many employers in today’s competitive job market. Implementing effective employee reward and incentive programs with gift cards is a flexible, easy way to keep employees happy and provide positive reinforcement that fits any budget. When selecting the gift cards to use in your program you can select either prepaid cards or branded gift cards. Prepaid cards are retailer agnostic and come primarily from VISA® and Mastercard® while branded gift cards are usable at one specific retailer. Both products offer flexibility, easy delivery and convenience for program administrators and program participants alike.

Benefits of Prepaid Cards

Prepaid cards bring unmatched versatility to any reward and incentive program. Participants enjoy simple delivery of the card and the ability to spend the card balance at multiple retailers. Program administrators have the flexibility to provide card balances to fit their budget and can use filters to limit spending to a target category- like grocery stores or pharmacies for health and wellness programs, sporting goods stores and gyms for activity challenges and more.

Prepaid cards can also be reloaded without reissuing a new card and can be customized to match branding or a program theme. Since prepaid cards can provide a variety of participant experiences through the same card, they are most often used when trying to elicit specific behavior from program participants. For example, providing a card loaded with a balance that would cover a specific vaccine or preventive healthcare copay, while limiting spending to only pharmacies. The card itself drives participants to take the action suggested by the administrator, while still providing a flexible, positive experience.

Branded Gift Card Experiences

Branded gift cards tailor the participant to one retailer, creating a unique experience that ties back to the original reason the gift card was issued. Branded gift cards also offer program administrators flexibility of budget and the ability to assign the balance to a retailer specific gift card that steers participants toward program goals, whether that is pharmacies for a vaccination program or a restaurant for an engagement program or as an employee reward.

Because branded gift cards create a specific experience for the program participant they are typically best used for broader program initiatives like raising employee engagement across an organization or recognizing an employee for an achievement. Branded gift cards build trophy value among program participants because they provide a singular retailer experience. Using them as broader rewards can maximize the impact of the reward or incentive, far beyond the balance itself as participants create memories with that gift card, whether it was a workout at a gym or a nice meal with their family and friends.

Prepaid cards and branded gift cards can both be strong components of incentive and reward programs. Understanding which type of card is going to work for your audience is key to maximizing value and achieving your program goals.

Learn more about how you can implement prepaid cards into your program with GiftCard Partners today!

Explore Prepaid Card Options

Issuer Statement: Visa eReward Cards are issued by Pathward, N.A., Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A Inc. Cards can be used in the U.S. and District of Columbia everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. See Cardholder Agreement for details.


Topics: loyalty and rewards, prepaid cards, gift cards, Employee Incentives & Rewards, Gift Card ordering platform

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