How Egift Cards Work In Stores
Ive used mobile gift cards in stores multiple times without incident, but earlier this week, I broke my own rules for using egift cards and found myself unprepared.
When the cashier asked me for payment, I suddenly remembered that I had digital gift cards that I had wanted to use. So I dug through my purse to find my smartphone, which took longer than it should have. Then I blanked on where I had stored the egift cards. I could not remember if I had moved them to a mobile wallet, stored them in a gift card app, had taken screenshots of the digital codes or had planned to just pull up the email at the point of sale.
Feeling pressured by the line of shoppers stacking up behind me, I got flustered and paid for my purchase with a debit card instead of the egift cards I had intended to use. Although using egift cards in stores is easy, the process can certainly be made EASIER if you have egift cards ready to use before you actually need them. Below are my tips on how to use egift cards in stores.
Whats Different About Egifts At Restaurants
A digital gift card is easy to present at a regular store because you take your payment and the merchandise you want to buy up to a cash register. When its time to present payment, you show the cashier the eGift card on your phone and he or she will either scan the phone or manually enter the eGift card numbers into the machine. Even if the cashier needs to handle the device in order to complete the transaction , the smartphone never leaves your sight. But at a restaurant, the point of sale is located separately from where the paying customers are.
After a meal, the server brings you a bill, and you hand over a form of payment which the server then takes to a cash register in another room in order to run the transaction. Sending cash or a credit card seems reasonable, but it doesnt feel right to give your phone to someone who is busy manning mulitple tables, handling multiple bills and juggling a myriad of customer requests all at the same time. Its not that I think anything unscrupulous would happen , I think the biggest issues would be liability, privacy and convenience.
Prepaid Credit Cards Vs Gift Cards
When weighing the pros and cons of gift cards, its important to understand the distinction between them and prepaid debit or credit cards. Both can be used to make purchases either in stores or online, but while you might purchase gift cards to give away, a prepaid credit card is something you might use yourself for everyday spending if you dont have a bank account or would rather not pay with cash or a regular credit card.
There are several cards offered by prepaid credit card companies that offer consumers the ability to buy cards and reload them at retail locations. For example, the PayPal Prepaid MasterCard allows users to easily transfer money between their PayPal account and a physical card that can be used anywhere that MasterCard is accepted.
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How Do I Redeem My E
E-gift cards can be redeemed on the Payment page of checkout. Click “Apply a gift card,” then enter the code and click “Apply” and the cart will be updated to reflect your remaining balance, if any. You can add as many gift cards as you would like, or you can use a partial balance of a gift card and the remainder will be maintained.
NOTE: You cannot use e-gift cards to purchase other e-gift cards.
Keep All Egift Cards In One Place
Because I am always testing out different ways to use egift cards in stores, I often have different egift cards in different places. The confusion in my wallet is what led to my confusion at the cash register. Pick a method that works for you and stick with it. If you do not want to use an app, you could put screenshots of each digital card into a folder on your phones home screen or print physical copies of each egift card on your printer at home and put the papers in your real-life wallet. Whatever method you choose, stick with it and use it consistently.
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From The Square Point Of Sale App
If you are setup to sell Square eGift Cards through your Square Point of Sale app, then you can load and send eGift Cards to recipients while you’re in-store.
To load and send an eGift Card in the Square Point of Sale app:
Create a new sale or open an existing ticket.
Tap Library> Gift Cards> Sell eGift Card.
Select your eGift Card design.
Select a preset load amount or enter a custom amount.
Enter the eGift Card recipient’s email address > tap Done.
Tap Return to Sale to complete the transaction.
Once the transaction is complete, the recipient will immediately be sent their eGift Card via email.
The Egift Card Hiccup
The dinner was delicous and the French onion soup did not disappoint, but when the server arrived with the bill, we had a small hiccup. I explained that I would be paying with an eGift card located on my smartphone. The server paused and replied, O-kaaay, let me figure out how this works. Then she walked off to speak with her manager. Upon return, she said that I needed to write the eGift card number on my bill. Then she would take the bill back to the cash register and manually enter the number. After a short delay, the payment was accepted, but the situation reminded me that we dont have this part of eGifting figured out.
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Misplaced Walmart Egift Card
Dont fret if you cant find your Walmart eGift card. Contact customer service and ask them to resend the card to your email.
The Gift Card Granny Visa® Gift Card and the Virtual Visa Gift Card are issued by Sutton Bank®, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. The Visa Gift Card can be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted in the US. No cash or ATM access. The Virtual Visa Gift Card can be redeemed at internet merchants everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted in the US. No cash or ATM access. The Gift Card Granny Mastercard® Gift Card and Mastercard Virtual Gift Card are issued by Sutton Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license by Mastercard International Incorporated. Use your Mastercard Gift Card and Mastercard Virtual Gift Card everywhere Debit Mastercard is accepted in the US. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
How Is My Order Delivered
Your recipient will receive an email or text message that contains a link to their gift card. You will also receive a confirmation email. The link will take them to their personalized gift card. The gift card can either be printed for use at the merchant unless the merchant has specified online redemption only on the brand’s page. In some cases they can use the gift card directly from their mobile phone.
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Charge Egift Card On File
If you have linked a customers eGift Card to their Customer Directory profile, youre able to quickly look it up and charge it at the point of sale and from Square Invoices.
Add items to your cart or enter a custom amount.
Tap Charge > .
Select a customer with a gift card on file or search by email or phone number > tap Charge to select a payment card for the transaction..
Complete the payment flow.
If there are insufficient funds on the gift card, you can use Split Tender to complete the sale.
Take Your Phone To The Cash Register
Many restaurants have a cash register at the main entry. Rather than give payment to the server, ask if you can pay directly at the cash register. If that is not an option, then take your phone and accompany the server back to the cash register yourself. It might not be protocol and is definitely inconvenient, but this saves you and the restaurant from dealing with any of the issues described above.
As soon as I told the server I would be paying with an eGift card, we both knew something didnt feel quite right. I didnt want to send my phone off and the server didnt want to take it. But we needed a way to get the eGift card number from my phone to the point of sale without the server physically taking the device out of my sight. Though writing the number down seemed clunky, it also seemed to be the safest way to pay.
Have you ever used an eGift card at a restaurant? How did it go? Got any tips you want to share? Let me know in the comments below or reach out to me on Twitter .
Happy Gift Carding!
~Shelley Hunter, Gift Card Girlfriend
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Tell Cashier You Are Paying With An Egift Card
Before getting into line, pull up the digital gift card you plan to use. Open your email, open the app, open your mobile wallet or dig through your purse to find the paper copy. If you wait until payment is due, you may find yourself as flustered as I had been. Instead, plan ahead and tell the cashier that you will be paying with an egift card. That way, he or she can prep the cash register if necessary.
Youll be happy to know that I have since corralled all of my mobile gift cards into one smartphone app, updated the balances and deleted the cards I can no longer use. The next time I need to make a purchase at a store with a digital gift card, Ill have my phone handy and will get logged into my gift card app before I approach the register to make sure everything is in order. Though egift cards can be used at stores, getting organized ahead of time and having your phone ready before the cashier asks for payment will ensure the best outcome and smoothest transaction possible.
Lost Egift Cards Are Not Lost
Physical gift cards can be purchased fairly anonymously and are difficult to replace if they get lost. But egift cards are different. These cards are typically ordered online where the buyer enters an email address, credit card number, physical address and possibly even a telephone number before completing the purchase. The recipient, who likely has to claim the code in some way, also ends up supplying contact information. With all of these identifiers, egift cards are easy to trace and replace if the recipient cant find the original notification.
TIP: Keep track of egift cards. Enter all physical and virtual gift cards into a gift card app or mobile wallet. Not only will doing so make it easier for you to present gift codes to a cashier , having all of your cards in one place will help you remember to use your gift cards.
Despite these potential problems with egift cards, weve experienced rapid improvements over the last few years. As a frequent buyer and user of digital codes, I can honestly say that processes are smoother than ever before and much of that is owed to smartphone technology. Where I used to print egift cards at home before taking them to the store, I now simply hand my phone to the cashier for payment. Though the way each cashier handles a transaction may vary , in all cases, Ive been able to use electronic cards with as much success as I enjoy when using plastic gift cards. Follow these tips and your experience should be equally positive.
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Physical Vs Digital Gift Cards
Gift cards can be physicalmeaning a plastic cardor digital. Digital gift cards have no physical form instead, youre assigned a unique gift code number that you can use to redeem at online retailers when making purchases. Physical cards remain the most popular kind of gift cards, but that is expected to change in the near future.
Companies such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target allow consumers to purchase physical cards as well as to load online or digital accounts. Major restaurant chains, such as Starbucks, Chipotle, and Chilis, also offer customers digital and physical gift cards. These cards make it convenient for customers to pay for their drinks and meals using an app or in-establishment card reader to speed up the checkout process.
You can also store codes for digital gift cards inside . Then, when youre ready to check out, you can select your digital gift card as your preferred method of payment.
Federal law prevents gift cards from expiring for up to five years after their activation date, but failing to use a gift card could trigger an inactivity fee.
What Are The Best Travel Egift Cards
Theres nothing like the gift of travel to delight people of all ages! We carry the best travel gift cards that give the recipient a discount on their next adventure. Here youll find eGift cards for use on Hotels.com®, which offers users the chance to locate discount hotel rates for hotels around the world, as well as eGift cards for Southwest® Airlines, one of the major airline companies in the United States. For families and the young-at-heart, there may not be a better eGift card than one for Disney®! This top-rated gift card gives the bearer massive discounts on vacation packages at Disney World in Florida, Disney Land in California, stays on the Disney Cruise Line and purchases at any Disney Store.
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Q: How Long Does It Take To Receive An E
Most e-gift cards are delivered within 5 minutes of placing the order. However, email carriers and other issues can cause delays. If an e-gift card is not received within 4 hours, please contact or call .
If you sent the gift card to another person, you will get a confirmation email . If you would like to resend the email to the recipient, youll find instructions in the confirmation email.
How To Redeem A Walmart Egift Card
OnlineWhen checking out online, enter the gift card number and PIN. If you arent using the full balance on the card, save the eGift card as one of your payment options.
In-StoreWhen at the register, redeem your Walmart eGift card by showing the barcode on your digital device. Another option is printing the electronic gift card details, including barcode, and bringing it to the store.
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The Right Address Is Critical
The egift card issuers obligation is fulfilled when digital delivery is successfulregardless of whether or not you entered the contact information correctly.
I once sent an egift card to my daughter via email. When it didnt arrive after more than an hour, I checked my purchase receipt and discovered that Id transposed a couple of letters in her email address. The issuing company graciously corrected the address and resent the gift for me, but they didnt have to. Terms and conditions on several merchants websites clearly explain that an egift transaction is complete when delivery confirmation is received. Moreover, egift cards cannot be rescinded once redeemed. Had another person opened the transposed email and claimed the gift card, I likely would have been out the entire purchase amount.
TIP: Double check email address.Double check all contact information entered when buying an egift card. Send virtual gifts with the same care you would exercise when sending money electronically such as through an electronic payment or a wire transfer.
Gift Card Terms & Conditions
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How Will I Know The E
When the e-gift card is sent to the recipient, you will receive an email notification confirming that it has been sent. Please note that Park Tool is not responsible for failed delivery due to spam filters and other technical issues. If an e-gift card has not been delivered, please refer to the information below.