Plastic Gift Cards: Making Christmas Easy for Everyone

Plastic Gift Cards are ideal for shoppers and retailers alike – read on to find out why.

It’s the same every Christmas; there is always one family member or friend who is difficult to buy for: you spend inordinate amounts of time hunting for the perfect gift which will either be returned to the store for credit or sneakily recycled and passed on to someone else next Christmas! With this in mind, retailers across the UK are now stocking up on plastic gift cards, ready for the Christmas shopping rush.

With plastic gift cards not only does the receiver have the freedom to select their own gift but the consumer is relieved from hours of searching the High Street for that perfect gift. This is the reason why they are the most popular gift item sold across the world to date.

Not only do people love plastic gift cards but retails love them too. According to recent reports an estimated 25% of gift cards go un-redeemed for at least 12 months following their purchase and at least 7% do not get used at all. All these unused gifts represent free money to the retailers which sell them!

Although it may seem like gift cards have only really been around for the past few years, the history of the gift card, or gift voucher as they were originally known, goes back to the early 1930s. The paper based gift certificates were created by a number of large department stores and were initially very rare to come across. Over the years the gift certificates became more popular with brands such as Boots adopting the idea and launching their version of the gift voucher in 1936.

As the gift card market developed traditional gift certificates were replaced with plastic alternatives, enabling transaction of funds electronically. Mobil Oil were the first company to produce a plastic gift card with a magnetic stripe in 1995 quick followed by Blockbuster the same year who were the first retailer to openly display their plastic gift cards on their store counters for shoppers to buy.

Now the plastic gift card is the most purchased gift item worldwide with racks of different types of gift cards to be seen in supermarkets across the country.

At Company Cards we have worked with many types of companies assisting them with their plastic Gift Card requirements. The most popular form of gift cards may have a barcode or magnetic strip, which is read by an electronic credit card machine. In the majority of cases, they hold no monetary value until the point they are sold, at which time the cashier enters the amount which the customer wishes to put on the card. This amount is usually recorded on the store’s database as opposed to on the plastic card itself.

No longer is this type of product only available for the big brand names. Here at Company Cards we offer a short run solution for smaller companies wishing to offer their clients gift card solutions. With plastic card orders as small as 100 units every company can now reap he benefits that plastic gift cards have to offer.