Buy Gift Cards Online

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Gift Cards You Can Buy Online

Gift cards remain one of the best ways to congratulate someone for a job well done or as a present for any occasion. It’s no wonder that people love to buy gift cards online, which saves the hassle of a trip to the store. There are many different types of gift cards that you can buy online and this article will help you differentiate between your choices so that you can pick the one that is right for you or your friends and family.

The Different Types of Gift Cards

Plastic Gift Cards – these are the most common type of gift cards that can be purchased online and what everyone always thinks of first. You can order your gift cards online and have them shipped to wherever they need to be sent. This is a great tool if you have a friend or family member that you will not see, you can just visit the merchants website and have them ship the card. This way you can avoid going to the store to buy the card and then having to visit the post office to get it shipped.

Online Gift Cards – these are also known as e-gift cards, electronic gift cards or e-cards. These gift cards are meant to be used at the businesses website and some of the most popular cards are Amazon.com, Walmart, and Target. When you buy online gift cards you will need to select the method of delivery to your recipient which can be sent directly to their email, cell phone, or sometimes even to their Facebook account. It’s important to communicate with the person you’re sending the e-gift card to so that they do not think that the message is spam and accidentally delete it.

Discount Gift Cards – did you know that there are gift cards online that you can buy for less than the face value? You can get deals for these cards and sometimes save up to 30%! You can save on everything that you normally do like go out to eat at restaurants, shop for new clothes, or buy home improvement supplies. Another savvy shopping tip is to combine these discounted gift cards with coupons and sales offered by the merchant. You will be surprised by how much money you’ll be able to save and be able to spend towards other things.

Prepaid Debit Cards – prepaid debit cards are just like gift cards except they can be used wherever you want and aren’t limited to just one store. Some of the most popular prepaid debit cards include the Walmart MoneyCard and the RushCard. With a prepaid debit card you can shop online at your favorite stores, withdrawal cash at ATM’s, or use it anywhere that Visa, MasterCard, or American Express is accepted. They usually come with a small activation or card fee and will have a monthly charge that is something that you do not see with gift cards.

Free Gift Card Week provides the best way to find gift card deals that include a sweet bonus for yourself!

Send Electronic Gift Cards with GiftRocket

GiftRocket, a y-combinator startup that launched this month looks to revolutionize the online gift cards space. With GiftRocket you are sending an electronic gift card to someone’s smart phone that they can use wherever they like. The virtual gift card can be used at any location, because GiftRocket relies solely on a phone’s GPS . At this time they do not have deals with any merchants or retailers, which could lead to potential legal problems in the future. However, GiftRocket has high expectations as their product completely cuts out the traditional gift card payment processors like First Data or Valutec.

The model is somewhat confusing, so I will attempt to explain it as best as possible in the space below.

How Does GiftRocket Work?

  • You send a $50 GiftRocket for Fancy Seafood to Alex for his anniversary.
  • When Alex and Courtney arrive at Fancy Seafood, he opens the GiftRocket link and clicks redeem.
  • GiftRocket will then deposit $50 into Alex’s paypal account.

They do a better job of explaining it on their website with a cool monkey infographic.

The question I’m left asking is, “Who would really want to do this?” The gift rocket process seems like an overly complicated paypal transfer. When Alex goes to redeem the GiftRocket, he still has to spend the money to cover the bill. One of the things people enjoy the most about gift cards is that when you do go to redeem them, that amount is deducted from your total bill. You’re eliminating one of the main benefits from gift card redemption when you have to pay the full amount. I understand that you are refunded through paypal, but to transfer that money back into your checking account will cost you 2.9% of the balance + 30 cents in fees [source].

If Alex doesn’t want to buy anything at the restaurant, he doesn’t have to. A simple click of redeem on the GiftRocket link will result in the full balance being deposited into his or her paypal account. This is because GiftRocket isn’t associated with the merchant in any way. So in actuality, you do not have to redeem anything in order to transfer the paypal funds into your account. If there is one thing that I have learned from my experience in dealing with gift card exchange is that cash is king. People almost always prefer having cash over a regular gift card.

As a startup we exist to solve a problem. GiftRocket looks to solve the distribution for the traditional gift card, but they have created product that you actually do not need to redeem. The merchant does not benefit from the use of the card, while GiftRocket and Paypal collect money off of the transaction fees. Developing the application around the smartphone market makes a lot of sense, but to me the incentive to buy and use GiftRockets just isn’t there. Spending money only to be reimbursed later seems to completely dismiss the whole purpose of a gift card. It will be interesting to see how the company evolves as they are y-combinator backed so we can all expect to see exciting things from them in the future.

Response from GiftRocket Co-Founder Nicholas Baum who thanked us for covering his company.

A few clarifications:

1) Transferring from PayPal to checking is free. The source quotes irrelevant rates.

2) GiftRocket is great for merchants. We drive foot traffic and sales. See http://www.giftrocket.com/gift-card-program

3) GiftRocket doesn’t deduct from your bill. But that means you’re free to spend as much as you like. You’ll never forget or lose your GiftRocket. You don’t need to carry another card. And maybe most importantly, you won’t ever be stuck with store credit at a business you don’t like.

4) GiftRocket solves real problems. Try buying a gift card for a small business for your friend across the country. It’ll be either impossible or inconvenient. GiftRocket works, and it only takes a minute.

ICardGiftCard.com Review

iCardGiftCard.com is a provider of electronic gift cards and online gift cards. There are a few advantages to using this service if you need to purchase a gift card quickly. The gift cards at iCardGiftCard are sent electronically through email, so the user can either redeem the card online or print it out and use it at the store. It is a common misconception that electronic gift cards can only be used online and not in-store. However, many of them can be used just like normal plastic cards.

Another great feature of the iCard website is that the electronic gift cards are customizable. You can add your own pictures and text to the card, making it more personal than a regular gift card.This is perfect for occasions especially weddings, birthdays, where you can add an image of a special memory that you have shared. As a last minute gift, it will be hard to find something else that matches this level of personal touch. They have a ton of different patterns that you can choose from when looking to email your gift card.

What Gift Card Merchants does iCard offer?

The iCardGiftCard.com electronic program offers any of the merchants currently signed up with iCardSystems.

This includes:

  • Macy’s
  • Applebee’s
  • Olive Garden
  • J. Crew
  • Old Navy
  • and many more

Customer Feedback

Customers over the web have been complaining about the lack of service that they are getting from iCardGiftCards. One customer on CoolComputing said,

Impossible to contact company. Their rquirement that I submit a notarized affidavit via FAX ONLY because they failed to send–or I didn’t receive $75 merchant card by US Mail is unreasonable.
The contact called back and said the have NO RECORD OF THE MERCHANT CARDS SHE ALLEGES WERE SENT ON JAN 11, 2011 AND THAT I MUST PAY TO HAVE AN AFFIDAVIT NOTARIZED AND RETURNED.
NO phone numbers listed; the “Sales Phone number” is answered by a recording that takes no calls only “messages”. 45 day limit expires today.

There is also another negative review on ResellerRatings.com as well.

ICardGiftCard.com Review

iCardGiftCard.com is a provider of electronic gift cards and online gift cards. There are a few advantages to using this service if you need to purchase a gift card quickly. The gift cards at iCardGiftCard are sent electronically through email, so the user can either redeem the card online or print it out and use it at the store. It is a common misconception that electronic gift cards can only be used online and not in-store. However, many of them can be used just like normal plastic cards.

Another great feature of the iCard website is that the electronic gift cards are customizable. You can add your own pictures and text to the card, making it more personal than a regular gift card.This is perfect for occasions especially weddings, birthdays, where you can add an image of a special memory that you have shared. As a last minute gift, it will be hard to find something else that matches this level of personal touch. They have a ton of different patterns that you can choose from when looking to email your gift card.

What Gift Card Merchants does iCard offer?

The iCardGiftCard.com electronic program offers any of the merchants currently signed up with iCardSystems.

This includes:

  • Macy’s
  • Applebee’s
  • Olive Garden
  • J. Crew
  • Old Navy
  • and many more

Customer Feedback

Customers over the web have been complaining about the lack of service that they are getting from iCardGiftCards. One customer on CoolComputing said,

Impossible to contact company. Their rquirement that I submit a notarized affidavit via FAX ONLY because they failed to send–or I didn’t receive $75 merchant card by US Mail is unreasonable.
The contact called back and said the have NO RECORD OF THE MERCHANT CARDS SHE ALLEGES WERE SENT ON JAN 11, 2011 AND THAT I MUST PAY TO HAVE AN AFFIDAVIT NOTARIZED AND RETURNED.
NO phone numbers listed; the “Sales Phone number” is answered by a recording that takes no calls only “messages”. 45 day limit expires today.

There is also another negative review on ResellerRatings.com as well.

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