Smart Incentive Gift Card Shoppers Steer Clear of Retail Outlets


The proven motivational power of gift cards is a key reason managers use them in reward and recognition programs, but the advantages don’t end there. Customization and ease of administration is important, too.

Providing you utilize a business-to-business prepaid provider (versus grabbing a handful at your local retailer) you get client support, fulfillment, budget control, cardholder support and more. Many of those suppliers are members of the Incentive Gift Card Council, a strategic industry group created to provide an awareness of gift cards as a viable option for use in incentive programs. (Find out more about the IGCC at

Card faces can be customized with your company’s logo or program theme. This in-wallet billboard fosters loyalty by reminding recipients of how they earned their reward. The fact that you can give cards with a set value or one that can be loaded as goals are achieved aligns with diverse program structures.

There’s another feature that makes prepaid cards from select IGCC members truly unique: the ability to decide where the card can be spent. It’s called restricted authorization network (RAN), and it has benefits for both you and your participants.

According to Matt Harris, IRF chairman and vice president of marketing at InteliSpend Prepaid Solutions, “The price is usually better for you because the participating merchants offset some of the cost. You also get to strategically build the list of merchants where your card can or can’t be spent so that the experience aligns with your objectives.”

The menu of spend options provides your participants that guilt-free experience since they aren’t faced with the dilemma of paying the cell phone bill or purchasing that new golf club.

“When you consider that over 65 percent of recipients say they remember what they purchased and that many attribute that positive memory to the person or company that gave them the card, it’s easy to see how the organization receives a significant benefit as well,” says Betty Weinkle, vice president of corporate wellness at SpaFinder, Inc., and a past president of IGCC.

The next time you’re pondering the right incentive for your diverse participant group, you don’t have to look beyond these pages. Keep this directory of IGCC members handy and ring them up. You’re sure to find just the right prepaid incentive to get the results you want because you’re giving them the incentive they’ve clearly said they want (and will do what they need to do to earn it).

For more on this important study, go to