Feature Article - May/June 2011

Rewards Are in the Cards

The Growing Popularity of Gift Cards

By Deborah L. Vence

Gift cards continue to be a go-to prize given to employees for a job well done—an ideal award for workers who possess the skills and integrity every company looks for. The belief among industry professionals is that gift cards offer value to employees, giving them the opportunity to choose what they want or desire, all while committing to memory the very moment the gift was purchased.

So, it probably comes as no surprise that gift card incentives show no signs of slowing down in status, and, in fact, are intensifying in popularity.

"Gift cards are now the No. 1 reward/incentive. Why? Two main reasons: value and choice," said Rory B. Smith, director of sales at Lisle, Ill.-based Royal Performance Group, a gift card provider for businesses and organizations in the United States. "[There's] value for the employer/sponsor, as they're face-value-driven. In today's world, everyone wants to choose what they want, not to be told what they can get. If you give an Amazon gift card, the employee can choose from hundreds of thousands of items. Also, gift cards can generally be used with in-store sales. So, it can provide even greater value to the employee."

Here, in this issue of Premium Incentive Products magazine, we explore the latest trends in gift card incentives, the overall benefits, the do's and don'ts of gift card incentive programs, as well as the significance of a gift card's trophy value.