Call the company or its competitor to find out. About the Author Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since , specializing in the topics of business and law.
PIN by Another Name
In the few instances in which a Visa gift card has a PIN, it is either the last four digits of the card number or a personal PIN added by the cardholder. That PIN will not appear on the card itself. If the card does have a PIN, you may be able to change it to make it uniquely yours. This is especially beneficial if you plan to use the card over an expanded time period. American Express gift cards do not come with numbers identified as a PIN.
The CSC is on the card front directly above the 15 digit card number. Discover gift cards use a three digit number it calls the Customer Identification Number, which is located on the back of the card.
Gift cards issued by department stores typically have a PIN. It is usually found on the back of the card underneath an area that must be scratched off to view. This scratch-off area helps prevent the number from being stolen before the card is authorized. Some Walmart gift cards don't come with PINs. You'll only be able to use these gift cards in the store, since Walmart. If an electronic gift card comes with a PIN, it's listed in the email with the card number.
If the retailer allows cardholders to choose their own PIN, the instructions to do it are in the email and on the retailer's website. Gift cards are also given out by retailers and marketers as part of a promotion strategy, to entice the recipient to come in or return to the store, and at times such cards are called cash cards. Gift cards are generally redeemable only for purchases at the relevant retail premises and cannot be cashed out, and in some situations may be subject to an expiry date or fees.
Visa and MasterCard credit cards produce generic gift cards which need not be redeemed at particular stores, and which are widely used for cashback marketing strategies. A feature of these cards is that they are generally anonymous and are disposed of when the stored value on a card is exhausted. From the purchaser's point of view, a gift card is a gift , given in place of an object which the recipient may not need, when the giving of cash as a present may be regarded as socially inappropriate.
In the United States , gift cards are highly popular, ranking in as the second-most given gift by consumers and the most-wanted gift by women, and the third-most wanted by males.
The first giftcard using a payments infrastructure was introduced by Neiman Marcus in late  , though Blockbuster Entertainment was the first company to do so at a wide scale  , test-marketing them in and launching them around the country the next year. In the beginning, the Blockbuster giftcard replaced gift certificates that were being counterfeited with recently introduced color copiers and color printers.
Blockbuster's first giftcard transactions were processed by what was then Nabanco of Sunrise, Florida. Nabanco was the developer of the first third-party platform for the processing of giftcards using existing payment infrastructure. Neiman Marcus and Blockbuster were later followed by the Mobil gas card which initially offered prepaid phone value provided by MCI. Later this feature was dropped as it was not profitable for both Kmart and Mobil. The Kmart Mags Pangilinan Cash Card was the first replacement for cash returns when a shopper did not have a receipt for a gift.
This practice of giving a cash card in place of cash for non-receipted returns is common place today with most merchants. From these early introductions, other retailers began to adapt a giftcard program to replace their gift certificate programs. A gift card may resemble a credit card or display a specific theme on a plastic card the size of a credit card. The card is identified by a specific number or code, not usually with an individual name, and thus could be used by anybody.
They are backed by an on-line electronic system for authorization. Some gift cards can be reloaded by payment and can be used thus multiple times.
Cards may have a barcode or magnetic strip , which is read by an electronic credit card machine. Many cards have no value until they are sold, at which time the cashier enters the amount which the customer wishes to put on the card.
This amount is rarely stored on the card but is instead noted in the store's database, which is crosslinked to the card ID. Gift cards thus are generally not stored-value cards as used in many public transport systems or library photocopiers, where a simplified system with no network stores the value only on the card itself.
To thwart counterfeiting, the data is encrypted. The magnetic strip is also often placed differently than on credit cards, so they cannot be read or written with standard equipment. Other gift cards may have a set value and need to be activated by calling a specific number. Gift cards can also be custom tailored to meet specific needs.
By adding a custom message or name on the front of the card, it can make for an individualized gift or incentive to an employee to show how greatly they are appreciated. Gift cards are divided into "open loop" or "network" cards and "closed loop" cards. The former are issued by banks or credit card companies and can be redeemed by different establishments, the latter by a specific store or restaurant and can be only redeemed by the issuing provider.
The latter, however, tend to have fewer problems with card value decay and fees. A third form is the "hybrid closed loop" card where the issuer has bundled a number of closed loop cards; an example is free gift cards for a specific mall. Gift cards differ from gift certificates , in that the latter are usually sold as a paper document with an authorized signature by a restaurant, store, or other individual establishment as a voucher for a future service; there is no electronic authorization.
A gift certificate may or may not have an expiration date and generally has no administrative fees. Bank-issued gift cards may be used in lieu of checks as a way to disburse rebate funds. Some retailers use the gift card system for refunds in lieu of cash thereby assuring that the customer will spend the funds at their store. A Charity Gift Card allows the gift giver to make a charitable donation, and the gift recipient to choose a charity that will receive the donation.
Mobile gift cards are delivered to mobile phones via email or SMS and phone apps allow users to carry only their cell phone. Benefits include tying them to a particular phone number and ease of distribution. Virtual gift cards are delivered via e-mail to the recipient, the benefits being that they cannot be lost and that the consumer does not have to drive to the bricks and mortar location to purchase a gift card.
Other companies have introduced virtual gift cards that users redeem on their smartphones. As the merchant is not involved in the loop, it is considered a cash transfer rather than a traditional gift card. It has been argued that holiday giving destroys value due to mismatching gifts. Gift cards, to a degree, may overcome this problem but have certain pitfalls.
Some feel that the absence of the thought of selecting a specific gift makes a gift card a worse choice than a poorly executed but individual gift. New services launched by some service providers allows for customization and personalization of gift cards.
The unique number of the gift card will not be listed with the line item on the receipt indicating the cost of the card. Instead, the number appears at the bottom of . Mastercard gift cards typically do not come with a PIN and most Visa gift cards do not. In the few instances in which a Visa gift card has a PIN, it is either the last four digits of the card number or a personal PIN added by the cardholder. Your E-Gift Card number may be used to purchase any merchandise on-line Phantom Gourmet Gift Card. by Phantom Gourmet. $ $ 50 00 Prime. FREE Shipping on eligible orders. Some options are Prime eligible. 5 out of 5 stars 4. Product Features gift card to the server.