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Custom Gift Cards...the basics

Understanding the fundamentals of gift cards is essential for promoting growth and further revenue generation for your business.

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Question #1: What is a gift card?

A card that is given as a gift to friends, family or community members. You can load a specific monetary value onto it, so customers can purchase items or services from your company.

Report - why does a business need custom gift cards
Question #2: Why does a business need custom gift cards?

Plastic gift cards are the most profitable item you can sell as a business. This lead generating machine is the most cost effective way to acquire new business and it is an effective promotional tool to bring your target customers back. 

Test tubes - types of gift cards
Question #3: Types of gift cards.

We design and print a variety of gift card styles, some of our most popular options are:

  • Face Value Cards
  • Barcode
  • Magnetic Stripe Gift Cards
  • Human Readable Numbers
  • Die Cut Cards
  • Embossing
  • Foil Stamped Cards
  • Scratch-Off
  • RFID
  • NFC

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Business Gift Cards
Machines with gift cards and money

Lead Generating Machine


Gift Cards are the most cost effective way to acquire new customers. Generally, your customers gift YOUR business to their friends and family giving you a warm referral from someone they know and trust. Capitalize on your custom gift cards by:

  • Displaying them prominently at the register. Customers cannot buy what they cannot see.
  • Offering promotional gift cards to encourage repeat customers to come back especially when a 3/4 of people redeeming gift cards spend more than the value.
  • Incorporating promotions during the holiday season; nearly 20% of all gift card sales take place during this time.

Custom Gift Cards...Just the stats

For the 12th year in a row, the #1 gift people want to receive is gift cards.

72% of consumers will return to the store after visiting for a first time due to a gift card.

The average consumer will buy 4 gift cards this holiday season.

60% of consumers say that gift cards are the gift they want to receive most.

75% of consumers will overspend the value of their gift card by $38 or more.


Over $1 billion in gift cards go unused every year.


Common Questions

Typical questions pertaining to gift card printing.

What is the difference between a barcode and a magnetic stripe?

Magnetic Stripes are used when businesses want to swipe a business gift card or they need to use a credit card processing system to process their custom gift cards. Magnetic stripes gift cards should be printed with human readable numbers in case the magnetic stripe is accidentally damaged or demagnetized.

Barcodes are a machine-readable optical labels added to gift cards to make them scannable by POS systems. The specific type of barcode used on custom plastic gift cards is typically determined by a business' existing POS system. Barcodes are one-dimensional and must be printed black over white to work properly. 

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Do you have to have a Point of Sale (POS) provider to have gift cards?

No, you do not have to have a Point of Sale (POS) provider to have custom plastic gift cards! There are two types of business gift cards that will work without a POS system.

Face Value Cards come with a monetary value printed directly on the card. They can be printed with the value alone or combined with magnetic stripes and barcodes.

Human Readable Numbers are small numerals used on custom gift cards to pull up an account by manually entering the number into a POS system. Generally, they are used with magnetic stripes or barcodes as a backup in case a card is demagnetized or broken. 

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Do your plastic gift cards hold a balance?

Yes, they do. Each custom plastic gift card that has a barcode or magnetic stripe has a number or code that is unique to that specific gift card. The POS system reads the account number and finds it within it's database. Once the POS system finds the account, you can view the account information and the specific value for the plastic gift card.

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Can you reuse your custom gift cards?

Generally, business gift cards can be reloaded if they have a barcode or magnetic stripe. Ultimately, it will depend on the Point of Sale (POS) system that you use. Your POS system must have a specific function that allows you to reload money to any gift card's account number. 

If your POS gives you the option to reload your gift cards, there are two common methods for reusing custom plastic gift cards. Once the card hits a zero balance, you can put it back onto the shelf. Alternatively, you can add money onto the card before it hits zero, this is a great tactic for recurring business.

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How many different versions/designs can you print?

You can print as many versions and/or designs as you want! We are here to make your vision come to life. Whether you have an idea for your plastic gift card or need an idea, we are here to help.

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When a gift card is purchased, do I get the credit immediately or once the gift card is used?

You will be credited immediately after someone purchases a gift card. If a customer never uses their gift card, you've made money simply by selling a plastic card!

Our Happy Clients Say...

Our professional customers come from every industry imaginable and they rave about the products we created for them.

“Thank you Plastic Printers for delivering a superb design of my new custom shaped business cards and for helping make my event special. Everyone loved the new design and asked where I had them made.”

Eddie Wynne

PGA Head Golf Professional - University of Minnesota Golf Club

“The card is a direct reflection of the quality of our business as reliable, credible and trustworthy. People literally say, "Wow. You don't throw THIS away" when we hand them out."

Trevor Caster

President - Caster Investment Group

“Every element of these cards were designed to be accurate to 1/1000 of an inch, and I can tell there was no deviation among them, because they're all clear! This is the quality of work I was looking for, something I know I wouldn't have been able to achieve elsewhere.”

Rashad Nasir

CEO & Director of Web Operations - ThinkCode

“The process was quick and easy and our customers love that they are able to use the loyalty cards while buying gift cards."

Denise Moody

Owner - Coffee Bean Plus

“The gift cards and gift card envelopes were absolutely a smart investment. We are extremely excited to offer them to clients because we love them and they look awesome!”

Lorey Giblin

Management - Breathe Easy

Join thousands of industry leaders and business professionals in setting the standard for custom gift cards.
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