Using prepaid Visa cards as an incentive tool has become increasingly popular in the U.S. and U.K. over the past five years, and we're now seeing this trend take hold in Canada in a noticeable way. Yet we have found that there are still some misconceptions about what exactly prepaid corporate incentive cards are and how they work. We'll try to clear up those misconceptions here
What is a prepaid corporate incentive card?
First of all, there are two basic types of prepaid incentive cards: re-loadable and single-load.
With re-loadable cards, you start by loading a certain amount of money onto a prepaid Visa card. You can then add money to the card as you need to. These cards are great for customer loyalty programs. For example, if a customer spends a certain amount of money in your store, you could load a percentage of what they spend onto their card. These cards can also work for ongoing employee rewards. If you reward your sales staff for meeting certain targets every week, month or quarter, you don't need to use a new prepaid card each time. You can add to a re-loadable card. Re-loading is easy and is entirely done remotely.
With single-load cards, you still start by loading a certain amount of money onto a prepaid Visa card, but once the balance runs out, the card can no longer be used. These cards are a good option for enticing new customers with a one-time reward, or as a low-cost way of offering rebates and refunds. They can also be used for employee rewards that you don't expect to be ongoing for example, a one-off contest.
How is a prepaid corporate incentive card different from a gift card?
Gift cards are limited to one store or to buy one specific brand. A gift card for the Gap can only be used at the Gap. Prepaid corporate incentive cards, on the other hand, can be used anywhere Visa is accepted. And there are no restrictions on what the recipient can buy, either.
Also, when you give a gift card as an incentive, you're actively promoting someone else's brand. Prepaid corporate incentive cards can be branded with your logo, so every time your customers, channel partners or employees use their card, they'll remember where it came from. This provides a huge marketing advantage over gift cards. Think about the brand loyalty you're getting when recipients associate the positive buying experience of using their prepaid card with your brand or logo.
How is it different from a credit card?
The money loaded onto a prepaid card isn't "credit". The recipient doesn't owe that money to anyone, and they never have to pay it back. Instead the balance is paid in advance and prepaid corporate incentive cards can be used just like cash. Recipients can buy anything they like, anywhere Visa is accepted.
Please don't hesitate to get in touch with us with any more questions you may have.