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Plastic Gift Cards vs. eGift Cards; Which One Is Better?

It’s easy to overlook how technology has changed our lives. We use email instead of mailing letters. Instead of talking, we text and browse the web on our phones. Technology has also influenced how people purchase for gifts. If you look at recent years’ statistics, you’ll notice that the majority of people choose gift cards rather than particular items for gifts. In today’s EZ PIN blog article we want to talk about plastic gift cards vs. eGift cards and tell you which one is better.

You might be thinking if you should convert your gift card program to an eGift card program now that everything seems to be going digital.

Plastic Gift Cards vs. eGift Cards; Which One Is Better? eGift Cards? “Probably not,” is the short response.

You have various unique alternatives as a business owner who wants to offer gift cards for your products or services, including paper, plastic, and even digital. What kind of gift card should you get for your company? Let’s take a deeper look at each of these possibilities.

Physical Gift Cards

Customers present physical gift cards in the form of cards in stores, whilst digital gift cards are presented via mobile devices. Despite the cost-effectiveness of e-gift cards, there are advantages to utilizing physical gift cards instead.

Plastic Gift Cards vs. eGift Cards


Digital gift cards, especially those obtained online, are vulnerable to fraud. Customers must not only provide personal information in order to purchase gift cards, but scammers are also utilizing e-gift cards to steal money through chargeback and resell tactics. These security problems are eliminated with physical gift cards.

Ease of Use

Anyone who has ever bought a real gift card is familiar with the procedure. It’s straightforward. The eGift card method, on the other hand, is a little time-consuming. They must purchase the card and email or text it to the receiver. After that, the recipient must save the card to their mobile device in order to use it. Some receivers may not have access to a device that accepts e-gift cards, rendering the cards unusable.


When you buy a physical gift card, you get it right away. Digital gift cards must be emailed to the receiver and may be blocked by email security measures, making them harder to locate and overlook.

Better Gift-Giving Experience

Plastic gift cards certainly stand out when it comes to gift giving and receiving. It feels artificial and impersonal when an online gift card arrives in your recipient’s email. A plastic gift card, on the other hand, is still a physical giving and receiving experience. It can be slipped into a colorful sleeve, attached to a greeting card, or packaged in a stylish box for your consumers. They still derive pleasure from giving a gift to a loved one and watching their reaction when they open the gift. Plastic gift cards can be packaged with beautiful backers, sleeves, or envelopes to make them feel more like a “genuine” gift.

eGift Cards

eGift cards (digital gift cards) are equally popular, but they have a smaller range of options than traditional gift cards. An online gift card solution which is provided by EZ PIN could be a good fit for exclusively online shops. If you opt to offer an online gift card, make sure to inform resellers that the recipient (customers) should check their trash, spam, or other secondary folders.

Another word of caution: we’ve heard anecdotal accounts of people purchasing an eGift card and the receiver never receiving it in their email, much to the purchaser’s chagrin.

Things You Need to Know about eGift Cards

Electronic gift cards, also known as eGift cards, digital gift cards, mobile gift cards, and virtual gift cards, are gift vouchers (not cards) distributed via email, SMS text, social media, and smartphone apps. Despite the fact that this new way of gifting is popular in holiday seasons during COVID-19 Pandemic, just a small percentage of consumers have sent or used digital gift cards to date. That, however, is about to change.

Plastic Gift Cards vs. eGift Cards - 1

People will undoubtedly turn to digital giving as mobile money transactions become more common. Consumers should be aware of the following five points in order to have a great eGift card experience.

Timing is Everything

One of the most significant advantages of sending gift cards electronically is that the present can be sent almost instantly (and for no cost!).

Although eGift cards are ideal for last-minute gifts, I recommend giving a small window of time (an hour or more) between ordering the card and the time you need it delivered. Because gift card issuers must accept the transaction, run it through fraud screening processes, and finish the distribution electronically, you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to deal with any problems that arise. (Imagine receiving an eGift card and subsequently discovering a “undeliverable email” notification in your own mailbox.)

The Right Address is Critical

Whether you entered the contact information correctly or nor, the eGift card issuer’s responsibility is met when digital distribution is successful.

On numerous merchants’ websites, the terms and conditions plainly state that an eGift transaction is complete once delivery confirmation is received. Furthermore, once redeemed, eGift cards cannot be refunded. You would have been out the entire purchase amount if someone else had opened the misdirected email and claimed the gift card.

You May Have to Follow Up

Successful delivery indicates that the technology worked–the email was delivered, the SMS message was received, the Facebook post was published, and so on. The fact that the present was delivered successfully does not imply that the receiver was aware of it.

Send electronic gift cards to the recipient’s preferred mode of communication, and double-check contact details ahead of time. Send a pleasant exploratory email to see if you get a response if you’re not sure which email address is preferred. If you have a cell phone number or a social media account, do the same thing. “Which email address do you prefer?” don’t wait till your eGift is lost in cyberspace to inquire. Follow up if you don’t hear back from the recipient within a fair amount of time.

Some eGifts Only Work Online

Some merchants limit eGift card redemption to online transactions, despite the fact that many eGift cards can be used in stores. Such requirements should be specified explicitly on the store or restaurant’s website. For example, Visa eGift Cards must be used online.

Lost eGift Cards are Not Lost

Physical gift cards are difficult to replace if lost and can be acquired reasonably discreetly. eGift cards, on the other hand, are unique. These cards are usually purchased online, with the buyer providing an email address, credit card number, physical address, and maybe even a phone number before finalizing the transaction. The recipient, who will almost certainly need to claim the code in some way, will also have to provide contact information. With all of these characteristics, it’s simple to track down and replace eGift cards if the recipient loses track of the original notification.

What do you think? Plastic Gift Cards vs. eGift Cards; Which One Is Better?

Do you have any further questions regarding eGift cards or require assistance with gift cards? Please feel free to contact us via comments section, Facebook or Instagram (@ez_pin).