Gift cards or vouchers which is the most popular?

It’s not simple to answer the question of whether cards or vouchers are more popular as this varies according to several factors – such as the value of each reward, who the recipients are and how often they can earn.

A recognition scheme, for example, may offer low value, token rewards which employees can win if nominated, as these are one off and low cost vouchers are probably best suited. Whereas if an employee can earn for sales on a regular basis, and they are traditionally a high performer, a card would be better suited, as they can save up their reward with a view to spending it on a larger value item. They could even top up their account with their own money to achieve a dream item. The card acts to reinforce the message of how they earned the reward every time it’s used.

There will always be a place for paper vouchers because they do exactly what they say on the tin.  Vouchers are easily understood and are liked for their ease of use – there is no need to go online or to ring a hotline to check the available balance. They are as close to cash as you can get, but with the added benefit of not being ‘swallowed up’ in the costs of everyday living. Vouchers are more memorable and have a greater impact, making them an effective tool to incentivise or motivate.

Cards are simply a modern twist on vouchers and appeal to those who prefer a quick and easy transaction at the till, as opposed to a short wait while vouchers are counted and verified.  However, vouchers will always have a place in the market as they can be purchased by organisations at a discount, therefore offering a better than cash solution which is cost effective and offers high perceived value to the end user.  Over the next few years we do believe we will see the introduction of more card based solutions but vouchers will always have a home in the incentives arena.

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