The Good and Bad of Gift Vouchers

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Have you noticed the growing trend of gifting cards and vouchers on special occasions? Whether you like it or not, the trend is growing and growing fast. The matter of the fact is, more people love to give gift vouchers and not many people like to receive gift vouchers as gift. There could be many reasons for this, and in this article, we will discuss them in detail. First, the reasons why people love to gift vouchers.

Gift Cards & Gift Vouchers

Gift Voucher is a Perfect Last Minute Gift

For some people, buying gifts is a race against time! They always get it done in the nick of time. For those people who are a bit busy with their life, gift vouchers might prove helpful, as it does not take much time to buy one. These gift vouchers make sure that you do not have to walk in to someone’s house, for a birthday party or on some special occasion, empty handed. At least, you can yell out, ‘I have something for you!’ So, next time you are in a hurry to buy gifts, think about gift vouchers! Just make sure you do not make this a habit.

Easy to Buy and Gift

We already saw how gift vouchers make a good last minute gift and this is another reason that justifies the argument. You can just walk into any shop or shopping malls to buy gift vouchers. Today, gift vouchers are rolled out by simple pawnshops selling old television sets to large electronic stores selling modern 3D televisions! The popularity of gift vouchers started to rise with the advent of internet. The online shopping portals are one place where you can always buy or send gift vouchers for your loved ones.

Available in Many Denominations

Another great advantage of gift vouchers is that you will find them in different denominations. You can buy either Rs.500 or Rs.10000 worth gift vouchers! Yes, you can buy a ‘real’ gift with all that money, but it will take some valuable time out of your routine. In addition to this, you will have to spend some additional time in order to find your friend’s likes, what his interests are etc. But, if you are buying a gift voucher for the same amount of money, your friend will be able to choose something he likes, all by himself. What would you prefer: a random gift from your friend or a gift voucher, so that you can choose what you want?

Can Send Physically or Electronically

Once you buy the gift voucher, like any other gift, you can hand it over to the recipient, in person. But, what if you cannot attend the party in person? The good news is that you can send a gift voucher even by email! All you need to do is, buy a gift voucher from one of the online shopping websites and mail it straight to your friend! Now, if you fail to send the gift voucher across to your friend in time, these gift vouchers are always transferable. This means, either you can use it or send it to someone else.

There you have it, the reasons why people love to give gift vouchers on special occasions. But, when it comes to the recipients, the story is entirely different. Let us just say, gift vouchers are not exactly the gift people expect to find in their gift basket. Why? Here are the reasons.

Limits Your Options

It doesn’t matter whether you give a Rs.500 gift voucher or a Rs.10000 voucher, the recipient can use it only for a limited number of products. The majority of physical retailers has put limit on the products you can purchase with gift vouchers. In addition, these gift cards are not supposed to be used at any hotels or for renting cars. This also means that gift cards are never a replacement for your credit or debit cards. Maybe this is why people hate to receive gift vouchers on their birthdays and special occasions. Also, you will be only able to use the gift voucher on the store from where it was purchased. On other hand, if you are using a debit / credit card, you are free to roam around and purchase from any store that you find. Certainly limiting your options!

Extra Money

This might be something you already know, but yes, there may be extra hidden charges when making a purchase using gift voucher. Additionally, if you keep the gift card dormant for a long time, the issuer will start charging the card with small amounts as service charge. If the card is lost or misplaced, it will cost you some extra money to get it replaced. That means, you will start losing money unless you are using it. In short, after some time, gift vouchers can turn to be a pain in the neck and not everybody seems happy to take up this pain.

May encourage you to Overspend

As we saw, gift vouchers apply only to a limited number of products. You cannot buy anything outside this closed list. So, obviously, you will be tempted to spend the money on something other than these. When you shop, but after a while, it will start to annoy you. Sometimes, using Rs.500 gift card, you might buy something that costs Rs450. Now, the remaining Rs50 will be of no use, unless you decide to spend some more money from your pocket. So, you will be drawn to other products that may require further payment.

Gift Vouchers Expire

Some gift vouchers have an expiration date. You have to use the voucher before a given date or else you will lose all the money in credit. However, when you are giving this voucher to someone, the recipient may not be aware of this fact and the voucher may go unused. Thus, make sure your recipient know the expiration date so that the gift voucher is used before time runs out.

So, we can conclude that gift vouchers does have their advantages and disadvantages. It is not that you should not give gift vouchers to someone. But, when you do, make sure the voucher can be used for something useful, like to pay utilities or groceries etc. Call it ‘practical gift vouchers’! Then again, remember, this is only a last minute gift idea.

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About Harikrishnan G

Harikrishnan is the Chief Content Writer at He loves to hang out on the internet and make friends on Facebook. You can connect with him on Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn.

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