Gift cards vs cash

16 Dec 2021

Gift cards vs cash: the pros and cons of both

Several studies have shown that people prefer to receive gift cards rather than cash.

Here’s just a few of them:

  • 75% of consumers chose a prepaid card when given a choice between a £50 prepaid card and £50 cash
  • 82% of employees confirmed they wanted to receive gift card rewards from their employers
  • And, when asked what type of present was preferred to be received for occasions, 60% of people said a gift card

It’s no surprise therefore that 81% of companies in the UK offer employees non-cash rewards and recognition. We also know that 77% of employees work harder if they feel recognised, so understanding what type of rewards employees want can make a huge difference to performance and productivity.

So, when it comes to gift cards vs cash, what’s behind the overwhelming popularity of gift cards?

The benefits of gift cards

In comparison, gift cards win out in the end as they bring a whole bundle of benefits that cash can’t offer. These benefits are…

They’re memorable

As gift cards are usually single-merchant specific or multi-brand, the recipient is more likely to spend it on an unexpected treat for themselves. As a result, the gift card provides a more memorable experience than cash, and the item (or experience) they choose acts as a lasting trophy of their achievement.

They can be personalised

Whereas cash is a non-personal transaction, the giving and receiving of a gift card can be personalised to the individual by adding your company logo, the individual’s name, and even a short message. Doing so will help reinforce the reason for the reward and help the recipient remember who it was from.

They’re guilt-free

When it comes to spending gift cards vs cash, gift cards offer the recipient a guilt-free way to treat themselves. With cash, people can feel obliged to ‘do the right thing’ and put it towards an existing debt or upcoming bill. A gift card, however, is seen as a guilt-free treat with 76% of employees liking them as they can choose what they want

They’re talked about

Whereas people are reluctant to discuss cash, the opposite applies when it comes to gift cards. Why is this important for a business? You want employees to discuss their rewards with others as it inspires others to want to work towards achieving their own employee recognition. Items bought with gift cards also act as a visual reminder of the employee’s accomplishment.

They inspire positivity

An added benefit of gift cards being memorable, guilt-free, and widely discussed is that they help inspire positive feelings about the company. Gift cards are also more effective at motivating employees than cash rewards and 29% of recipients like them as they can re-gift them. They’re the employee reward that keeps on giving!

Want to stock up on gift cards for your business?
With over 775 million retail cards sold each year, Blackhawk Network is your trusted choice for single brand and multi-brand gift cards.

To discuss your Blackhawk Network get in touch today on 020 4517 5862.

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