A gift card is a prepaid debit card that can be loaded with any amount of money you want. You can also purchase pre-loaded cars with a set number of dollars in them. In terms of size, gift cards don’t differ much from standard debit or credit cards.
Gift cards follow the CR80 standard specification, which is 3-3/8 × 2-1/8 inches with a 0.3-inch thickness. However, if you want to custom-make gift cards for your business, you can make them in virtually any size you want.
There’s so much more we can learn about gift cards apart from their size. So, if you’d like to know how gift cards differ from e-gift cards and gift certificates and how you can make your own, keep reading.
What Is a Gift Card?
A gift card is a prepaid card that is loaded with money. It works similarly to a debit card, in which you can swipe a gift card and receive your goods without having to fork over cash money.
You’re probably already familiar with gift cards and how useful they are. Basically, they’re free money that the user can spend at a certain location. By free, I mean the user doesn’t have to spend a single cent unless their purchase exceeds the loaded dollar figure in the gift card.
All sorts of companies have started using gift cards, including companies that sell skins and other things for their video games. So, if you have a company of your own, you should probably think about getting into the gift card game.
Gift Card vs. E-Gift Cards vs. Gift Certificates
Gift cards are not unique in the sense that they come with a prepaid amount of money loaded in them. Let’s take a look at other alternatives that you can use to promote your business and get more customers to spend money in your store.
E-gift cards are like regular gift cards. The only differences are that e-gift cards are typically single-use codes that customers can input upon checking out and you don’t have to print out a physical card, which can save your business time and money.
A gift certificate is a single-use sheet of paper that contains a unique code. It works similar to a gift card in that the customer doesn’t have to pay in cash unless their purchase surpasses the loaded limit in the certificate. After the gift certificate has been used, the store will usually shred it.
What Size Is a Gift Card?
The traditional gift card will follow the same size specifications as credit cards and debit cards, which is known as CR80. CR80 cards measure 3-3/8 × 2-1/8 inches and have a thickness of about 0.3 inches. They have rounded corners so they can slip easily inside a wallet without tugging on the leather.
Gift cards are made of PVC that is overlaid with a laminate film that companies can print text and images on. Most gift cards will contain the name of the store, its logo, and the original amount of money that was loaded into the gift card upon issuance.
If you look online, the materials for making your own gift card are highly accessible. So, you can print your own gift cards and distribute them to family members and friends if you’d like to get them to come into your shop.
How to Make a Gift Card
Although traditional gift cards for Walmart, Amazon, Target, and other large retailers are made of PVC, you can use any material you want for your business’ gift cards. However, if you want your gift card to look as pleasant as it is durable, you should really consider using PVC or even recycled wood.
As long as you have some knowledge of using a vector graphics editing program, such as Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape, you shouldn’t have much trouble sizing and printing your own gift cards. Here’s how you design a gift card.
Open the program and create a new canvas.
Set the dimensions to 3-3/8 × 2-1/8 inches (3.375 × 2.125 inches or 85.6 × 53.98 millimeters). Alternatively, you can use any size you want.
Choose the background color using the rectangle tool. Feel free to add a white border along the perimeter of the rectangle for print bleed (ink from the image will transfer onto the blank margin).
Add your company’s logo.
Add text, numbers, and any relevant information. Consider adding a unique QR code to your gift card.
Repeat these steps for the back side of the card, though you might want to include different details, such as the card’s expiration date and any terms or conditions that apply to the gift card.
Many of us don’t have the right equipment at hope to print intricate designs on sheets of thin PVC or wood. So, you should consider reaching out to a local printer to see whether they can imprint your design on sheets of plastic or wood at the correct dimensions.
Can You Make Money with Gift Cards?
As you can see, your business will actually have to spend money in order to print and issue gift cards. However, you can offset the costs of printing a gift card by including a purchase fee for every card. For instance, try selling a $50 gift card for $54.95 before tax. If a customer wants to load a gift card with a certain amount, add a purchase fee (any amount over the cost of materials) to the transaction.
Something worth noting is that between 1 and 2 percent of the money loaded into all gift cards goes unused. So, if someone purchases a gift card for $50, there’s a good chance that $0.50 to $100 of that money will not be spent.
Just so you know, gift cards typically have an expiration date of around five years after the date of purchase. So, there is plenty of time for people to spend the money on gift cards in your store. However, if you’re like me, you have probably lost more gift cards than you have redeemed.