Types of Gift Cards 2023: A Comprehensive Guide

types of gift cards


Discover the ultimate guide to different types of gift cards. From iTunes to Google Play, explore the benefits and uses of various gift cards. Perfect for any occasion.

What Are Gift Cards?

Gift cards are prepaid cards that hold a specific monetary value, allowing recipients to make purchases at designated stores or businesses. They offer flexibility and convenience, making them a popular choice for gifting. Whether you’re considering buying gift cards for others or using them yourself, understanding the different types and their benefits is essential.

Types of Gift Cards

When it comes to gift cards, there are various types available to cater to different preferences and needs. Here are some common types of gift cards, even though most Nigerians looking out for types of gift cards are mainly looking forward to see things like, Steam wallet, Razer gold (this gift card is becoming really popular in Nigeria based on its high resell value), iTunes gift cards, steam gift card, amazon gift card, google play gift cards, sephora gift card, Macy gift card, Razer gold gift card, Nordstorm gift card, Amex gift card gift card, Vanilla gift cards, Nike gift card, Footlocker gift card, eBay gift card etc, this list under is a broader category of gift cards in which the above mentioned cards are classified

Open Loop Gift Cards:

These types of gift cards are issued by major credit card companies or financial institutions and can be used at multiple merchants. Examples include Visa, MasterCard, eBay, vanilla and American Express gift cards.

Closed Loop Gift Cards:

These types of gift cards are specific to a particular retailer or business and can only be used at their locations or affiliated establishments. Examples include gift cards for popular retailers like Amazon,steam wallet, iTunes, google play Walmart, and Starbucks.

Digital or E-Gift Cards:

These types gift cards are delivered electronically, usually via email or text message, we call this Ecode. Recipients can redeem them online or through mobile apps for various products or services.

Benefits of Gift Cards

Gift cards offer numerous benefits for both the givers and recipients. Understanding these advantages can help you make informed decisions when purchasing or using a particular types of gift cards.

  • Convenience and Flexibility:

Gift cards provide the convenience of choosing desired products or services, giving recipients the freedom to select items they truly want or need. They offer flexibility in terms of where and when they can be used.

  • Last-Minute Gifting:

Gift cards are perfect for last-minute gifts, ensuring that you can still give a thoughtful present even when time is limited.

  • Uncertainty of Recipient’s Preferences:

When you’re unsure of the recipient’s preferences or are not familiar with their specific tastes, a gift card allows them to choose what suits them best.

  • Budgeting and Controlling Spending:

Gift cards can help individuals budget their expenses and control their spending since they have a predetermined value.

  • Long-Distance Gifting:

Digital types of gift cards or e-gift cards make it easy to send presents to loved ones who are far away. With just a few clicks, you can deliver a thoughtful gift instantly via email.

Nigeria has a thriving gift card market, with several popular options available. These gift cards are widely accepted and provide a range of choices for recipients. Let’s explore some of the most sought-after gift cards in Nigeria:

  • Shoprite gift Card:

This cards are prepaid cards that can be used as a form of payment at Shoprite stores in Nigeria. They offer convenience and flexibility, allowing recipients to choose from a wide range of products. Shoprite gift cards are widely accepted, easy to use, and make great gifts for various occasions. They can be purchased at Shoprite stores or through authorized retailers in different denominations.

shoprite gift card
  • Jumia Gift Cards:

Jumia is one of the largest e-commerce platforms in Nigeria. Jumia gift cards provide recipients with the flexibility to choose from a wide range of products, including electronics, fashion, home appliances, and more.

  • Konga Gift Cards:

Konga is another popular e-commerce platform in Nigeria. Konga gift cards offer recipients the opportunity to select from a diverse range of products, including electronics, fashion, beauty, and home essentials.

  • Uber Gift Cards:

Uber gift cards are convenient for those who frequently use ride-sharing services in Nigeria. They can be used to pay for rides through the Uber app, providing a convenient and reliable transportation option.

Uses of Gift Cards

Gift cards have versatile uses beyond traditional gifting. Let’s explore some of the common scenarios where gift cards come in handy:

  • Personal Shopping:

Gift cards allow individuals to treat themselves to desired products or experiences, whether it’s purchasing new clothing, electronics, or indulging in a spa day.

  • Corporate Gifting and Employee Rewards:

Many companies use gift cards as incentives or rewards for their employees, recognizing their hard work and dedication.

  • Fundraising and Charity Events:

Gift cards can be donated to charitable organizations or used for fundraising purposes, providing a practical and convenient way to support causes.

  • Incentives and Loyalty Programs:

Gift cards are often used as incentives or rewards in customer loyalty programs, encouraging repeat business and fostering customer satisfaction.

Functions of Gift Cards

Gift cards serve multiple functions, ensuring smooth transactions and a hassle-free gifting experience. Let’s explore these functions in detail:

  • Electronic Transactions and Online Purchases:

Gift cards facilitate electronic transactions, allowing users to make purchases both online and in physical stores.

  • Tracking and Managing Balances:

Many types of gift cards have online portals or mobile apps that enable users to track their card balances, ensuring they know how much value is remaining.

  • Activation and Registration Processes:

Some gift cards require activation or registration before they can be used. These processes typically involve providing necessary information and verifying card ownership.

  • Securing and Protecting Card Information:

Gift cards employ security measures to protect cardholders’ information and prevent unauthorized use. These measures may include PIN codes, activation codes, or other security features.

How to Sell Gift Cards in Nigeria

If you have unused gift cards, you can convert them into cash in Nigeria. Follow these steps to sell gift cards for cash:

Research Reputable Gift Card Exchange Platforms:

Look for reliable platforms/Vendor that specialize in gift card reselling and have positive user reviews.

Compare Rates and Fees:

Different vendors may offer varying rates and charge different fees for their services. Compare the rates and fees to maximize your returns.

Create an Account:

Sign up for an account on your chosen gift card exchange platform and provide the necessary details.

Verify Card Authenticity and Balance:

Ensure that your gift card is valid, authentic, and has the correct balance. Some platforms may require you to submit proof of the card’s authenticity.

Choose Payment Method and Complete the Transaction:

Select your preferred payment method, such as bank transfer or mobile money, and follow the platform’s instructions to complete the sale.

How to Redeem Gift Cards Online

Redeeming gift cards online is a convenient way to use them. Follow these steps to redeem gift cards online:

  • Visit the Retailer’s Website or Online Store:

Access the website or online store of the retailer affiliated with your gift card.

  • Browse the Products or Services:

Explore the available products or services and add desired items to your shopping cart.

  • Proceed to Checkout:

When you’re ready to complete your purchase, proceed to the checkout page.

  • Enter Gift Card Details:

Look for the option to enter a gift card code or apply a gift card during the checkout process. Enter the gift card details as required.

  • Verify Applied Discount or Payment Deduction:

Check that the applied discount or payment deduction from the gift card reflects accurately in your final order summary.

  • Complete the Transaction:

Follow the retailer’s instructions to complete the transaction, providing any necessary payment information or shipping details.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Gift Cards

To make the most of your types of gift cards, it’s essential to avoid common mistakes that can lead to wasted value or unsatisfactory experiences. Here are some mistakes to steer clear of:

  1. Not Checking Expiration Dates: Many gift cards have expiration dates, so it’s crucial to check and use them before they expire.
  2. Discarding or Losing Gift Cards: Treat gift cards like cash and keep them in a safe place to avoid misplacement or loss. Unused gift card balances represent wasted value.
  3. Failing to Track Remaining Balance: Keep track of the remaining balance on your gift cards to ensure you use their full value.
  4. Ignoring Terms and Conditions: Familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions associated with your gift card, including any restrictions or usage limitations.

Gift Card Etiquette:

Dos and Don’t: Understanding gift card etiquette can enhance your gifting experiences and ensure that your recipients appreciate your thoughtful gesture. Here are some dos and don’t to consider:


  • Do personalize the gift card with a thoughtful message or accompanying greeting card.
  • Do consider the recipient’s preferences and interests when selecting the gift card.
  • Do provide clear instructions on how to redeem and use the gift card.
  • Do encourage the recipient to treat themselves or indulge in something special.


  • Don’t re-gift a used or partially used gift card.
  • Don’t assume that all gift cards have expiration dates; always check the terms and conditions.
  • Don’t forget to inform the recipient of the gift card’s value to avoid any confusion during redemption.
  • Don’t assume that a gift card replaces the need for a personal connection or thoughtful gesture.

Tips for Choosing the Right Type of Gift Card:

Choosing the right types of gift cards involves considering the occasion, recipient’s preferences, and their unique interests. Here are some tips to help you select the perfect gift card:

  1. Consider the Recipient’s Hobbies, Interests, or Wish List: Think about what the recipient enjoys doing, their hobbies, or any specific items they may want. This knowledge will help you choose a gift card that aligns with their preferences.
  2. Research the Recipient’s Favorite Stores or Brands: If you know the recipient’s preferred stores or brands, selecting a gift card from one of those establishments ensures they can shop for something they truly desire.
  3. Opt for Versatile Gift Cards: Choose gift cards that offer a wide range of options, allowing recipients to select from various products or services based on their preferences.
  4. Choose Themed Gift Cards for Specific Occasions: Consider themed gift cards tailored to the occasion. For birthdays, you could choose a gift card for a popular online retailer, while for weddings, a registry or store-specific gift card may be more appropriate.

Exploring Unique Gift Card Options

Experiences, Subscription Boxes, and More: Gift cards are not limited to traditional retail options. Explore these unique gift card ideas that provide memorable experiences or distinct benefits:

  1. Experiences: Consider gift cards for spa treatments, cooking classes, adventure activities, or travel experiences. These experiential gift cards offer unforgettable moments and create lasting memories.
  2. Subscription Boxes: Subscription box gift cards have gained popularity in recent years. They provide recipients with curated packages of products or services tailored to their interests, delivered right to their doorstep on a regular basis.
  3. Online Services: Explore gift cards for popular online services, such as streaming platforms, online courses, or digital platforms that offer a variety of entertainment or educational options.

Gift Card Regulations

Understanding gift card regulations and consumer rights can protect your interests as a buyer or user. Here are some aspects to be aware of:

  1. Expiration Dates: Gift cards may have expiration dates, which vary based on local regulations and the specific terms of the card. Familiarize yourself with the expiration policy to ensure you use your gift card within the specified time frame.
  2. Fees and Charges: Some gift cards may have associated fees or charges, such as maintenance fees or activation fees. Be aware of any potential costs before purchasing or using a gift card.
  3. Consumer Protection Agencies: Familiarize yourself with consumer protection agencies or organizations that oversee gift card practices in your country or region. These entities can provide valuable information and guidance regarding your rights as a consumer.

The Future of Gift Cards

Trends and Innovations: Gift cards continue to evolve with advancements in technology and consumer preferences. Here are some trends and innovations shaping the future of gift cards:

  1. Digital and Mobile Gift Cards: Digital gift cards, also known as e-gift cards, have gained popularity due to their convenience and ease of delivery. Mobile gift cards, accessible through smartphones, provide users with instant access to their gift card information and make redemption seamless.
  2. Integration with Mobile Wallets and Payment Apps: Gift cards are increasingly being integrated into mobile wallets and payment apps, allowing users to store and manage their gift cards alongside their other financial instruments.
  3. Enhanced Personalization Options: To add a personal touch, gift cards now offer enhanced customization options. Users can choose from various designs, add personalized messages, or even upload photos for a more personalized gifting experience.
  4. Integration with Loyalty and Rewards Programs: Gift cards are often linked to loyalty and rewards programs, providing users with additional benefits, such as earning points or receiving exclusive offers when using their gift cards.

Personalizing Gift Cards

Customization and Personal Touches: Adding a personal touch to gift cards can make them even more meaningful. Here are some ideas for personalizing gift cards:

  1. Customizing the Design or Message: Many gift card providers allow users to select custom designs or add personalized messages, making the gift card more visually appealing and heartfelt.
  2. Pairing with a Handwritten Note or Greeting Card: Accompany the gift card with a handwritten note or greeting card expressing your sentiments and well-wishes.
  3. Adding Small, Thoughtful Accompanying Gifts: Consider pairing the gift card with small, thoughtful accompanying gifts that complement the recipient’s interests or enhance their overall gifting experience.

Creative Ways to Present Gift Cards

Gift cards can be made even more special by presenting them creatively. Here are some unique ideas for presenting and packaging gift cards:

  1. DIY Gift Card Holders and Envelopes: Create personalized gift card holders or envelopes using craft materials or templates available online.
  2. Customized Gift Card Boxes or Jars: Design or customize gift card boxes or jars to hold the gift card, adding an element of surprise and delight.
  3. Incorporating Gift Cards into Themed Gift Baskets or Gift Sets: Combine the gift card with related items to create themed gift baskets or gift sets. For example, pair a restaurant gift card with gourmet food items or cooking utensils.
  4. Pairing with Small, Thoughtful Accompanying Gifts: Enhance the presentation by including small, thoughtful accompanying gifts that complement the gift card. For instance, pair a spa gift card with scented candles or bath accessories.

Gift Cards for Special Events

Weddings, Birthdays, and Anniversaries: Gift cards can be great gifts for special events. Consider these gift card ideas for occasions like weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries:

  1. Weddings: Gift cards to major retailers, home decor stores, or travel agencies can be ideal for newlyweds starting their lives together.
  2. Birthdays: Choose gift cards for the recipient’s favorite stores, restaurants, or entertainment venues, ensuring they can celebrate their special day exactly as they wish.
  3. Anniversaries: Consider gift cards for romantic getaways, fine dining experiences, or spa retreats, allowing couples to celebrate their milestone in style.


Gift cards offer flexibility, convenience, and the joy of choice. Whether you’re purchasing gift cards for others or using them yourself, understanding the types of gift cards, benefits, and functionalities is essential. By exploring popular options, learning how to sell gift cards, and understanding the dos and don’t of gift card etiquette, you can make the most of this versatile gifting solution. Stay informed about the latest trends, personalize your gift cards, and explore hidden gems to enhance your gifting experiences. Embrace the future of gift cards while enjoying the present-day convenience they provide.

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