Open Loop Gift Cards: Revolution in Business Incentives

It’s Free. 100 % Customizable. Available 24/7. Anywhere in the World.

Over time, the use of gift cards has grown in popularity, and in the coming years, the market for gift cards is expected to expand even further. While closed loop gift cards, which can only be used at a specific retailer or brand have been around for a long time, open loop gift cards are quickly gaining popularity, especially in the business world. In this article, we’ll look at how open loop gift cards are transforming corporate incentives and why they’re a great choice for organizations that want to motivate and reward their staff or clients.

What are Open Loop Gift Cards?

Prepaid debit cards, known as open loop gift cards, can be used anywhere that accepts the associated payment network. These cards, which can be loaded with a specific financial amount, are issued by credit card companies, banks, or other financial institutions. The most known open loop cards are Visa, MasterCard, or even American Express prepaid cards. Then, they can be used in order to make a purchase at any store or online retailer that accepts the payment processor connected to the card.

Unlike closed loop gift cards, which can only be used at one particular store or business, open loop gift cards can be used anywhere. Closed loop gift cards are often issued by merchants themselves and are only valid for transactions made at those merchants’ physical locations or online. While closed loop gift cards are an excellent choice for consumers wishing to present a certain brand or merchant as a gift, open loop gift cards provide greater flexibility and variety.

The Benefits of Open Loop Gift Cards

Open loop cards are quickly becoming a popular option for businesses looking to incentivize and reward their employees or customers. There are multiple reasons for this new trend:


The flexibility of open loop cards is one of their main benefits. They give workers or customers the freedom to buy whatever they want because they can be used anywhere that accepts the payment system linked to the card. They are therefore a more desirable reward than money, which may be viewed as impersonal or having less meaning. With open loop gift cards, the cardholders can decide how to use the money to get what they actually want or need, adding greater significance and lasting memory to the incentive.

Control and Accountability

Open loop gift cards provide businesses more power and accountability. Those gift cards can be easily tracked and monitored, as opposed to cash bonuses, which can be challenging to track and monitor. The use of incentives is made more appropriate and efficient for firms as a result of this. To avoid fraud or abuse, businesses can also put restrictions on the amount that can be charged to each card or keep track of each card’s balance.

Branding Potential

The branding possibilities of open loop gift cards as a corporate incentive is yet another advantage. Many open loop gift cards can be personalized with the business’s branding or emblem to serve as a tangible reminder of the firm and its principles. By doing this, you may increase employee and customer loyalty and brand recognition. Additionally, it acts as a constant reminder of the company and its offerings.

Incentivize Specific Behaviors or Outcomes

Gift cards with an open loop can be used to reward particular actions or results. Businesses might, for instance, give out gift cards as a reward for hitting sales targets, finishing up training programs, or accomplishing other performance goals. Employees may be inspired and encouraged to pursue superiority as a result. Businesses can track their progress toward reaching their goals by establishing specific targets and using the data to drive their actions.

Customer Loyalty Programs

Gift cards with open loops can be a helpful addition to consumer loyalty programs. Businesses can give out gift cards as incentives for returning customers, customer recommendations, and other desired activities. As a concrete incentive for their loyalty, this can assist enhance customer engagement and retention. Businesses may encourage long-term loyalty through rewarding consumer behavior and strengthening customer relationships.

Easy Distribution

Open loop gift cards are a practical choice for businesses because they are simple to distribute. They are simple to order as bulk gift cards and give out to employees or clients electronically or physically. Compared to other incentive choices like gifts or trips, this saves firms time and resources.


Open loop gift cards are versatile and are able to be used for a variety of incentives, from consumer loyalty programs to employee recognition programs. Because of their adaptability, they are a beneficial tool for corporations of all sizes and in all sectors. They can be tailored to meet the unique requirements and objectives of the company, whether those include motivating sales, enhancing customer happiness, or encouraging employee wellness.

Boost Employee Morale and Engagement

Additionally, open loop gift cards might boost employee involvement and morale. Businesses can demonstrate to their staff that their hard work are respected and appreciated by rewarding good performance with gift cards. This may increase motivation and job happiness, which will boost productivity and general performance. Additionally, it promotes a supportive workplace environment where employees understand their value and feel appreciated for their contributions.


price per card can be cut down by buying them in bulk at a lower price. Additionally, they relieve up firms from having to invest time and money in organizing and distributing tangible rewards like travel or items. This makes open loop gift cards an affordable choice for companies wishing to reward employees or clients.

Implement open loop gift cards into your business

Determine the incentive goals

Before implementing open loop gift cards into your businesses, you should determine your incentive goals. What behaviors or outcomes are your company looking to incentivize? What are the specific targets or goals you want to achieve? Answering these questions will help your business choose the right type of gift card and customize the incentive program to fit your specific needs.

Choose the right gift card provider

There are many gift card issuers on the market, and businesses should choose one that meets their specific needs. Look for a provider that offers customization options, such as branding or personalized messaging. It is also important to choose a provider with a reliable payment network and easy-to-use tracking and monitoring tools.

Decide on the reward amount

The value of the gift cards’ rewards should be decided by the business. This will depend on the incentive goals and the budget available. It is important to pick a reward amount that is both significant and inspiring and yet still affordable.

Create the incentive program

You can build the incentive program once the goals of the program, gift card issuer, and award amount have been settled. This includes establishing precise goals or targets, telling employees or consumers about the program, and distributing the gift cards.

Potential Challenges of Open Loop Gift Cards

While open loop gift cards offer many benefits as a business incentive, there are also some potential challenges to consider. Here are some most common things to look out for with open loop gift cards.

Limited redemption options

Unlike closed loop gift cards, which can only be redeemed at specific merchants, open loop gift cards can be redeemed at any merchant that accepts the card’s payment network. However, there may still be limitations on where the gift cards can be used. For example, some merchants may not accept certain types of gift cards or may have restrictions on the amount that can be redeemed at one time.

Additional Fees

Gift cards with open loops could include additional costs like transaction or activation fees. The result of such a fees might be that your employees might receive the gift card with lower value. Any fees connected with the gift cards should be known by businesses, and they should make sure that recipients are aware of them.

Expired or lost gift cards

Also open loop gift cards may lose value or expire, frustrating the recipient and possibly making the business lose out on the incentive. Businesses should pick gift cards with long expiration dates to prevent theft and provide ways to replace lost or stolen gift cards.

Inadequate tracking and monitoring

To ensure the effectiveness of the incentive program, businesses need to track and monitor the gift cards’ use and redemption. This can be challenging, especially for businesses with large numbers of recipients. Choosing a gift card provider with easy-to-use tracking and monitoring tools can help businesses stay on top of their incentive programs.

The world of business rewards has been entirely reshaped by open loop gift cards. They are a well-liked option for businesses of all sizes and industries because they provide numerous advantages, including flexibility, simplicity, and cost effectiveness. Open loop gift cards can encourage consumer loyalty, increase sales, and raise employee morale and engagement. Businesses can successfully adopt open loop gift cards as an incentive program that fits their unique goals and needs by following a few easy steps.

The possible downsides of open loop gift cards, such as the few redemption choices, fees, and insufficient tracking and monitoring, should be noted by businesses. By taking these factors into consideration and choosing the right gift card provider, businesses can maximize the benefits of open loop gift cards and create effective incentive programs that drive success.

You might be wondering…

To activate an open loop gift card, you will typically need to follow the instructions provided by the card issuer. This may involve visiting the issuer’s website, calling a customer service number, or visiting a retail location that sells the cards.

Yes, open loop gift cards typically have an expiration date, which is usually printed on the card or included in the card’s terms and conditions. However, some states have laws that require gift cards to have a minimum expiration date of at least five years.

In most cases, no, you cannot redeem an open loop gift card for cash. However, you may be able to use the card to purchase a cash equivalent, such as a money order or prepaid debit card.

You can typically check the balance of your open loop gift card online, by phone, or by visiting a retail location that sells the cards. The specific process for checking the balance will depend on the card issuer.

If your open loop gift card is lost or stolen, you should contact the card issuer as soon as possible to report the issue. Many issuers offer protection against unauthorized transactions, and they may be able to replace the card or refund the remaining balance.

Yes, you can use an open loop gift card for online purchases at any retailer or business that accepts the payment network associated with the card.

There may be fees associated with purchasing and using an open loop gift card, such as activation fees, transaction fees, or monthly maintenance fees. These fees vary depending on the card issuer and the specific terms and conditions of the card.

In most cases, yes, you can reload an open loop gift card. The specific process for reloading the card will depend on the card issuer, but it typically involves visiting the issuer’s website, calling a customer service number, or visiting a retail location that sells the cards.

Open loop gift cards can be used at any merchant or business that accepts the payment network associated with the card, such as Visa, Mastercard, or American Express. This includes most retailers, restaurants, and online stores that accept these payment methods.

An open loop gift card is a type of gift card that can be used at multiple merchants and businesses that accept the card issuer’s payment network, such as Visa, Mastercard, or American Express. These gift cards are often purchased at retail stores and online, and they typically have a fixed amount of money loaded onto them.

morten sebastian simonsen

Let’s have a chat

Whether you’d like a demo, have an inquiry or just want to chat about our product – we’re here for you.