Typical Prepaid Cards and Gift Cards: What Are Their Different Features?

Have you lately celebrated a birthday? If so, you may have received a gift voucher from a retailer you usually visit. So, a gift card is one of the nicest presents to give someone at any event. Similarly, a prepaid MasterCard exists and functions similarly to a gift card and can likewise be swiped until the balance is depleted. Consequently, what distinguishes prepaid cards from gift cards?

Prepaid cards are, technically speaking, a type of debit card. They are “loaded” or deposited with a specific sum of money before being issued by a commercial bank or credit card provider. So, one can use them either physically or online to make transactions or pay bills. Another kind of stored amount card that one can load with money for future elective use is a gift card. It only has a particular amount of money in it, and you cannot use the card again when this amount has been used up. As such, the following are some distinctions between gift cards and regular prepaid cards:

Restriction on Where One Can Use It

One can only use a typical Gift Voucher in a select few locations. And depending on the store where one bought it, one can use it at that location or one of its other locations. On the other hand, a Prepaid Card can be used at any point of purchase and anywhere. A prepaid Gift Voucher must have some remaining balance to be used, but that is the only prerequisite.

Amount Left on the Card

Typically, a gift card can only be used until its remaining balance is depleted; the card is useless after the balance is over. A prepaid card, in contrast, can be used as long as there is cash in it. It indicates that one can still use the card if it is topped off before the initial balance expires. That is ineffective when using a gift card, particularly code-based and functional on an e-commerce website. And handed that the Prepaid Card’s balance is controlled, you can give it to an individual to help them keep tabs on their spending.

End-of-Life Dates

Gift cards and regular Prepaid Cards both have an expiry date, and it is prominently displayed on both cards. Prepaid Cards have their expiry date displayed on the front of the card because they function similarly to credit cards. Store gift cards often have a multi-month expiration date, though occasionally, they can last just a few hours. Also, depending on the issuer, Prepaid Cards have extended expiration dates.

At the Point of Sale

Usually, the business you want to get the present from has Gift Cards for sale, while banks and credit card companies both sell prepaid cards. As such, it is now simpler to purchase a Prepaid Card, deposit a certain amount onto it, and then present it to the desired recipient. Meanwhile, since gift cards must be purchased from the retailer, they are less flexible. And one similarity between the two cards is that they may be purchased online.

Preventing Fraud

Since banks or card issuers provide prepaid cards, they frequently have additional security features in case they are lost or stolen. But that safeguard is absent in a gift card; the funds on the Gift Card are gone if the card is lost.

Both gift and prepaid cards are plastic items that one can use to purchase. They also make great gifts: a flexible way to give the recipient money to spend however they like that appears safer and a little more upscale than a lump of cash, yet more practical than a paper check. So, a prepaid MasterCard can be replenished and used continuously, whereas gift cards typically have a dollar limit. It is the main distinction between the two, and both have their functions and applications. Hence, you can choose the best option for your needs based on the reason.