Gift Cards vs Virtual Cards: Here’s What makes them different

Gift Cards vs Virtual Cards: Here’s What makes them different

Are pondering on what differentiates gift cards from virtual cards? Or rather having hard time determining which of the two is best or should serve a purpose better?. This article answers all that.

In this post, we explain in details the major differences between a gift card and a virtual card. And how and where they are mostly applied or better used.

Before we go further, we will explain the meaning of both forms of cards for better understanding.

What Are Gift Cards?

A Gift Card is a prepaid, stored-value money card used for payments and purchases, as an alternative to cash. Note, Gift cards are only redeemable through purchases from retailers and can be used to withdraw cash.

What is a Virtual Card?

Gift Cards vs Virtual Cards: Here's What makes them different
Gift Cards vs Virtual Cards: Here’s What makes them different

A Virtual Card is an E-card that isn’t physically issued by a bank or card provider. But just like the normal physical cards, they can either be credit or debit cards. With virtual cards you can do almost any type of transaction too.

So how does Gift Cards vs Virtual Cards compare?

Though they might serve for almost the same purpose, unless for physical and electrical aspects, there are few difference between gift cards and virtual cards. Here are some below:

1 Physical Presence: Gift cards comes with both the virtual or physical package. Virtual cards, on the other hand, is mostly electronic and cannot be physical. Virtual cards, as the name implies, only exist virtually and don’t have a physical presence.

2 Usage Versatility: Gift cards are often restricted to few platforms or retail stores. This means that, you can only use them to make payments in stores after shopping or on physical POS machines. While virtual cards can be used to pay for almost everything online and works effectively on almost any platform.

3 Duration For Usage: While most gift cards have limitations on duration for usage, and can’t be used after the allocated time, virtual cards remains in usage as long as money is added to the card.

4 Support for Cash: Some ATMs support cardless withdrawals to be made from a virtual card. Which means virtual cards support cash withdrawals. Gift cards, on the other hand, do not support and cannot be used to withdraw cash from Automated Teller Machines.

5 Ease of Gifting To Another Person: Due to its nature, gift cards can easily be given as, well, gifts. They don’t beet to be tied specifically to a person’s name, address, and other bio data. Virtual cards (since they are normal credit or debit cards) have to be tied to a particular person. Hence, can not be gifted easily.

I hope that with this little write up, you can now be able to clearly understand the difference between gift cards and virtual cards. So, obviously they serve for few different purposes, that can’t be used interchangeably.

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