Gift Cards for Small Businesses – Full Guide for Implementation

Posted by a2g on February 7, 2023

facebook icon twitter icon facebook icon pinterest icon

You’re most likely missing out if your small business isn’t offering gift cards to customers yet. Small business gift cards are an opportunity for organizations to boost profits, strengthen brand recognition, and foster customer loyalty. And just about any type of business can implement a gift card program. You only need to know where to begin.

How Small Businesses Profit From Gift Cards

Today more vendors provide gift cards for small business owners than ever before. That’s because of the increase in demand. Many companies have caught on to the immense benefits of gift cards, including the following.

Increase Sales

With gift cards, the revenue is collected upfront, instantly increasing the bottom line. You’re receiving payment in advance for a future purchase. In addition, gift cards can influence a company’s average order value. One consumer study found 74% of people spend more than their gift card balance.

Build Relationships

You can use gift cards to show consumers’ appreciation and keep them returning. People generally perceive businesses favorably when they feel appreciated and form relationships with the brand.

Generates Loyal Customers

When you sell gift cards, customers or their recipients must return to the business for redemption. This often leads to repeat purchases from customers who enjoy using gift cards, fostering brand loyalty in the process.

Increase brand visibility

Gift cards are like a piece of advertising or marketing asset because you can brand each one. For example, Awards2Go customers can customize cards to include their logo, brand colors, and business name. As a result, anyone who sees the gift card will know the business behind it, which sparks interest.

Gift Cards For Small Business Providers

Here are some small business gift card providers to consider for your organization.


Awards2Go provides Prepaid Visa gift cards for small business owners, including mid-size and large corporations.

What sets Awards2Go apart is the many use cases, including customer appreciation, sales incentives, holiday gifts, rebates or refunds, contests, and expense control.

These cards are also open-loop, meaning customers can redeem them anywhere in the United States. Conversely, you can only redeem closed-loop cards at the given merchant or place of purchase. Most gift card providers offer closed-loop cards.

Awards2Go Visa prepaid gift cards are well-suited for any industry.


  • Super easy to implement.
  • Offers physical and digital gift cards.
  • Highly flexible, as recipients can make purchases from anywhere in the USA.
  • The “Buy Now Load Later” feature allows businesses to purchase cards and load them later whenever ready to use.
  • They have a broad appeal or application. Visa prepaid cards function much the same way credit and bank cards do.
  • You can customize Awards2Go gift cards, including colors, graphics, and personalized messaging for recipients.
  • Businesses can choose from a wide selection of pre-designed templates to expedite custom gift card creation.
  • Load any denomination from $5 to $1000.
  • Dedicated client portal for managing and tracking gift cards.


  • Recipients can only use gift cards in the United States.


Square is a financial services, software, and hardware company focused on helping merchants run their businesses. The company provides small business gift cards, and like Awards2Go, they are customizable.

However, you can only sell and redeem these cards through the Square POS (point-of-sale) system. In other words, they are closed-loop gift cards.

Square is most suited for solopreneurs and small businesses on a budget.


  • Reasonably easy to set up and use.
  • Provides virtual and physical gift cards.
  • Gift cards become active after the sale is complete.
  • Merchants can sell, load, or accept gift cards from their Square POS app, register, or terminal.
  • Sellers can manage their gift cards through their Square Dashboard.


  • You can only purchase eGift Cards from Square sellers’ order pages.
  • Square provides gift cards through a third-party company, which may be problematic for some organizations.
  • Limited customization features


Lightspeed is a POS and eCommerce software provider offering small business gift cards to help its merchants grow. These cards are customizable, though very limited in terms of design.

You’ll also need their POS system to buy and implement these cards. And like Square, the gift cards are closed-loop.

These gift cards are most suitable for restaurants and retailers, such as apparel, footwear, jewelry, etc.


  • You can use the gift cards for multiple purposes within the Lightspeed network, such as purchases, discounts, or rewards.
  • Offers physical and digital gift cards.
  • Customers can redeem gift cards online and in-store.


  • You can only choose from the pre-designed card templates, limiting customizability.
  • There’s no way to set gift cards to a fixed amount.

Are eGift Cards or Physical Gift Cards Better for Small Businesses?

The debate between physical gift cards vs. eGift cards for small businesses has been around for a long time.

Recipients can use physical gift cards in stores, and they have a tangible presence. On the other hand, electronic gift cards are digital, but you can distribute them to recipients quickly and easily.

Ultimately, neither is good or bad because it depends on your overall situation, including business needs, model, etc.

Small Business Gift Card Use Cases

Before grabbing your small business gift cards, here are some use cases to consider.

Customer Reward Cards

Gift cards are an effective way to reward customers for their loyalty. You can encourage your customers to continue patronizing the business by offering gift cards as rewards. For example, you could provide rewards or promotions for people who spend a certain amount or buy in bulk.

Customer Referral Cards

Offering gift cards as incentives for customer referrals is another great way to use them in your business. That’s because giving out gift cards each time an existing customer refers someone new encourages the behavior.

Satisfaction & Compensation Cards

You can use gift cards to ensure satisfaction or compensate customers. For example, giving a $15 gift card to an unhappy customer to show you value their business. Similarly, a company can process customer refunds with gift cards.

Setting Up A Gift Card System For Your Small Business

Getting started with Awards2Go is straightforward.

  1. Order your gift cards
    Contact the team to place your physical or digital gift card orders.
  2. Input gift cards into your system
    Once you receive your gift cards, enter them into the system to enable redemption and tracking.
  3. Create gift card policies
    It’s essential to create policies for handling situations such as lost or stolen cards, unused card returns, expiration dates, etc. That way, customers know what to expect when using your gift cards.
  4. Start distributing and tracking gift cards
    Once everything’s ready, you can start selling and tracking your gift cards.
Order Now
Start Rewarding with Awards2Go

Take advantage our low per card fees, flexible load amounts, customized messaging, low cost company-branded design, rush delivery, and more.

Get Visa Cards