Gift Cards vs Prepaid Cards: What’s Best?

Posted by a2g on May 11, 2022

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Gift cards and prepaid cards are popular choices for gift-giving. This is due to convenience and the guarantee of knowing the gift will be well-received. They are the best options when lacking ideas for a sure-fire present or doing last-minute shopping. And when it comes to the topic of ‘gift cards vs prepaid cards’, there’s a clear winner. This article will cover that topic and the difference between prepaid cards and gift cards.

What’s the Difference Between Prepaid Cards and Gift Cards?

They are both similar but work differently. A prepaid card works like a debit or credit card. That means you can withdraw funds at almost any ATM and make transactions where applicable. These cards are typically part of a payment network, such as Mastercard or Visa.

In addition, both options have extra fees associated with certain things, such as transactions. However, there’s more leeway with prepaid cards, and many come with minimal costs and more features. That’s why consumers prefer prepaid cards in general.

Pros and Cons of Prepaid Cards


Prepaid cards are usually more flexible since most are open-loop. That means you can use them anywhere the given payment network is accepted – online or offline.

Sometimes, providers restrict prepaid cards to certain countries or areas. For example, you can use Awards2Go cards only in the U.S. and the District of Columbia wherever Visa® debit or NYCE® cards are accepted (online, mail, or telephone).

In contrast, closed-loop cards have restrictions set by the provider, and you can typically only use them in specific places.


Every prepaid provider’s security standard is unique, though similar. Plus, the protection you receive with a prepaid card is often better than the alternative. After all, prepaid cards need also to meet security requirements set by their payment network.

Further, payment networks usually offer a liability policy. For instance, Visa prepaid cards come with Zero Liability – meaning cardholders won’t be responsible for fraudulent purchases – providing they report the loss early and the incident meets any set standards.

Awards2Go prepaid cardholders can request a replacement card in the event of loss, theft, or other reason.


Prepaid cards usually come with a monthly fee, and sometimes, other charges may apply. For example, some providers charge a fee to reload or withdraw funds. But Awards2Go per card fees are among the lowest in the industry, and you pay no monthly fees for the first 12 months.


There’s no expiration date on prepaid cards where you load the funds. However, you may need to replace the physical item at a specific date. But even so, your funds will never expire. Awards2Go cards last eight years from the date of purchase. You can request a replacement at no cost by phone.

Balance Management

As noted earlier, you can reload prepaid cards, which is partly what makes them most attractive. You can also typically access your available balance and request unused funds through an online client portal. Awards2Go customers can do all those things and more.

Pros and Cons of Gift Cards


There are limits to how one could use a gift card. These cards are closed-loop, meaning you can only use them at a specific retailer. But some prepaid cards are part of a retailer network, allowing the card to work at every stakeholder’s business.


Protection is limited unless you register your gift card. There’s typically nothing you can do against theft or loss otherwise. Also, many providers won’t replace a used card.


Fees associated with gift cards include initial purchase, monthly, and inactivity fees. Worth noting is that inactivity and monthly fees don’t kick in until after the first year with most cards.


All gift cards have an expiry date, so it’s essential to note it. Also, consider passing that information to the gift receiver. Just in case they don’t use their card right away.

Balance Management

Most gift card amounts come pre-determined, or you can only load them once. After that, you’ll have to destroy the card or purchase a new one.

FAQ About Gift Cards vs Prepaid Cards

Where Can You Use a Nike Gift Card?

You can use Nike gift cards to make purchases on their online platforms and retail stores only (just like any closed-loop card). But unlike gift cards, prepaid cards from Awards2Go are open-loop, allowing holders to make purchases almost anywhere.

Can You Use Visa Gift Cards at Gas Stations?

Yes, Gas stations accept Visa gift cards and prepaid cards, such as the Awards2Go prepaid Visa card. But make sure your balance isn’t low because of the often-required pre-authorization amount when buying gas.

Do Hotels Accept Prepaid Cards?

Most hotels will accept prepaid cards as long as enough funds are available. You can book hotels with the Awards2Go prepaid Visa gift card.

Can I Use a Visa Gift Card on DoorDash?

DoorDash will accept its gift cards and other Visa gift cards, such as those from Awards2Go. Consumers can use these cards all over the United States.

Can You Use a Visa Gift Card on PlayStation?

Yes, you can make PlayStation Store purchases with any Visa gift card or prepaid Visa card from Awards2Go.

Can I Get a Refund on A Prepaid Visa Card?

Unlike standard gift cards, prepaid Visa cards from Awards2Go allow users to receive a refund on their cards.

Awards2Go Visa Prepaid Cards

The gift cards from Awards2Go are prepaid Visa gift cards that you can use anywhere in the USA. They are easy to use and a perfect solution for businesses. Purchase gift cards in bulk for your organization without order limits. You can load your cards with any denomination, from $5 to $1000.

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

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