How We Use Gift Cards

No matter how we give or receive gift cards, they carry a warm touch – and it’s getting even better, thanks to technology. Gift cards, delivered physically or via the internet, give us the ability to recognize people on birthdays, at holiday time, and for personal milestones and achievements. In the 21st century, gift cards are the quintessential feel-good prepaid asset and incentive.

Promotional marketing using incentive gifts has been around for decades, when big brands started coming up with ways to sell their products. Gift cards, as promotional currency, is now part of tens of thousands of everyday programs. “If you get a haircut, you get a gift card; subscribe to a wireless carrier, get a $50 gift card,” said Stone. “The reward aspect of a promotion is increasingly a gift card, and with eGifting it is so much easier and less costly for the retailer. Of course, we all know that Starbucks broke all kinds of records with its Living Social and Groupon offers.”

Michael Hursta, prepaid category manager at First Data, points out that the rise in self-purchasing of gift cards has led to a rise in the number of people reloading. Self-purchasers like to get rewards for reloading. “This is the first phase of connecting loyalty to gift cards,” said Hursta. “The consumer gets a bonus load on the card. He reloads $25 and gets a bonus of an extra $5.”

Retailers may soon be able to direct rewards to get a better sense of who the consumer is. They will deliver an offer in the form of a gift card, but specify what time the card can be used, or what category of products the gift card can be used for. The concept is to get retailers in a place where they can direct spending and get the consumer to try a new product. It requires a technology platform that can direct consumer spending.

Source: The Prepaid Press, read entire article here.

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TAGS:   card services, trends


Hotel Room Keys That Double as Gift Cards Are the Next Big Meeting Trend

An easy way to please hotel guests and meeting attendees is to give them free stuff.

But rather than make it notepads or pens that are quickly forgotten, the Sheraton Seattle is giving guests something that makes them happy and energized. Sheraton Hotels & Resorts turned room keys into Starbucks gift cards for the first time this week for its Global General Managers Summit at the Sheraton Seattle. In addition to opening room doors, each card was loaded with $10 to use at five Starbucks locations nearby the hotel. Sheraton is the first Starwood brand to roll out the new card, which suggests meeting attendees at W Hotels and Le Meridien could be next to receive the key card surprise. Although Sheraton partnered with Starbucks, likely because CEO Howard Shultz spoke at the event, the concept gives hotels the opportunity to develop relationships and send customers to local businesses.

The move is also good news for the room key, which some hotels want to get rid of in favor of smartphone apps that allow guests to bypass the front desk.

Source:, read the article here.

Martha Weaver | Marketing Manager
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TAGS:   card manufacturing, card services, trends


Travel Tags, Inc. Receives Star of Excellence Awards from Printing Industry Midwest

Star of Excellence Nordstrom Card from Travel Tags

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, MN – Travel Tags, Inc. received four Star of Excellence Awards in the annual, five-state printing competition hosted by Printing Industry Midwest, the region’s trade association for printing, communication and graphic arts industry.

Competing against entries from printing and graphic arts firms throughout the Midwest, Travel Tags received four awards, including Best of Division for in-house marketing collateral and Best of Class for Nordstrom’s Holiday Shimmer gift card.

"We are pleased to receive these awards as validation of the superior work and creativity our in-house creative team produces for our clients and for our own use," says Steve Dunn, director of marketing and product development at Travel Tags.

"This was a close competition with a very impressive standard of entries. The judging process was very challenging. Travel Tags should be proud of the company's achievement and the excellent work done by employees," says PIM President David Radziej.

The Star of Excellence Awards recognizes those responsible for the creation and production of print communications in the Midwest. The competition promotes excellence in print communications and rewards companies and individuals who produce the best in print media.

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TAGS:   card fulfillment, card manufacturing, card services, Printing Industry Midwest (PIM)