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Bulk gift cards purchase can be a lifesaver for you if you are a business owner or a HR personnel! Hear us out before you jump to conclusion - the gift card industry is estimated to grow to 1.9 trillion USD by 2027 and most of this, about 70 percent of this comes from the USA and Europe! This means that more and more companies and business owners are investing in these amazing reward and recognition tools. 

If you want to know how to buy bulk gift cards, we will help you in the process of deciding over the right gift cards, their benefits and how to buy gift cards in bulk for your company and specific needs. 

The power of gift cards as employee rewards

Gift cards are simple but effective reward features that can be presented to employees to recognize them for their good work and productive efforts and to motivate them to achieve more. Gift cards can be of any monetary value and are tied to various brands or services where employees can redeem these gift cards when they shop online.

The most popular gift card values are between 5 and 500 USD and are linked with popular services such as Amazon and other retailer cards, restaurant cards, VISA/ Mastercard and American Express powered gift cards etc. 

89 percent of employers use gift cards to reward employees and recognize their service and efforts at work. This has improved the productivity of employees making them the most important means of recognition.

It helps employees cover their small and miscellaneous expenses and sometimes for luxury splurges that they otherwise would not have made. It also helps in driving brand loyalty and improving morale for a positive employee environment. 

Bulk gift card purchases explained 

Buying bulk gift cards is extremely easy and saves a lot of time for HR team members and for business owners. Given that gift cards are one of the best reward and recognition tools that improves employee productivity and morale.

But buying gift cards in small sets as and when needed can cost the company more in terms of time of activation, activation fee and the limitation with the platforms that you want to offer to your employees. 

E-gift cards or digital gift cards are the most flexible and versatile type of gift cards. These cards are most preferred over physical cards as employees can use them digitally over numerous platforms. Such gift cards are sometimes backed by Visa, Mastercard or American express which makes them secured for payment as well. E-gift cards can be purchased online from gifting platforms for your specific business needs with white labeled content. 

Most common denominations on gift cards are 5 to 500 USD but the average gift card value in the USA is 50 USD (between 15 to 75 USD is commonly seen in corporate gifts). 

Cost savings and budget management

As explained, buying gift cards in bulk can help reduce the corporate spends and therefore cut down on excessive budgeting for employee rewards programs. Unlike other schemes such as employee benefits or discounts, gift cards provide more freedom to employees to spend the money however they want and within a flexible duration of time. When companies buy gift cards in bulk, they can benefit in following ways:

  • Avoid activation fee

All cards usually have an activation fee and when buying cards in bulk, you pay less than you would when you buy a few cards at a time. 

  • Time to activate

Bulk cards are activated faster and helps cut down on manual hours of activating cards one by one by the company. 

  • Access to many partnered brands

When you buy in bulk, you are also benefited as companies can access more platforms and provide a better portfolio of brands for their employees. 

  • Better support

When you buy gift cards in bulk, you also get better support from the gifting platform with regards to gift card customization, white labeling requirements, lower fees, discounted prices for overall card value and a priority for gifting requirements of the business in the future.

Streamlined administration and distribution 

Gift cards are easier on the management than other benefit programs and schemes - they can be bought from a vendor or a platform instantly and they can be distributed to employees just as easily too.

Using an employee reward management software, you can buy gift cards in bulk, activate them, allot them to employees based on their achievements and services to the company and then distribute them within minutes via email or SMS. 

As an HR manager or a business owner, you are constantly wondering how to reward employees but with gift cards, your search is complete. With digital gift cards and a robust platform to buy them in bulk, you can simply deliver hundreds and thousands of branded gift cards of varying denominations in just a few minutes.

More than 55 percent of people love receiving gift cards for things they want and aspire to buy but would rather save the money. 

Customization and personalization 

Another amazing benefit from an employer perspective is the availability of white labeling for gift cards which helps in creating a brand image and drive brand loyalty in employees.

When employees receive branded gifts, they become a show off or a trophy item that helps them create an image in the society of being part of something big and meaningful. Since both the employer and the employee benefit mutually from branded gifting options, custom and personalized gift cards have become the new trend. 

When you purchase gift cards in bulk, you can easily get them customized using your company logo, brand name, images of your choice and even place the name of the employee or the reason for the gift such as birthdays, anniversary, workplace achievements etc.

This makes employees feel more valued and helps in fostering a lasting relationship with the brand. 57 percent of employees agree they love to work for a company that provides custom gifts. 

Employee choice and flexibility 

Giving a gift card may not simply solve your reward and recognition program. A certain sense of authority in choosing the gift card that exactly suited the requirement of the particular employee can be the icing on the cake.

Although all employees love gift cards, what adds to the gifting process is the choice that they can choose the gift card that specifically meets their requirement. This could include the likes of starbucks cards, amazon cards, Best buy cards or lifestyle cards that allows them discounts at hotels, salons, spas and other such networks. 

As a business, you still remain in control of how much you spend on the gift cards but by giving your employees the option to choose which gift card they would want to experiment with, you are extending the benefit and therefore make workplace employee engagement better.

When you buy bulk gift cards, you can easily club a few gift cards of the same value from different networks as a choice for employees. Once chosen, you can easily track the allotment, activation and redemption of the card with a reward management software. 

Tax implications and reporting 

Gift cards are considered to be fringe benefits. Fringe benefits is a term that is used to define any additional benefit that helps the employees overall income but does not fall under the major categories such as healthcare benefits or pension. Schemes.

Gift cards are considered equivalent to cash benefit and therefore are taxable under federal income tax as a general principle. But this may also vary from one state to another.

As a business, you need to check if gift cards are taxable in your state and then withhold the tax just like you would in the case of income, social security and medicare taxes.

You may either deduct the tax amount from the gift card value if you withhold taxes or you may account for the gift card value plus the tax so as to provide a full, round value to your employees. 

Under the De minimis benefit, smaller gifts such as commute compensation, holiday gifts, birthday or anniversary gifts, meal coupons or overtime work compensation are all exempt from taxes. So with the right budget and planning, you can include your gift card program to become exempt from taxes. 

Real life companies who are benefitting from gift cards

1. Typeform and their type coins

Typeform is a survey form creation company that has an amazing employee engagement program.

They offer a play money concept called Type coins that employees can use to gift each other for efforts or contribution and improve productivity. The accumulation of type coins can be converted into gift cards such as Amazon cards, uber or Starbucks cards. 

Using this method, the company helps foster interpersonal relationships, improve employee engagement and also help employees improve productivity for themselves and each other. 

2. Southwest Airlines

Southwest airlines has a robust employee engagement and recognition program. Their HR program has a system called the SWAG which refers to SouthWest airlines gratitude program.

Employees enrolled in the program can collect SWAG points that can be redeemed and shared at the SWAG shop to buy gift cards and other lifestyle products and services. 

Using this platform, Southwest airlines has been able to boost employee loyalty and productivity. By tieing up with various brands, employees can enjoy various experiences through the employee engagement program. 


Now that you know what a powerful tool gift cards are and the benefits of buying these cards in bulk, it is time to put this knowledge to use to empower your employees.

Reward and recognise employees for their good work and productivity using this simple and effective tool. With the right gift cards and the best platform, you can easily purchase gift cards in bulk, distribute them effectively and track their usage. 

Cut down cost and efforts linked to gift cards when you buy gift cards in bulk. With the right plans, you can enjoy tax benefits and pass them on to your employees in the best possible manner.

Many companies have made use of gift cards to engage with their employees and boost their productivity and with new and innovative ways to use gift cards, the sky's the limit for your business. 

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