The Perfect Present?

gift-certificateBirthdays, Festivals, Marriage Anniversaries…what do these remind one of? Yes, you thought right, Gifts! We all have found ourselves not once, not twice but several times looking for gifts to present our loved ones with on various occasions. Always, we try to present something different, something unique yet something useful, in other words the ‘Perfect Present’. We want the gifts presented by us to be the best, to be first class and also low on the pocket. Well, now we have an easy option – A prepaid gift card

 Fashioned after a gift voucher and a debit card, a prepaid gift card is worth a fixed sum of money and can be swiped at any store. The value or the amount loaded on is entirely up to you. 

A gift card can be used multiple times at various stores until the amount loaded is exhausted. It is unique in terms of the flexibility it gives to the user in relation to what they can shop for and most importantly where they can shop for. Another advantage it offers is that one can check the amount left in it at any ATM centre.

However, a gift card may be used for purchases only and cash cannot be withdrawn.

Also, the card cannot be topped up again – meaning once the amount loaded is exhausted, one cannot load more money onto the same card.

 These cards come with an expiry date, which range from 5 months to a year, depending on the bank which issues it. If there is any amount left after the expiry date, the banks usually return the amount after deducting bank charges. However, banks impose a specific time period after the date of expiry within which the card must be returned in order to collect the balance. And in case, if the amount is exhausted before the expiry date, the card must be simply returned to the bank.

Till now, we have only seen how the card can be used if we are the receivers. Now, the question of purchasing the card arises. Not all banks offer this system of prepaid gift cards. Infact, there are only a handful which do so, namely, HDFC, IDBI, SBI, ICICI, IndusInd Bank and a few others.

However, one can buy the card from the bank at a fee ranging from Rs.100 to Rs. 200, even if one does not hold an account in the bank. (Some banks charge 1% of the amount loaded if the value of the gift card is more than Rs.10, 000.)

I hope this piece of news makes things easier for you, my dear reader as, instead of searching for gifts for hours together, one can now gift these pre-paid gift cards and also give the receiver a choice to select gifts for themselves and buying it from stores they prefer.

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