Merchant Gift Cards: A Guide for San Diego Small Business Owners

Merchant Gift Cards

Small business owners are always looking for ways to increase revenue and grow their company. One great way to do this is by offering merchant gift cards.

You can use merchant services gift cards to promote your business in many ways, whether it be for:

  • A holiday promotion
  • Customer loyalty incentives
  • Referral or spending rewards

In this blog post, we’ll cover how these gift cards work and why they’re great for San Diego small businesses like yours!

Table of Contents:

  1. What are Merchant Gift Cards?
  2. How do They Work?
  3. Don’t Forget about Loyalty Gift Cards!
  4. How Do You Manage a Loyalty Gift Card Program?
  5. 5 Benefits of Offering Merchant Gift Cards
  6. Types Of Gift Cards You Can Offer Your Customers
  7. Electronic Gift Cards (eGift Cards)
  8. Barcode Gift Cards
  9. Magnetic-Strip Gift Cards
  10. How Do You Implement Gift Cards For Your Small Business?
  11. 3 POS Systems With the Best Gift Card Programs
  12. Should I Accept Gift Cards For My Small Business?
  13. In Summary:
  14. Conclusion

People Also Ask:

How can I get gift cards for my small business?

Many small businesses find that the easiest way to set up gift cards and loyalty programs is through a modern POS system.

When choosing Rigel Payments as your point-of-sale system vendor, you can expect a quick and painless gift card setup process from beginning to end!

How does a POS system activate gift cards?

When a consumer buys a gift card, you can activate it through your POS system. Check the gift card number and choose the card from the same page to activate it.

Make sure to add the cardholder’s name and information while activating!

How do gift cards work for retailers?

Consumers who purchase gift cards for themselves or as a present unintentionally promote the brand, services, or products that the retailer offers.

The cash on the cards provides a compelling reason for the recipients to visit and enjoy what your retail business offers.

Can gift card purchases be tracked?

It depends! Most Visa and MasterCard prepaid gift cards require some customer data, which can be traced.

The good news? Many physical and eGift cards have barcodes or QR codes that offer easy trackability.

How do electronic gift cards work?

eGift Cards work just like traditional gift cards. With electronic gift cards, the code is emailed to the recipient.

You can use eGift cards online or in stores.

Do gift cards help small businesses?

Absolutely! Small businesses like yours have even more reason to love gift cards, especially during the current coronavirus pandemic!

Merchants across San Diego county use gift cards to raise brand awareness and grow their sales.

What are Merchant Gift Cards?

Merchant gift cards are gift cards that companies sell and redeem exclusively for their business. Many small businesses offer gift cards with their own brand on them.

Costumers can typically purchase physical or digital gift cards in totals of:

  • $25 – $50
  • $100 – $200
  • $500 or higher!

How do They Work?

Your customers can use gift cards where they bought it from them originally or at any of your locations synced with your merchant dashboard.

Consumers can also redeem their gift cards for any amount at your business or to cover the cost of an item.

Don’t Forget about Loyalty Gift Cards!

As a customer’s relationship with your company continues, profits rise. And not just by a little!

Loyalty gift cards aren’t just about providing a little something extra.

These programs can offer you customer insights and information you can use to:

  • Increase customer spending
  • Improve customer retention numbers
  • Shift spending to meet higher product margins
  • Identify new customers by understanding top consumer demographics

The bottom line: Loyalty gift card programs have a measurable impact on sales and profits that you can’t afford to overlook!

How Do You Manage a Loyalty Gift Card Program?

A merchant dashboard personalized your business is a great way to manage your loyalty program.

With your merchant dashboard, you can:

  • Send out promotional emails
  • Oversee promotional campaigns
  • Set up special deals for loyal customers

If you have concerns about managing your loyalty gift card program, Rigel Payments has got you covered!

We have the tools to help you succeed, including those with quick and easy-to-use features. Our team of merchant and loyalty gift card specialists are also available to assist with your every need.

5 Benefits of Offering Merchant Gift Cards

Gift cards are one of the most requested and popular presents for people of all ages.

San Diego small business owners that offer gift cards often experience the following five benefits:

  1. Brand Awareness: Anything that gets your name or logo seen and heard is a win for your small business. Offering gift cards unique to your business can help sell more of your products, goods, or services.
  2. Spending Increases: Customers are more likely to splurge because they know that most of their purchase is already covered by their gift card. Additionally, you still get a profit, regardless if the gift card goes unused.
  3. Repeated Business: Once you’ve set up a gift card program, you can run promotions or marketing strategies to attract new customers and repeat business.
  4. Business Referrals: Individuals who buy or receive gift cards are more likely to tell others about your business.
  5. Ease: Setting up merchant gift cards for your small business is a fairly straightforward process. With the right POS system, it can be as simple as clicking a few buttons!

As a business owner, offering gift cards can provide countless advantages to your customers and yourself!

Types Of Gift Cards You Can Offer Your Customers

There are several types of merchant gift cards that you can offer to your customers.

At Rigel Payments, we’ve put together a few examples to see what might be the right choice for you!

Electronic Gift Cards (eGift Cards)

Electronic (digital or ”eGift”) cards allow customers to purchase your cards online. They offer versatility and ease.

Electronic gift cards can be used by your customers or sent to a friend to be used on your website or in your store.

Some electronic gift cards may have:

  • Numerical codes
  • Barcode or QR codes

You can redeem numerical codes with your terminal, which works like a traditional credit card transaction.

Barcode or QR codes work when your business’ POS system scans them from customers’ phones or printouts.

Barcode Gift Cards

If you wish to set up physical gift cards for your small business, you have two options:

  1. Barcode Gift Cards: Barcode cards are popular for customer loyalty cards. They act as an account linked to the customer, which you can use to store and search for their information.
  2. QR Code Gift Cards: A QR code is a barcode that requires a barcode scanner or an app to read.

Magnetic-Strip Gift Cards

Retailers and other companies typically use merchant cards with magnetic strips for additional security purposes.

You simply swipe the gift card through the credit card terminal just as you would with a debit card. The amount automatically deducts from the customer’s account that’s stored on the strip.

How Do You Implement Gift Cards For Your Small Business?

Our team recommends offering gift cards through a POS system. Providing merchant cards through a POS is easy!

The first step is to talk to a trusted merchant services company, like Rigel Payments.

With our available point of sale systems, including Clover, Revel, and Vend, you can:

  • Set up an in-house gift card program
  • Track both gift card sales and redemptions
  • See how well your gift card program

3 POS Systems With the Best Gift Card Programs

Unsure which point of sale system is best for you? Our list of the top three POS systems that offer gift cards can help!

  1. Clover POS has its own custom-built touchscreen and tablet hardware. It’s cloud-based and provides flexibility with apps and customization.

Clover also offers:

  • Traditional magnetic-strip and electronic gift cards
  • In-house setup options
  • Physical card and QR code redeem options
  • In-store only for Clover Gift Cards redeeming
  • Free gift cards with the Clover Gift Cards app

2. Revel POS also offers an easy, in-house setup for your gift card or loyalty card program. It’s a cloud-based software that allows you to implement custom gift cards how and where you want!

With Revel POS, you can:

  • Sell gift cards directly through the system
  • Let customers purchase gift cards online
  • Have customers create new cards online
  • Offer pre-load and redeem options
  • Provide secure swipes with specific card encryptions

3. Vend POS is a point of sale software based in the cloud that allows you to customize your merchant cards and loyalty programs.

Vend offers:

  • Gift cards that appear as a product in your store automatically
  • Compete for card customization
  • Freedom to choose the card codes of your choice
  • Sell and redeem gift cards online or on the Register for iPad app
  • Single-use gift cards

Should I Accept Gift Cards For My Small Business?

With many San Diego businesses doing billions of dollars a year in gift card sales, accepting them continues to be a profitable venture.

Want more good news? You don’t have to be a massive retail chain or restauranteur to experience the benefits!

In Summary:

Setting up a merchant gift card program is a fairly simple and straightforward process that gives you the freedom to:

  • Choose the best gift card option for your small business
  • Expand your brand how you want
  • Customize your gift card program

Additionally, all of this and more can be usually done at a cost-effective expense!

If you haven’t taken advantage of this opportunity yet, we suggest contacting our team to discover your point-of-sale options!


As you can see, merchant services gift cards are a fantastic way to earn more revenue and increase customer loyalty.

If your small business has not yet started offering these types of incentives for customers, it’s time to start!

Are you ready to start benefiting from merchant gift cards?