The Difference Between Gift Certificates & Vouchers

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Gift certificates are ways to increase product and service awareness.
Gift certificates are ways to increase product and service awareness. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

In the 21st Century, globalization has led to tight market competition among different brands and products and every seller is trying to entice consumers. Most companies use different forms of services to promote their sales. Coupons, vouchers and gift certificates are examples of such promotions. These promotions help to boost the sales within a short period of time.

What Is a Gift Certificate?

A gift certificate is a card that is similar to a credit card you can use to avail some discount or gift at specific stores or group of stores. Stores sometimes issue gift certificates in the form of paper certificates also. The gift certificates include a monetary value and are valid for the limited time period mentioned on the certificate (although some states require they not have an expiration period). Gift certificates make good gifts if you are not sure of the preferences of the receiver. The gift certificate represents a promise from the issuer to the holder of the certificate that they can choose a product of their liking in exchange of the certificate. Some gift certificates are limited to one type use, while others can be used multiple times.

Uses of Gift Certificates

Gift certificates are provided as corporate gifts and incentives by many companies. Organizations also use gift certificates as a means to raise funds. They are also used as a part of the marketing program conducted by a company. Many companies provide gift certificates online as a means to boost their sales. Gift certificates can be used to purchase goods, in restaurants, theaters and for other events.

What Is a Voucher?

A voucher allows you to obtain a particular product or service. They have a fixed monetary value on them which could be spent on particular goods and services only. They are also provided with a fixed expiration date. Many restaurants provide vouchers during special occasions to increase the number of customers.

Differences Between Gift Certificates and Vouchers

Most companies provide a gift certificate for a specific experience. But, a gift voucher is provided for a particular value. A gift certificate can make a nice gift. A gift voucher is a good gift to someone whom you do not know much about. Gift certificates and vouchers are two ways of presenting a gift. The rules regarding validity and exchange hold the same for both the options.

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