You can use gift cards either as a promotional item or to sell at your business. Most gift cards are linked to a third party credit card processor. Keep in mind that gift cards can now be used in both offline and online stores—in many cases your customers don't even need a physical card in order to purchase items from you.
If you plan to use this card for promotional reasons, such as giving out gift cards to potential customers as your business cards, contact Elavon Inc. This is a payment solutions company that allows you to create your own gift cards to use for charitable and customer appreciation gifts, merchandise returns (when cash refunds are not allowed) and marketing tools. Ask for custom cards if you want your company's own art design (in addition to the business name, address, and phone number) to be added to each gift card.
If you want custom gift cards made for your business purely as an incentive to employees or clients, that can be used at any store, contact Visa. Visa has a gift card option called the "Visa Incentive Card," which can be branded with your company's logo and marketing message. These cards can be distributed to your employees or customers as a "thank you." They will constantly be reminded of your business whenever they pull out the card to make a purchase.
If you want custom gift cards made that you can sell to customers at your store or website (also called private label or store-only cards), contact your credit card merchant services provider. The private label card works the same way as a credit card, only it will only work with your particular store's merchant account.
As an alternative to physical cards, you can offer your customers, namely online shoppers, e-Gift cards using a service like TheGiftCardCafe.com. When the customer clicks the link to order an e-Gift card from your website, he will be taken to a third party ordering system. A gift certificate is generated that can be emailed or printed. Customers can then redeem the gift card at your online store and track the balance of the card.