Your Guide to Bulk Gift Cards for Employees

Cassy Aite
May 5, 2024
Your Guide to Bulk Gift Cards for Employees

Organizations often present their employees with gift cards during birthdays, festivals, holiday celebrations, or career milestones. As a manager or owner, you have numerous gift options. But because each has unique interests, tastes, and preferences, the gifting process can feel daunting.

Picking gift cards that employees will enjoy is the first hurdle, yet organizations also need to consider their allocated budgets and brand identity. Fortunately, bulk gift cards for employees can check all the boxes. Discover how you can create a personalized experience for each employee while simultaneously allowing your employees to purchase what they want or need.

What Are Bulk Gift Cards for Employees?

As the name suggests, bulk gift cards for employees are a large, prepaid order of gift cards that allow organizations to source a large volume of cards while sticking to an allocated budget and desired theme — all with a cost-effective, one-time purchase.

A well-executed bulk gift card program builds trust with employees, improves the employer-employee relationship, and elevates the employee experience. In some instances, bulk gift cards are also a valuable aspect of employee incentive programs, rewards programs, and recognition initiatives. Plus, they heighten your company’s social responsibility plans and environmental responsibility by reducing waste associated with in-store or physical gift cards.

Fully customizable, bulk gift cards can provide a personalized message and company logo and work at your choice of nationwide or regional retailers and companies — just like Visa, American Express, or Mastercard. From Starbucks to Amazon and Walmart to Uber, these cards provide the perfect gift without the hassle of having to search for it yourself. And with the ability to choose the vendors you want and select the expiration date, they’re versatile and efficient.

5 Questions To Simplify Your Bulk Gifting Process

Happy employees raising their hands in the office

Despite the advantages of bulk gift cards for employees, they can still pose challenges and difficulties for the uninitiated. By answering these five questions, you can pick the perfect set of digital gift cards for your employees.

1. Who Are the Recipients?

Consider your employees’ needs, interests, and tastes when you buy bulk gift cards. Properly devised, anonymous or covert surveys can indirectly uncover their gift preferences. Your employee demographic and cultural backgrounds will also improve employee gift strategy.

2. What’s the Occasion?

Every event calls for a unique gift. Here is a list of occasions that are apt for bulk gift card orders:

  1. New employee onboarding
  2. Birthdays, weddings, or personal events
  3. Work anniversaries, milestones, promotions, etc.
  4. Festivals and holiday celebrations
  5. Goal or project completion
  6. Retirement or farewell gifts
  7. Everyday employee appreciation or Employee Appreciation Day

With the occasion in mind, you can make a better choice of what gift card purchases your employees might make.

3. How Do You Want To Make Your Employees Feel?

Occasion determines the emotions you’re trying to invoke with bulk gift cards for employees. For example, an onboarding kit or a holiday gift will instill a sense of belonging, whereas the career milestone gifts will make them feel valued and appreciated for their work.

Similarly, you can make work anniversary gifts memorable or surprise team members with an e-gift card to a spa or a prepaid card to a department store.

Based on the emotions you seek to elicit, you can divide your gifts into two categories:

  1. Material gifts: These gifts are tangible items such as coffee mugs, wireless chargers, company swag, etc.
  2. Experiential gifts: These gifts revolve around life experiences. Gym memberships, meditation or mindfulness courses, and executive dining are examples of experiential gifts.

4. Should You Choose Novelty or Utility Gifts?

Novelty gifts act as mementos and serve as a reminder of an event or activity, whereas utility gifts have practical uses.

In most cases, the occasion will determine whether you choose novel or utility gifts. For example, an onboarding kit can have utility items such as stationery, a diary or journal, flash drives, or cardholders. On the other hand, a parting gift could include a novel souvenir such as a personalized gift basket.

5. How Can You Make It Memorable?

Adding a personal touch to your gifts will make it unforgettable for your employees. Making your gifts special when you get them in bulk is often tricky, but working with a suitable vendor could do the trick.

Handwritten notes, unique gift wrapping, personalized stickers, engraving, decals, or embroidery can help you add a personal touch without overshooting your budget.

Why Should Organizations Incorporate Gifting?

Gifts are given to show appreciation for someone, or sometimes as a ritual during holidays and festivals. But beyond the obvious nature of tradition, corporate gift cards have even benefits — ones that every organization should heed.

1. Express Gratitude to Your Employees

Gratitude via bulk gift cards for employees shows appreciation and leaves a positive impact on both the giver and the recipient. Giving gift cards during onboarding, holidays, or special occasions is a wonderful way to express gratitude to your employees.

2. Improve the Employee Experience

The implicit notion behind gift-giving is to show you care while spreading joy at the same time. Giving gift cards to your employees helps enhance the employee experience, build company culture, and enhance employee engagement.

3. Recognize and Reward Your Employees

Bulk gift cards for employees are also suitable as part of a rewards program. When employees meet or exceed their targets or perform exceptionally well, reward cards recognize their contribution and keep them motivated.

The 3 Ethics of Gifting

Man holding a gift wrapped with a red bow

No rigid rules govern gifting. It’s a selfless act of kindness and appreciation. However, careful consideration of cultural and ethical questions is always a factor when you choose bulk gift cards for employees.

1. It’s All About the Recipient

Gifting isn’t about you — it’s about them. Get gifts that appeal to the interests and preferences of the recipient. How you go about finding this information is up to you. But the more effort and thought you put in, the more the recipient will get out of the gesture.

2. Pick Appropriate Gifts for the Occasion

When buying bulk gift cards for employees, ensure that they suit the occasion and reflect your company values, culture, and theme. Generic gifts may work in certain scenarios, but ones that speak volumes to your vision and core values are more impactful.

3. Don’t Compromise on Quality

When buying in bulk, quality is always a concern. Gifts are souvenirs and mementos of a memorable event, and they will be remembered long after you give them to your employees. Work with a suitable vendor to ensure that the gift quality isn’t compromised despite the quantity.

10 Bulk Gift Card Ideas To Help You Get Started

A desk with office essentials such as a calculator, food, coffee, and stationery

You have plenty of options when it comes to bulk gift cards for employees. If you are looking for inspiration, here are 10 easy bulk gift card themes to help you get started. You can customize these suggestions for the occasion.

1. Office Essentials

The perfect gift card to welcome a new employee is an office essentials gift card that your employee can redeem for workspace upgrades, home office decor, or digital devices like a pen drive or memory card.

2. Gadgets

A fantastic gift card idea could include an allowance for functional gadgets like power banks, Bluetooth earphones, fitness trackers, and so on. Employees have a much higher screen time since the shift to remote work, so adding thoughtful extras like blue light filter glasses or sit-stand desks to reduce eye strain is a great idea.

3. Travel Goodies

A travel gift card offers tremendous value to employees who love to indulge their wanderlust. This can be a hit if your organization has a work-from-anywhere policy. Earmark this allowance for items such as bags, luggage, travel chargers, screen cleaners, portable chargers, travel mugs, and water bottles.

4. DIY Swag Bags

While most organizations provide swag bags to employees on various occasions, only a fraction of these gift items are actually used by employees. We recommend giving your employees a swag bag gift card that empowers them to choose gifts and company goodies they want to use every day.

Swag bags can promote your brand while also giving employees something practical. You can offer redemption for pragmatic items such as laptop decals, tees, hoodies or pullovers, socks, water bottles, and coffee mugs.

5. Happy Hour Gifts

If you're hosting a party or celebrating a special occasion, a happy hour gift card goes well with everything. Plus, you can get quite creative with your happy hour gift card. A few items to include are customized glasses, a cocktail kit, cocktail garnishes, or a bartending guide — all of which you can cater to your budget or pricing preferences.

6. Experiential Gift Cards

Although experiential gift cards work well for any occasion, using them for birthdays, work anniversaries, or rewards can make employees feel appreciated. Experiential gifts are all about in-the-moment activities, and you can plan them for individuals or for teams.

Meditation retreats, spa sessions, recreational outdoor activities, and concerts are a few examples of experiential bulk gift cards for employees.

7. Online Subscriptions

Often, employees want to pick up an activity or hobby, but they need a nudge in the right direction. Offering free subscriptions or gift cards can provide much-needed motivation and help team members get started.

Health and fitness app subscriptions, gym memberships, personal care or wellness products, or streaming platforms can all propel your team to improved quality of life and happiness outside the office.

8. Customized Gift Bags

Customized gift bags work well for employee rewards and recognition. You can segment your employees based on their interests and work with a gift vendor to create customized gift bags for each interest. For instance, you can give portable speakers or headphones, or board or card games such as Mixtape to a music buff.

9. Sustainability-Focused Gift Cards

Sustainable gifts cut down waste and promote an eco-friendly lifestyle while reinforcing the values and environmental stewardship your organization stands for.

Sustainability-focused gift cards could offer items as simple as reusable coffee cups and filters, copper water bottles, metal straws, or bamboo cutlery, or can get as comprehensive as assorted gift bags.

10. Gamified Learning Allowance

Employees often want to improve their skill sets and stay ahead of the curve, but it also benefits the company through expanded knowledge on the job. Through gamified learning gift cards and a series of courses, you can propel them to the next level of their career. Try gifting them one course at a time — they must successfully complete the course to unlock the next one.

Gamifying the learning experience helps organizations improve their training and development initiatives, and allows employees to meet their learning goals.

Improve the Bulk Gift Card Experience With Virtual Credit Cards

In many instances, selecting gifts in bulk isn’t feasible. The reason is simple: Gifts don’t come in a one-size-fits-all package. A better alternative to bulk gifting is virtual credit cards like Hoppier.

Hoppier cards can be personalized to your organizational context and employee needs. The massive vendor ecosystem, combined with end-to-end spending visibility, helps you craft unique experiences while staying within budget.

Here is how you use Hoppier virtual cards:

  1. Define the gifting experience you want and set a budget for the card.
  1. Choose from a list of vendors based on the experience you want to provide. For instance, if you are throwing a birthday party, you can pick vendors that offer personalized birthday cakes and beverages. You can also include online stores to let employees choose the gift they want.
  1. Empower your employees to donate to a charity of their choice or split their allowance.
  1. Set redemption deadlines to reclaim unused allowance — a bonus that avoids sunken costs associated with leftover cash on many gift cards.

Hoppier helps organizations maximize their gifting ROI and create bespoke employee experiences.

Why Hoppier?

Three employees smiling in front of a laptop

In addition to personalizing the bulk gifting experience for employees, here are three significant benefits of Hoppier cards.

1. Autonomy Over Gifts

Hoppier empowers employees to design their own experiences. This autonomy reduces your workload and puts the power of decision-making in employees’ hands.

2. Convenience

Even while working with a third-party vendor, you must negotiate and handle the purchase, storage, and delivery.

Hoppier eliminates this process. You can allocate, disburse, or deactivate the card whenever you want. Similarly, employees can use their benefits right away or wait it out, making the whole process more convenient than traditional bulk gifting.

3. Eliminate the Paradox of Choice

Contrary to the popular notion, offering more options doesn’t always simplify the decision process. With Hoppier, you can limit spending to a handful of vendors in each category based on the occasion and the business.

How To Choose a Bulk Gifting Partner?

Regardless of whether you choose to go with traditional bulk gift cards for employees or virtual credit cards, evaluating a gifting partner is a necessity. Keep these concepts in mind as you choose your partner.

1. Flexibility

Evaluate the flexibility of the gifting partner or platform in terms of dynamic requirements. The gifting partner should meet your needs whether it’s just a handful of employees or an organization-wide program. The platform must provide flexibility on budget allocation, assigning new cards, and deactivating cards in real-time.

2. Usability

The gifting platform should be simple to navigate. The last thing you need is to dedicate time and resources to explain to employees how to redeem their gift allowance. Employees should also find the user interface simple and easy to use. Whether allocating a new card or checking total spending, accessibility is paramount.

3. Customer Support

We recommend setting up a demo with your shortlisted gifting partners to understand how their interface works and the benefits thereof. Ask about the ramp-up time and their onboarding process.

4. Vendor Tie-Ups

Vendor partnerships are among the most critical factors when determining a gifting partner. If your employees work out of different locations or remotely, it's crucial to ensure that the listed vendors with your prospective gifting partner are accessible to all employees.

5. Reporting

The gifting platform should provide you with comprehensive analytics. You should be able to view and analyze your spending, redemption, and troubleshooting patterns. Knowing how your employees use the platform and the vendors they prefer will help you plan your upcoming celebrations.

Where To Go From Here?

Bulk gift cards for employees require a significant amount of planning. You must understand the occasion, pick a gift, choose a vendor, collect samples, submit employee shipping details, place an order, and track packages post-shipping. Of course, bulk gift cards offer economies of scale, but they may not invoke the same kind of enthusiasm and emotions for all your employees.

Hoppier sales team reward virtual gift card

Integrating virtual credit cards as a part of your bulk gifting program reduces stress, lets you manage your budget effectively, and provides autonomy to employees over their gifting experience. Set up a free demo to see if Hoppier fits your bulk gift card needs.

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Ready to 2x your global engagement at your next event, with Ox stress?

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo

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Ready to 2x your global engagement at your next event, with Ox stress?

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo

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Ready to 2x your global engagement at your next event, with Ox stress?

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo


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