A Look at Prepaid Cards in Incentive, Rewards, and Recognition Programs

There are few rewards as satisfying as being able to pull out your wallet to simply slide out a prepaid reward or incentive card that is a branded, physical representation of your hard work.  In recent years, prepaid debit cards have skyrocketed onto the scene to become the most popular tool of choice by various firms to help motivate, engage and reward both employees and customers alike. The popularity of prepaid cards is evident through 75% of businesses believing that prepaid gift cards are among the most effective rewards, especially in driving loyalty and commitment as surveyed by the Incentive Research Foundation.  The majority of incentive planners also promote prepaid cards as a more meaningful, personal and impactful enticement than cash.

Incentive planners and business executives are not the only ones encouraging the use of prepaid debit cards; recipients are voicing their appreciation for these convenient compensations as well. In a study done by the Incentive Research Foundation, 44% of survey respondents proclaimed that prepaid cards are their favorite type of gift or reward. So much so, that when offered a prepaid card or equivalent cash, five times as many respondents chose the prepaid card over other alternatives. This data speaks volumes about the optimistic future of the prepaid debit card industry as it becomes the most notable way of simultaneously increasing both the potential incentives for employees and overall productivity for a firm.

So what’s the draw to these tiny pieces of extraordinary plastic?

There are numerous benefits associated with issuing prepaid cards, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Prepaid cards are being used as incentives across the spectrum as they can be accepted at any retailer where credit cards are taken.
  • Prepaid debit cards, unlike cash, can be used online, a more suitable feature in today’s technological age.
  • Prepaid cards have the ability to be reloaded, providing ease for the cardholder to continuously add funds to their favorite card.

Prepaid cards are being used as incentives on various levels, from spot rewards to holiday bonuses and for merchandise, dining, travel and entertainment. This slew of opportunities connected to each prepaid card has made the business a $46 billion industry in the United States as stated by the Incentive Federation. Furthermore, prepaid cards are now the most frequently used reward in corporate incentive programs, with over 75% of organizations utilizing prepaid debit cards as rewards according to Incentive Magazine’s Gift Card IQ Survey.

Businesses that are able to capitalize on the opportunity to enter into prepaid debit cards will have a positive position looking ahead, as it is widely believed that these cards drive a much higher return on investment than any other type of incentive rewards, such as cash. The flexibility and ease of distributing each card, as well as the ability to customize each as a personalized reward creates a mutually beneficial relationship while also establishing an emotional connection with an employee or customer. The facts speak for themselves, and the secret is out: prepaid cards are now on the map and are here to stay.

For more information on JNR prepaid card programs, please visit our website.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Andy Tallon


JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

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