Cardtonic PlatformGift Cards

Prepaid Cards Vs. Gift Cards: What’s The Difference?

The strong similarities between prepaid cards and gift cards, make it common to mistake one for the other. Both card types are used for digital and offline transactions in lieu of real cash. They are both debit cards that make local and international transactions smooth because you don’t have to worry about extra rates.

However, there are quite a number of differences between prepaid cards and gift cards, including durability, areas of use as well as expiration. What precisely are the differences between prepaid cards and gift cards? Let’s unveil them together!

What Is The Difference Between Prepaid Cards VS Gift Cards?


Prepaid Cards

These are electronic debit cards issued by banks or other financial institutions. The user loads the card with a certain amount of money which can be used for a specified period of time. The institution which issues prepaid cards charges the user certain tokens on a monthly basis. In essence, prepaid cards are reusable, and function almost exactly like credit cards. You could as well use them to withdraw funds just like the regular automated machine (ATM) cards.


Gift Cards

Prepaid Cards Vs. Gift Cards

Gift cards are literally gifted cards. They are access to online and offline stores. A person purchases the gift card, which has some amounts on it, and gifts it to some other person who has the access to visit the same store or its branches and purchase items or enjoy certain services from the store until the value on the gift card is exhausted. Gift cards are quite suitable for online stores, especially the code-based ones. They bridge distance, and allow anyone to shop on online stores once they have the coded gift cards.

All you need to know about gift card receipts

Prepaid Cards Vs Gift Cards: The Differences


Flexibility of Use

Prepaid cards have almost no limits of use. They can be used for any financial transaction anywhere in as much as they are still active and there is enough balance on them. On the other hand, gift cards can be used only in stores where they’re purchased, their branches or affiliate stores. This means people who are far from the location of the stores cannot enjoy the gift cards, except the stores offer online services.


Another major difference between prepaid cards and gift cards lies in the (in)ability to reload and use them after they run out of balance. While prepaid cards can be refunded, a gift card becomes useless once the value or amount on it is exhausted.


Financial institutions and banks are the issuers of prepaid cards whereas stores, online or otherwise, sell gift cards. To get prepaid cards, you would be required to apply and undertake some documentation, but you could simply walk into a store to purchase a gift card.


It is true that both prepaid cards and gift cards have expiration dates, but the former have longer validity periods. The expiry dates of prepaid cards are often embossed on the card, but in most cases, the expiry dates of gift cards are ascertained by the issuers. Gift cards last for a few days or a month in most cases, but prepaid cards last for years.

Protection System

If you lose a gift card while it still has value, it cannot be redeemed, and you can’t get a refund by the issuer. On the other hand, prepaid cards issuers have protection mechanisms in place to secure your funds in cases of theft or damage.


Both prepaid cards and gift cards are essentials in financial transactions in any modern society. They have their peculiar functions and still continue to drive local and international trades and services worldwide.


About Cardtonic

Cardtonic operates as a trading platform with direct gift card brokers. Cardtonic also provides flexible trading options to allow the ease of trading. This platform allows the option of trading via Instant messenger, website and a mobile app for convenience.

Trading is done easily through the mobile app, website and instant messengers. Moreover, this platform processes over 10,000 transactions each month. Given so much volume, the company possesses a brilliant reputation for being secure and reliable.



What Are The Different Types of Gift Cards?

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button