No matter the goal of your rewards program, the virtual Mastercard international gift card can be an ideal choice if your recipients are scattered across the globe or fall into a wide range of demographics. Their flexibility is a huge advantage when incentivizing survey respondents, customers, research participants, or employees. But since these rewards are prepaid cards as opposed to true gift cards, there are some nuances to consider. Here are three ways that Mastercard rewards differ from brand-specific gift cards.
The Mastercard international gift card is accepted in more than 150 countries, making it an extremely flexible option when you are sending rewards to recipients around the world. It’s available in several major currencies, including American and Canadian dollars, British pounds, and euros. But even when it’s used in a country with a different currency, the card issuer does the conversion automatically and deducts the correct amount from the Mastercard.
It is important to note, however, that there are some countries where these prepaid rewards are not accepted. Nations such as Cuba, Colombia, Iraq, North Korea, and Belarus have regulations that prevent recipients from spending Mastercard gift cards and other similar cards, like Visas. The list of restricted countries can change as policies evolve, so be sure to check the updated terms before buying Mastercard rewards.
One of the best things about the international Mastercard is the sheer breadth of choice it gives recipients. Essentially, any online retailer that accepts a regular Mastercard credit card will accept a virtual prepaid Mastercard. Once they’ve selected their items for purchase, recipients simply can enter the virtual card number at checkout, just as they would a credit card number.
The greater adoption of mobile payment options offers recipients even more flexibility. A virtual Mastercard international gift card or other prepaid reward can be loaded into a mobile wallet such as Apple Pay. Many stores now accept mobile payments, making it easy for digital rewards to be used for purchases at brick-and-mortar retailers.
Many gift cards to specific stores or websites don’t expire. A Mastercard international gift card does, although recipients will still have plenty of time to use their card. These rewards may be redeemable for only six months but more typically are good for a year or more. The redemption window will depend on which prepaid reward you purchase. That period begins from the date that the recipient claims and registers the card.
Prepaid rewards, including Mastercards, have certain nuances that make them extremely flexible and ideal for many research, marketing, and employee programs. But there will still be programs that require a different solution. Single-brand gift cards are a great option, especially when your recipients are all in the same country. Make it even better by using a rewards management tool that allows you to curate a selection. That way, recipients can choose which digital gift card they want to receive. Other cash equivalents, such as PayPal rewards, can also work.