'Tis the Season for Gift Cards
With Hanukkah upon us and Christmas and Kwanzaa right around the corner, it is definitely the season for giving. Gift cards are one of the most popular and requested presents for people of all ages. As a giver, you feel confident in your gift, and as a receiver you essentially get to choose your own adventure. Gift cards are a win-win for everyone in many cases. That is precisely why as a yogi entrepreneur, offering gift cards can be advantageous to your yoga business.
Benefits of Offering Gift Cards
Offering gift cards is a great way for existing yogis in your community to share their love for yoga and your studio with friends and family. Gift cards given as gifts to people who’ve never been to your studio will entice them to visit to redeem the gift card's value. This introduces them to your yoga community, which, along with an excellent experience, will keep them coming back to practice again and again.
One of the most valuable aspects of a gift card program is the volume of customers that will spend more on a transaction than their gift card is worth. According to giftcards.com, 72 percent of customers using gift cards will spend more than the value on their card. In fact, these individuals will on average spend 20 percent more than their gift card value.
Things to Remember When Offering Gift Cards
Although offering gift cards benefits your yoga business, there are laws that govern gift cards that you should always keep in mind. In 2009, Congress passed the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, which set consumer protections for gift cards based on many state laws. If you are offering gift cards for your yoga business you should know that:
Money on a gift card cannot expire for at least five years from the date the card was purchased, or from the last date any additional money was loaded onto the card. If the expiration date listed on the card is earlier than these dates, the money can be transferred to a replacement card at no cost.
Inactivity fees can be charged only after a card hasn’t been used for at least one year, and then only once per month. But fees may be charged to buy the card or to replace a lost or stolen card.
The card must clearly disclose its expiration date, and the card or packaging must clearly disclose any fees.
You should also remember that there are state laws that also govern gift cards and they may be stricter that the ones outline in the CARD Act. Be sure to search your state's statutes governing gift cards here.