The advent of popular online subscription services and online shopping gave gift cards of various sorts a chance to shine.

Vouchers are a fast, safe, and convenient payment method, but first you need to get your hands on some. We’re here to answer some questions you may have regarding the gift card acquisition process.

What types of gift cards are there?

The two most prevalent types of gift cards are prepaid codes and subscription vouchers.

Prepaid codes

The prepaid codes are simple to understand: each card contains a certain amount of currency corresponding to its price and determined by the issuing body, usually a specific store or generic gift card services like PaySafeCard.

You can usually use such code in one of two ways. The first tops up the e-wallet tied to your user account. The other allows you to use the code as an alternative for a money transfer or a credit card transaction. Paysafecard works like this, for instance.


The other type of card allows you to keep using a subscription-based service. They may apply to VOD services, music streaming, or even gaming, because of MMORPG subscriptions, like in the case of World of Warcraft. Xbox Live and PlayStation Network also have their own services, which can be prolonged thanks to using their dedicated gift cards.

They usually start with a 1-month subscription and go up from there. Maybe it isn’t more convenient than just hooking your credit card to the service and being done with it, but this way you won’t have to remember to cancel the billing order when you’re done with a service.

Where can you buy gift cards?

In the case of physical cards, you need to check which local retailers have them on offer. The presence of certain stores varies region by region, so it’s impossible to create a list valid everywhere in the world. But a good place to start are retailers focused on selling various kinds of multimedia. Purchasing digital gift cards is much easier.

How do you receive digital gift cards?

After completing the transaction on your chosen source of vouchers, you should receive an e-mail with a confirmation and a link you can use to retrieve your unique code. Depending on a website, this may also happen via an automatic redirection after the transaction. Regardless of how you got there, you’re likely to face a basic captcha verifying that you are not a bot. After this step is cleared, your code will be ready for you.

What is the delivery time?

In many places, the delivery of gift cards is instant once the transaction is cleared.

Why would you want to use gift cards in the first place?

Gift cards are quite convenient. Making purchases online are faster and safer, because you don’t need to provide your bank credentials, and there’s little to no chance of something going wrong, assuming you typed the code correctly.

If you prefer to stay relatively anonymous on the Internet and still partake of the many advantages of online services, then gift cards are your best bet, given that many of them you will be able to buy with cash, if your local brick-and-mortar stores have them in stock. They are also an easy way out if your friends or a family member has a birthday coming up and you needs a last minute gift. It’s not glorious or thoughtful, but sometimes picking a gift for someone is really hard.