Real(hard plastic) Cards vs e-Cards

I can’t believe I am the only one who prefers a plastic gift card over an 8x10 paper printout of an electronic/digital reward.  There are some exceptions, such as Amazon or Uber digital rewards, where you can immediately load the funds into your account for use later on.


I had one bad experience at Walmart with a printed $5 reward.  I was in an express checkout line, and tried to use the paper e-card printout.  The clerk did not know how to apply it and had to call a supervisor to straighten it out.  Made me real popular with the people behind me in line.  I will not purchase any e-cards that might create an issue like this again, especially any reward that requires me to spend $5 to get a $10 reward, or something similar.


Rather than have a stack of papers folded up or not, it is much easier to have a stack of same size gift cards to look through when about to go out shopping or to a restaurant. Especially when I can let the wife carry them in her purse.  The paper gets destroyed over time.  I even use a wallet insert that holds credit cards to hold all the gift cards to make it easier to find what I am looking for. 


I still get the hard cards from another rewards program that still uses Deluxe Rewards as opposed to Hello World. It’s nice to still have that daily 3:00 PM alarm go off to check to see what instant prize I might be able to latch onto, by clicking in before someone else beats me to it.  It reminds me of what AARP Rewards for Good used to be like.  I won’t identify that program, because this post will more than likely get deleted if I did. Similar posts have disappeared in the past. All I will say is that it has to do with how safe you drive.  Wise people have joined the program since the loss of RFG.


So, if you have an opinion either way regarding the type of cards available, this is a thread for you to comment on.





Regular Contributor

We prefer e-cards because we carry and use our smart phone (such as iPhone) whenever we are out.  We take a screen shot of the e-reward and store each “picture” into a folder that can be accessed by our smart phone. We don’t have to waste ink and paper nor carry a bunch of physical gift cards with us when we go out.  The e-cards often have some type of scannable bar code or numbers with PIN - we just expand the picture to give to the cashier and they either scan the barcode or enter the numbers.

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Bronze Conversationalist

What a great idea to store the e-cards on the iPhone! Thanks, dw65741
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Bronze Conversationalist

I agree about having plastic cards that I can stack and store in my wallet or binder with card holder pages and use when I get there without wearing them out first. I have several retail cards in such a binder that I have in my car glove box, just waiting for me to go to one of those stores. I also have several cards I carry in my wallet for some fast-food places that I can pull right out and use for a quick lunch when I'm near one of those, whether I'm in my own car or with my wife in hers.


I also agree about having immediate use of the eGift cards for on-line or other immediate shopping. I recently bought the specially reduced eGift cards for Michael's and my wife was able to run right down with those to get some material for some masks she made for the family. So, I can't complain about the eGift cards, either.


Each of the gift card forms has its advantages and I can appreciate both types. I don't have any suggestions for how we could combine the advantages, either.


Stay well and enjoy!

Bronze Conversationalist

Hmm, the question of plastic vs paper e-cards.....although I agree plastic cards are more convenient to handle and carry in a wallet, I haven't had any issues redeeming the paper digital rewards.  On the plus side of the paper rewards, you get the reward instantly and don't have to wait to get the plastic card through snail mail or the possibility of having the cards lost or stolen in the mail.  You can use the rewards immediately.


With the shelter in place mandate, we now have to plan our trips to the store or other public places.  It's not much effort to store the paper rewards in a folder in anticipation for future use when needed.  Also, the paper rewards are more environmentally friendly than the plastic cards that will get tossed after use.


Take care and stay safe.

Silver Conversationalist

@RussellP197074  I agree.  I used to be able to put the plastic cards in my purse.  Then when we were out, I could use one when the opportunity came up.  Now they are in a pile and I find I'm out where the business is and the paper is at home.   Very inconvenient.     

Recognized Social Butterfly



Hello Russell,


I prefer plastic vs digital😊


Have a Blessed Day



I prefer the plastic cards as well. I had lots of difficulties redeeming the Whole Foods digital one!

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