Gift Certificate / Gift Card - Security

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Generic

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What do you do to provide a secure gift card purchase for the guest? Do you print a gift certificate? Do you use secure paper? Do you use a form printed by others? What do you do that would keep someone from making a colour photo copy of the certificate? Anyone use an actual electronic gift card issued by their merchant account processor?
 

Proud Texan

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We print our own gift certificates and I write the purchaser's "customer number" on the gift certificate. The customer number is generated each time I create an invoice in Quick Books. That way I can tie the gift certificate to a particular customer. I print out an invoice, which I keep in a separate file marked "outstanding gift certificates" When I get a call from the card's recipient, I verify the card number and we're good to go.
When possible, I get the name of the recipient at the time of the sale and keep that on file as well.
We've sold a good number of gift cards, but have had but a few used. It's a good cash cow.
 

Copperhead

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We print our own - I use a simple Powerpoint format. How I know that it is legit? Not only are they numbered and I keep a list, but I also emboss my seal over my signature and writen under is 'only valid with owner signature and seal. Obviously I do not send these via email, only through PO so, if someone is going to need it ASAP for a gift, they must come here to pick it up.
 

Samster

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There are gift certificate kits that you can purchase at office supply stores and print with logos, etc. on your printer, which is what I used even though my guest management software had the ability to print them. The ones through the GMS were just not that attractive. They were numbered, tracked, and signed so it would be quite difficult to forge them.
 

Alibi Ike

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I use my own GC. Yes, someone could photocopy it and try to use it again, or downlaod it and then print it out with different info, but I maintain copies of all of my GC's and would not accept one without a valid 'GC code' that gets printed onto each card and matches the info created by the original purchase. Sample: JK040411BC- A GC purchased by JK on Apr 4 for BC.
Rocket science? No. But there is only one person here who handles GC purchases & redemptions so it works for me.
 

JBloggs

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Eric you are chockful of great topics!
For me, simple steps for our own GC's printed are:
a) numbered - this is a unique ID# for each and every one sold
b) signed by me only
c) printed on orange paper - not photocopiable
EMAILED:
if they want to purchase and print at home (which some do as it is a rush order, someone is getting married and they goofed and left it too late) it is sent as PDF with my electronic signature. I also use this when someone purchases a night for someone else.
I sold so few last year it is not even worth talking about...boo hoo hoo.
 

Don Draper

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Our are on printed card stock and individually numbered, very inexpensive from the same local company who does our letterhead. Signed by only me, and we keep track of them in an Excel spreadsheet by purchaser and recipient. I do ask people to bring the card with them for check-in and have never had someone show up without it, but it really wouldn't matter if they did because I would have the record of it being used by its number.
This is why I will not accept online bookings for gift certificates, I ask them to call to book so I can verify the cert is legit. I use the cert towards the deposit and ask for a cc number on file.
 

egoodell

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Our are on printed card stock and individually numbered, very inexpensive from the same local company who does our letterhead. Signed by only me, and we keep track of them in an Excel spreadsheet by purchaser and recipient. I do ask people to bring the card with them for check-in and have never had someone show up without it, but it really wouldn't matter if they did because I would have the record of it being used by its number.
This is why I will not accept online bookings for gift certificates, I ask them to call to book so I can verify the cert is legit. I use the cert towards the deposit and ask for a cc number on file..
We also number them and list by name, date and purchase. Nobody can show up with a copy as it would just be a dulpicate. These days we can request proof of purchase. Everyone purchases them via credit card so if they tried to puch it they could jolly well show me the purchase on their credit card bill. No proof no good.
RIki
 

Proud Texan

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Our are on printed card stock and individually numbered, very inexpensive from the same local company who does our letterhead. Signed by only me, and we keep track of them in an Excel spreadsheet by purchaser and recipient. I do ask people to bring the card with them for check-in and have never had someone show up without it, but it really wouldn't matter if they did because I would have the record of it being used by its number.
This is why I will not accept online bookings for gift certificates, I ask them to call to book so I can verify the cert is legit. I use the cert towards the deposit and ask for a cc number on file..
Don Draper said:
I use the cert towards the deposit and ask for a cc number on file.
We only accept payment of gift certificates by credit card and use that number as the credit card on file with the understanding that the person purchasing the gift card is responsible for any damages are other charges incurred by the recipient of the gift card. So far, we've never had any additional charges.
We also treat the gift card "same as cash", so that reservations made with the gift card are subject to our standard cancellation policies. If it's for a two-night stay and they cancel and rebook within a given period, the gift certificate may lose value. If it's a last minute cancellation, they forfeit the gift certificate in its entirety.
 

Don Draper

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Our are on printed card stock and individually numbered, very inexpensive from the same local company who does our letterhead. Signed by only me, and we keep track of them in an Excel spreadsheet by purchaser and recipient. I do ask people to bring the card with them for check-in and have never had someone show up without it, but it really wouldn't matter if they did because I would have the record of it being used by its number.
This is why I will not accept online bookings for gift certificates, I ask them to call to book so I can verify the cert is legit. I use the cert towards the deposit and ask for a cc number on file..
Don Draper said:
I use the cert towards the deposit and ask for a cc number on file.
We only accept payment of gift certificates by credit card and use that number as the credit card on file with the understanding that the person purchasing the gift card is responsible for any damages are other charges incurred by the recipient of the gift card. So far, we've never had any additional charges.
We also treat the gift card "same as cash", so that reservations made with the gift card are subject to our standard cancellation policies. If it's for a two-night stay and they cancel and rebook within a given period, the gift certificate may lose value. If it's a last minute cancellation, they forfeit the gift certificate in its entirety.
.
Proud Texan said:
Don Draper said:
I use the cert towards the deposit and ask for a cc number on file.
We only accept payment of gift certificates by credit card and use that number as the credit card on file with the understanding that the person purchasing the gift card is responsible for any damages are other charges incurred by the recipient of the gift card. So far, we've never had any additional charges.
We also treat the gift card "same as cash", so that reservations made with the gift card are subject to our standard cancellation policies. If it's for a two-night stay and they cancel and rebook within a given period, the gift certificate may lose value. If it's a last minute cancellation, they forfeit the gift certificate in its entirety.
YES! I have taken to putting "Full cancellation policy" applies on the email confirmation of someone booking with a GC...it's just like cash, and if you cancel last minute you lose it.
 

Copperhead

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Our are on printed card stock and individually numbered, very inexpensive from the same local company who does our letterhead. Signed by only me, and we keep track of them in an Excel spreadsheet by purchaser and recipient. I do ask people to bring the card with them for check-in and have never had someone show up without it, but it really wouldn't matter if they did because I would have the record of it being used by its number.
This is why I will not accept online bookings for gift certificates, I ask them to call to book so I can verify the cert is legit. I use the cert towards the deposit and ask for a cc number on file..
Don Draper said:
I use the cert towards the deposit and ask for a cc number on file.
We only accept payment of gift certificates by credit card and use that number as the credit card on file with the understanding that the person purchasing the gift card is responsible for any damages are other charges incurred by the recipient of the gift card. So far, we've never had any additional charges.
We also treat the gift card "same as cash", so that reservations made with the gift card are subject to our standard cancellation policies. If it's for a two-night stay and they cancel and rebook within a given period, the gift certificate may lose value. If it's a last minute cancellation, they forfeit the gift certificate in its entirety.
.
Proud Texan said:
Don Draper said:
I use the cert towards the deposit and ask for a cc number on file.
We only accept payment of gift certificates by credit card and use that number as the credit card on file with the understanding that the person purchasing the gift card is responsible for any damages are other charges incurred by the recipient of the gift card. So far, we've never had any additional charges.
We also treat the gift card "same as cash", so that reservations made with the gift card are subject to our standard cancellation policies. If it's for a two-night stay and they cancel and rebook within a given period, the gift certificate may lose value. If it's a last minute cancellation, they forfeit the gift certificate in its entirety.
YES! I have taken to putting "Full cancellation policy" applies on the email confirmation of someone booking with a GC...it's just like cash, and if you cancel last minute you lose it.
.
Don Draper said:
Proud Texan said:
Don Draper said:
I use the cert towards the deposit and ask for a cc number on file.
We only accept payment of gift certificates by credit card and use that number as the credit card on file with the understanding that the person purchasing the gift card is responsible for any damages are other charges incurred by the recipient of the gift card. So far, we've never had any additional charges.
We also treat the gift card "same as cash", so that reservations made with the gift card are subject to our standard cancellation policies. If it's for a two-night stay and they cancel and rebook within a given period, the gift certificate may lose value. If it's a last minute cancellation, they forfeit the gift certificate in its entirety.
YES! I have taken to putting "Full cancellation policy" applies on the email confirmation of someone booking with a GC...it's just like cash, and if you cancel last minute you lose it.
Yes, us too. You have to be very clear with this as they do not think they loose anything if they cancel. Wrong!
 

Generic

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Our are on printed card stock and individually numbered, very inexpensive from the same local company who does our letterhead. Signed by only me, and we keep track of them in an Excel spreadsheet by purchaser and recipient. I do ask people to bring the card with them for check-in and have never had someone show up without it, but it really wouldn't matter if they did because I would have the record of it being used by its number.
This is why I will not accept online bookings for gift certificates, I ask them to call to book so I can verify the cert is legit. I use the cert towards the deposit and ask for a cc number on file..
Don Draper said:
I use the cert towards the deposit and ask for a cc number on file.
We only accept payment of gift certificates by credit card and use that number as the credit card on file with the understanding that the person purchasing the gift card is responsible for any damages are other charges incurred by the recipient of the gift card. So far, we've never had any additional charges.
We also treat the gift card "same as cash", so that reservations made with the gift card are subject to our standard cancellation policies. If it's for a two-night stay and they cancel and rebook within a given period, the gift certificate may lose value. If it's a last minute cancellation, they forfeit the gift certificate in its entirety.
.
Proud Texan said:
Don Draper said:
I use the cert towards the deposit and ask for a cc number on file.
We only accept payment of gift certificates by credit card and use that number as the credit card on file with the understanding that the person purchasing the gift card is responsible for any damages are other charges incurred by the recipient of the gift card. So far, we've never had any additional charges.
We also treat the gift card "same as cash", so that reservations made with the gift card are subject to our standard cancellation policies. If it's for a two-night stay and they cancel and rebook within a given period, the gift certificate may lose value. If it's a last minute cancellation, they forfeit the gift certificate in its entirety.
YES! I have taken to putting "Full cancellation policy" applies on the email confirmation of someone booking with a GC...it's just like cash, and if you cancel last minute you lose it.
.
We insist that they reserve online with a credit card, but they are welcome to pay with the GC when they are here. Our normal cancellation policy applies on all reservations.
But...when I gave a free or promotional GC not only does it have an expiration date it also states that it can only be used for accomodation and cannot be used to cover any fees.
 

gillumhouse

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Each of my GCs are individually created for the recipient and from the giver. I do them in Publisher - my creative outlet. One Christmas present from kids to parents had 3 kittens looking at a fireplace with stockings hung, I put the kids names on the backs of the cats. Another was from 2 kids & their families. When I sked how they wanted it from, she said The Gang. So I made one with the Little Rascals - her sister loved it but she did not, so I redid (I e-mail a copy before printing on card stock) so I made it with 2 groups of angels and the Gang of Angels were the givers. I also get the name of the who is receiving so i can tie them with the card. ALL gift certificates require a check for the amount plus tax - in my hand before I send the certificate.
So far, everyone has loved the certificate - one that was for a 40th anniversary was part of the Memory Album the family gave them (and it even included my brochure). The lady brought the album to show me how they gave it to them.
 
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