There are many reasons why gift cards are so successful. You can buy them for a rainy day, you can gift them to someone as a last resort and they are perfect for giveaways as most companies will tell you. They are also extremely easy to forget about, especially when their balance is low. Many people simply toss their gift cards out or leave them in their wallets forever which is simply ridiculous considering you can use them instead of money.
Since more and more people are now using their phones to pay for things I figured it was as good a time as any to tell you about Gyft, an app that lets you upload, send and even buy almost any gift card right from your mobile device. It already supports more than 200 retail stores and since you simply store the gift cards in the digital wallet you will no longer have any excuses for not using them. Please note that Gyft’s services are only available in the US.
1. Install Gyft
Gyft is currently available in iTunes and Google Play so head over to the appropriate store and download the app right away. Note that the screenshots come from the Android app but both versions are identical.
2. Account creation
The first time you launch the app you will be greeted by a quick guide. Skip over it till you get to the log in page. You can now choose to log in with your Facebook or Google+ credentials or create an account using your email address. I am not sure what happens if you log in with one of the aforementioned services but signing up for a new account nets you $5 of free credit towards the purchase of any gift card. You will see a “Gyft Card” menu come right after you finish signing up so you cannot miss it. After you “scratch to reveal” the code you will also get an email with details on how to redeem the credit.
3. Add your gift cards
To add an existing gift card, start by tapping on the Upload button found at the bottom toolbar of the app’s main menu. Find the card’s store by scrolling your way through the list or use the search function if you cannot be bothered. You will then be asked to enter the card number and PIN. You might have to scratch your gift card first but do not worry about it. Once you have entered the details, tap on the “Add to wallet” option to continue. If everything went well you should see your card listed at the app’s main menu along with your free one from before.
Note: I recommend hanging on to your gift cards just in case a store does not accept digital cards.
4. Redeem gift cards
The majority of the cards you add will have their very own barcode which can be scanned at the majority of participating scores. Tap on any card you have already added to see what I mean. All you have to do to redeem the card is give your phone to the cashier so that they can scan it. Even if the cashier has not used the app before there are instructions at the bottom just for this case.
5. Purchase new gift cards for yourself
Tap on the “Buy” button found at the bottom toolbar right next to the “Upload” one. Select one of the participating retailers, adjust the value of the card and hit Buy. Gyft supports a very wide variety of payment methods including Google Wallet, PayPal and Bitcoin along with the standard credit/debit card options.
6. Send a gift card to your friends or family
Tap on the “Send” button from the toolbar at the bottom. Select a card, adjust the value, hit the Send button and select the recipient from your contacts list. Note that “Gyft Cards” can be redeemed by the recipient in any store through the Gyft app (in mobile or the web). You will also have the option of sending a message or video along with the card which is probably a good idea if it is an actual gift.