Digital rewards are the future of user incentives. They’re easy to send, easy to redeem, and offer immediate gratification.


Going digital with your rewards and incentives will make the entire process hassle-free—whether you're trying to improve employee performance at work, encourage consumers to complete a survey, or incentivize customers for business growth.

Just as important, digital rewards improve user engagement and experience, too.  For example, users can access digital gift cards instantly through text or email, then use their cards to make either online or in-person purchases—their choice. 

If you're looking to improve your rewards and incentives program, switching from physical gift cards and incentives to digital rewards is almost always a smart move. In this article, we’ll explore digital rewards: what they are, why they're great, and, most important, how to use them (hint: it’s easier than you think!).

What are digital rewards?

Digital rewards are just what they sound like—rewards or incentives that you deliver digitally rather than through physical means. 

The most popular types of digital rewards are digital gift cards. Recipients can redeem them online and then use either at an in-person store or restaurant or on the brand's website. Similarly, virtual prepaid cards (like Visa and MastercardⓇ) offer even more flexibility, since users aren’t limited to one store. 

Other non-physical/online incentives include options like charitable donations, virtual concert or event tickets, digital coupons, digital media downloads, promo codes, exclusive access, virtual badges, and digital content like eBooks and premium articles. 

All of these rewards have one thing in common: you don't have to physically deliver them to recipients. Instead, you can send them through email, text message, or direct message (SMS). Alternatively, users can redeem digital rewards by clicking a link on your website or within your company's portal. 

Again, digital gift cards are by far the most popular type of digital rewards, thanks to their versatility. People love getting the chance to make their own purchases at Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Target, Wayfair, and hundreds of other stores and online brands and restaurants.

Pro-tip: Digital Amazon gift cards are always a popular choice. 

Meanwhile, you can also opt for virtual prepaid cards which give the recipient much more choice over where they spend it. 

How to offer digital rewards

Integrating digital rewards into your existing programs and workflows can be a simple process when you choose the right provider. Good digital gift card software can make sending, tracking, and monitoring digital rewards easy. 

For example, you can sign up for a free Giftbit account to start sending rewards right away. And you might be eligible for volume discounts and revenue sharing—chat with our Sales Team to learn more.  

You can customize your gift cards with your brand's logo and your own messaging, letting you take control of the reward offers you send. Then choose exactly what you want to send. For some use cases, you might want to send specific gift cards to specific stores or restaurants. 

Or, you might want to offer complete recipient choice, so that people can choose what digital reward they want. 

Note that prepaid cards and charitable donations are also available. 

You can also choose how you want to deliver your rewards, whether that’s via email, SMS, social DM, embedded in a survey or social media message. You might take advantage of our lightweight gift card API to integrate rewards directly into your own app or portal. Or you can use use a Zapier integration to automate reward fulfillment and link your rewards program to your existing workflows and CRM. 

Finally, you’ll get customized reports and data to help you understand your redemption rates and user trends, allowing you to shape your program to increase engagement. 

Graphic of mobile phone with a digital gift card loadec

How to choose the right digital incentives

Choosing the right digital incentives often comes down to your use case. Remember that when you use Giftbit to send digital rewards to employees, customers, or survey participants, you’ll have full control over the gift card brands available to them. Our rewards catalog has over 300 of the most highly-sought stores and restaurants (and it’s always growing). 

Sometimes, allowing your recipients to choose from the whole catalog or from a selected few options is the right choice. 

That said, sometimes companies will opt to go with specific brands, often tied to a specific campaign or event. For example, some companies send UberEats cards and other food delivery options to reward their employees with a team lunch. 

Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts cards are great incentives to get people to join demos (tell participants to ‘enjoy a coffee on us!’).

Or a transportation company might choose to send Esso cards so their drivers can use them to buy gas. 

Of course, through the Giftbit digital rewards app, you can choose gift cards from a catalog of hundreds of popular brands, including specialty brands and customer favorites like Apple, Google Play, and Xbox. 

Specifically, you’ll find great options in the following categories:

  • Apparel
  • Destinations
  • Entertainment
  • Food and drink
  • Home
  • Lifestyle
  • Online shopping
  • Restaurants
  • Wellness

examples of digital rewards

5 popular digital rewards

Deciding whether to offer specific brands or complete recipient choice will depend on a variety of factors. 

That said, the following are some of the most popular brands among both Giftbit clients and recipients.

1. Amazon

As you probably know, Amazon is the leading e-commerce company worldwide. So it’s probably a safe bet that your employees, customers, or survey participants are already shopping on Amazon—and that they’ll appreciate an Amazon digital gift card.

You can use Giftbit to give your recipients Amazon e-rewards in denominations as low as $1 in Canada, and $2 in the United States. 

That said, sticking to the 10 or 15-dollar range will let users purchase about one item. And if you want to be sure that users won't need to pay shipping and taxes on their transactions, you might want to consider bumping that up to at least $35.

2. Starbucks

For coffee and tea lovers, a Starbucks gift card feels like a reward or gift rather than just a payment in exchange for services. 

Starbucks has over 32,000 stores worldwide, meaning there is a good chance your recipients will have at least one Starbucks location in your area. Sending employees or customers Starbucks gift cards gives them an excuse to treat themselves to something many people would consider a splurge or unnecessary purchase.

3. Prepaid Visa

Visa gift cards are accepted anywhere in the US that accepts Visa credit cards, both online and in-person. This is a fun incentive, because users are often more inclined to spend their gift card on something enjoyable rather than just deposit it into their bank accounts and use it to pay bills. 

4. Prepaid Mastercard

Similarly, the Giftbit Virtual Prepaid Mastercard can be used online everywhere Mastercard is accepted worldwide.

Again, your recipients will likely see this reward as something ‘fun’ that they can use to treat themselves, although they can also be used to help with things like groceries and similar expenses. 

5. Gift cards for charities

Some users who are not motivated by monetary rewards may instead be motivated by philanthropy. So sometimes you may want to opt to send recipients gift cards that they can use to donate money to a charity of their choice. This is often a welcome gift, and one that may support other culture and charitable initiatives in your organization, too. 

When to send digital incentives and rewards

Like we’ve covered, incentives are becoming increasingly popular, with many companies and academic institutions using them to gamify behavior. For example, when employees know they are working toward a prize, their productivity improves, according to a recent Gamification at Work Survey

The right virtual rewards solutions will let you leverage digital rewards seamlessly in your existing workflows. When users meet specific goals or complete desired actions, they can instantly trigger a digital reward, providing immediate gratification that makes their efforts worthwhile. 

motivated employees celebrating a win

Specifically, here’s when you can use digital incentives and rewards as part of a gamification program, depending on your needs and industry. 

Employee rewards

Knowing that they're helping the company isn't always enough to motivate employees to work at their highest level. Sometimes, they need extrinsic motivation to do their best work. 

So start offering your employees digital rewards for exceptional performance, and you'll see a significant improvement in productivity and focus. For example, one recent study found that recognition substantially improves subsequent employee performance, partially because the workers who weren't recognized then improved their own performance to match that of their recognized colleagues.

You can use digital rewards to incentivize employees to meet certain productivity targets, such as:

  • Sales
  • New leads generated
  • Parts produced
  • Downtime
  • Turnover rates

Keep in mind employee rewards don't need to cost you an arm and a leg. Even sending a $10 or $20 digital gift card to employees who perform well can make all the difference. 

Marketing incentives

At the end of the day, consumers are human beings, and we’re all motivated by money. When you offer even a small incentive for making a purchase or otherwise engaging with your company, they will be more likely to take you up on the offer. 

For example, you could send digital rewards to customers who:

  • Make their first purchase
  • Make a repeat purchase
  • Schedule a service
  • Request an estimate
  • Sign up for your email list
  • Sign up for a demo

Offering a small gift card or other marketing incentive can pay for itself (and then some) when you make a sale that is worth two or three times the value of the incentive. 

Survey incentives

Consumers may not be willing to spend time filling out a survey for free, but offering a digital gift card in return for their trouble can seriously boost response rates.

So if you're having trouble finding participants for consumer research or an academic survey, consider offering digital rewards as research incentives

Corporate gifting

Your company can also use digital gift cards for corporate gifting, to build connections and relationships with employees, clients, and shareholders. 

View these rewards as gifts, not as incentives. They should have no strings attached and should instead express your company's appreciation for the recipient's time, loyalty, or commitment to the business.

cta rewards catalog 

Why offer digital rewards?

If you’ve read this far, then you’re probably aware of at least some of the benefits of offering digital and mobile rewards. Here’s a complete rundown of all the ROI you can enjoy from investing in an eGift card platform. 

graphic of woman pointing to benefits of digital rewards

  • Lower costs: You don't need to pay shipping and handling fees to deliver a digital gift card; you can send it instantly through text, email, or other digital outlets. 
  • Instant delivery: Users don't need to wait to receive their rewards. You can set up your digital rewards login to instantly send gift card links when users complete certain actions. 
  • Convenience: Digital rewards are much more convenient for your organization and for the recipient. They don't require any planning to distribute. 
  • Data tracking: With digital rewards, you can see key data about the number of recipients who redeemed their rewards, the brands they redeemed them for, and other KPIs to strategically shape your rewards system. 
  • Accessibility: Anyone who has internet access can redeem and use digital rewards. These rewards are accessible regardless of physical limitations. 
  • Personalization and branding: Through your digital rewards software, you can personalize the appearance and messages that go along with your digital rewards to reflect your organization's branding. 
  • Environmental impact: Digital rewards don't create paper or plastic waste and are more environmentally friendly than physical gift cards. 

With digital rewards, you’ll also gain benefits like: 

  • Variety: You aren't limited to a certain type of reward or brand; you can choose from hundreds of digital gift card options. This is particularly great for diverse and distributed work teams. 
  • Control: You can control the gift card selection your recipients have access to, or allow your recipients to decide for themselves, increasing the value of the reward. 
  • Improved customer experience: Customers enjoy a more seamless rewards experience overall with instant, digital delivery that you can integrate directly into your organization's platform.
  • Customer support: When you use a digital rewards program to send e-gift cards, you gain access to a customer support team who can walk you through the process and provide assistance when necessary. 

An all-in-one tool for digital rewarding 

If your organization still sends physical gift cards to employees, customers, shareholders, or survey participants, you're likely wasting a significant amount of time and money. 

On the flip side, with digital rewards, you can provide recipients with the same reward value without the extra costs and hassle. Users even enjoy a better redemption experience overall, improving their opinion of your organization and association with the reward. 

Giftbit lets you send hundreds of digital rewards to users with the click of a button. You can even incorporate digital rewards right into your company portal or user platform. Watch a quick demo now.