Gift cards are now prevalent, especially among youths. It makes the payment for purchases easier and creates more opportunities for discounts and promos. When deciding to purchase a gift card, there are different types available you can choose from.

Physical cards and E-codes have similar advantages. However, purchasers spend time going to a physical store compared to activating an e-code easily online from the comfort of their home.

If you are giving a gift card to a loved one or as the recipient, you may be curious about which one is better a physical card and an E-code. Both have their advantages and disadvantages which you may want to put into consideration.

In this article, I will explain the differences between the gift cards we have today. We will also look into the advantages and disadvantages of some of them.

What is a Gift Card?

Gift cards are prepaid debit cards that have been loaded with a certain value of money. They are great substitutes for cash and can be used to pay for items or serve as gifts to friends. There are various kinds of gift cards which we will talk about soon.

Difference Between Ecodes, Physical Cards & Gift Vouchers


E-codes, also referred to as digital gift cards are sent to your email address or mobile phone as SMS messages.

With “Gen Z” and millennial demographic groups eager to obtain items on the go and quickly, these are highly popular. This has been made better by the expansion of free Wi-Fi and improved mobile data/roaming.

E-codes, also known as virtual gift cards, are often sent to a recipient through email along with a message that is usually personalized and branded.

In order to exchange these E-codes for items in the same way as a Mastercard, they are often 16-digit numbers or PIN codes that are input at the point of sale or on a particular website.

Physical Cards

Physical gift cards are plastic cards in a rectangular shape, exactly like credit cards. They can be purchased at a physical retail store and online at a retailer’s website. They have their own card number and can be redeemed online. In contrast to gift vouchers, they aren’t personalized to a person’s name like a gift voucher.

Gift Vouchers / Gift Certificates

Gift Vouchers, also referred to as gift certificates are promotional vouchers. They are basically sent or bought in paper forms. They come with an authorized signature from the brand providing them, and no electronic checks in situ.

Even while many companies choose to offer gift vouchers, they tend to be more labor-intensive than new gift cards and eCodes.

Personalization is also an option for online orders. They will be given out in a gift wallet to make the presentation more unique; normally, this is a thick card envelope with a distinctive graphic (such as “Happy Thanksgiving”).

Whether you are going for a physical gift card or e-code, there are various available cards. Interestingly, you can exchange these gift cards for cash on the Nosh app. They include iTunes gift cards, Amazon gift cards, Walmart gift cards, Amex gift cards, Google Play gift cards, and many more.

To know the current rate of each gift card above, use the gift card rate calculator on our platform to find out the best gift card rate in Nigeria.

Benefits of E-code Gift Cards

It’s incredibly easy to purchase and use. You do not need to carry the plastic card around with you or visit the merchant’s physical location. The gift card will still work even if your wallet or purse is not within your reach.

Since e-codes don’t consume or produce any plastic, they are more environmentally friendly than plastic cards.

Disadvantages of E-code Gift Cards

1. An e-code may sometimes have a validity period after which it can no longer be used.

2. When an e-code is lost or stolen from your account, retailers may not be able to reissue it for you. This means that all of the money associated with your e-code will be lost permanently if it is stolen or misplaced.

Advantages of a Physical Gift Card

1. Physical gift cards can be handed in person to express gratitude, which is one of their key advantages.

2. They also create a lasting impact on the recipient since, despite being more readily misplaced or rejected than an eCard, they are also more tactile.

Disadvantages of a Physical Gift Card

There are various drawbacks to physical gift cards that deter some retailers and customers from using them.

1. For starters, it increases the likelihood that the receiver will misplace their gift card and forget about it before making a second purchase if they do not spend the entire sum on their initial visit.

2. Another drawback is the possible financial cost to a company of having so many real cards in use that may never be redeemed. They cannot be as easily tracked as eGift Cards, which is another negative.


Contact Nosh on our official WhatsApp line at 08125349466 if you are ready to trade and need assistance.

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