I recently found another reason to ditch those old paper gift certificates and move to a plastic gift card.
My wife and I recently wanted to buy a gift card for a relatives birthday. They live out of town but we know where they like to eat. I called the restaurant and asked if I could buy a gift card to be presented to them when they showed up. The person that answered informed me that they had recently been robbed!
The night before someone had kicked in the front door, grabbed a bunch of stuff and ran. Included in the items stolen? You guessed it, all their paper gift certificates. The real downside is that they own a couple of locations so now it’s going to be very difficult to determine, at each location, if the signatures etc are valid.
With plastic this won’t happen. Because the cards are not loaded until the customer pays, the worst thing that can happen is that you are out the cost of the plastic!