In the past, when you wanted to mail a gift card to a loved one, you had to purchase the card and then head over to the Post Office to mail it. But now the Post Office is joining the world of one-stop shopping. The Postal Regulatory Commission has just given its stamp of approval to sell prepaid gift cards offered by credit card companies, including MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover. And the Commission is already brainstorming ways to expand this plan which is set to begin in June.
The Go-To Gift
Prepaid gift cards remain one of the most popular go-to gifts for consumers. They serve as a perfect gift for virtually anyone of any age. And if you don’t know what to get someone for their birthday, a special occasion or holiday, gift cards make your life a whole lot easier. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, it’s estimated that more than 75% of consumers purchase at least one gift card during the holiday season.
Prepaid Cards Go Postal
It was after the most recent holiday season that postal officials began entertaining the idea of doing more than just delivering gift cards. Last week the Postal Regulatory Commission approved the Post Office’s proposal for a two-year test run in the gift card business. Beginning in June, about 2,000 retail post offices and the USPS website will sell prepaid gift cards.
Customers will have the option of choosing fixed gift cards at $25 and $50, plus a $4.95 fee. Or they can determine an amount between $26 and $100, plus a $5.95 fee. The prepaid cards can be used at any place of business that accepts credits cards by the issuer.
If all goes well with this test run, the Post Office plans to expand this program to several thousand additional locations. Additionally, it is considering selling gift cards for specific stores in addition to general prepaid cards.