Looking for new strategies to make a positive difference in your workplace?

The use of prepaid reward cards to recognize employees is a growing trend. According to one study, 87 percent of U.S. firms that use non-cash rewards are now using gift cards, spending more than $24 billion annually on those cards.1 In addition, a 2018 State of Consumer Gift Card Preferences survey reported that 69 percent of employees surveyed would like to receive a gift card as a reward from an employer.2

Here are five ways a prepaid rewards card-based recognition program can benefit your organization:

1) Influence employee behavior.

The prospect of a reward can be a powerful motivator. Consider offering prepaid rewards cards for completing a specific and measurable activity, such as a health and wellness challenge or training program. You could also use the program to reward employees for consistently following workplace safety practices or other required procedures. It’s a simple way to help reinforce positive behavior until it becomes a habit.

2) Recognize performance and goal achievement.

Prepaid rewards cards are an excellent way to recognize employees for meeting safety goals and other performance benchmarks. Think about all the activities that contribute to safety success, such as training, audits, finding and fixing hazards, and reporting near-misses. Focusing on steps in the safety process may inspire employees to change their approach to job tasks or learn new safety skills.

3) Say “thank you” for a job well done.

Recognize employees for their above-and-beyond efforts with a prepaid reward card. Acknowledging employees helps make them feel valued and appreciated, which can contribute to higher job satisfaction. In fact, a WorkTrends™ global survey reported that 83 percent of employees who receive recognition for their performance report a positive employee experience.3

4) Boost employee morale.

Beyond employee recognition, prepaid rewards cards can be used to help build your workplace culture, such as for giveaways at company events. You could also celebrate milestones such as winning a safety award or achieving leading safety indicator goals. Simple gestures like these communicate that people matter and create a sense of belonging to a team. That’s important when it comes to retaining employees, reducing turnover – and reducing incidents and injuries.

5) Reduce time-consuming admin tasks.

With merchandise reward programs, you may have to spend a significant amount of time managing paperwork and tracking points or redemptions. Plus, the selection may be limited, there may be added costs for fulfillment and shipping, and the items may take weeks to be delivered.

Prepaid rewards card programs simplify the process with a single reward item. An online portal also makes the program easy to administer. You can distribute them yourself or select individual fulfillment. Recipients decide when and how they want to use their card, whether they make a purchase in a store or online.

For more information about U.S. Bank’s Rewards Visa® Card program, send an email to RewardsCommunication@usbank.com.


1) Incentive Marketplace Estimate Research Study conducted by Intellective Group, St. Louis, Mo., for the Incentive Federation Inc. in July 2016 http://www.incentivefederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Incentive-Marketplace-Estimate-Research-Study-2015-16-White-Paper.pdf

2) 2018 State of Consumer Gift Card Preferences internet-based survey conducted independently by Leger on behalf of Blackhawk Network in March 2018 https://blackhawknetwork.com/consumer-gift-card-preferences/

3) WorkTrends™ 2016 Global Survey for the IBM/Globoforce Employee Experience Index