What’s trending with digital rewards

Our perspective on the digital rewards and incentives industry.

March 18, 2024 BY ERIC THIEGS

The Power of Choosing the Right Gift Card API Provider

By Eric Thiegs, Head of Strategy & Growth, NeoCurrency

Over my 25 years in the gift card industry, I’ve had a front row seat to the evolution of the industry. One of the most impactful developments was the introduction of gift card APIs.

In fact, I had the opportunity to be involved in launching one of the first gift card APIs to service real-time eGift distribution to both end users and corporate clients for B2B use cases in the loyalty, reward, and incentive industries. The revolution was on.

That was over 10 years ago.

Since then, APIs and gift cards have continued to change in myriad ways. So have the providers and the solutions they offer. It’s a dynamic and competitive industry, and choosing the wrong partner can cost a lot more than money. After all, the whole reason to utilize gift cards is to reward, engage or incentivize in some way, an employee, customer, member, participant or prize winner. Poor execution or under-delivery can have the exact opposite effect on your business or reputation that you were looking and paying for—and possibly even lead to legal issues.

“It’s a dynamic and competitive industry, and choosing the wrong partner can cost a lot more than money”

In order to help you choose the right digital reward provider for your needs, I’ve put a checklist together for buyers and decision-makers who are looking to find a gift card API provider and solution both domestically in the US, internationally—or both, that will work best for their needs. The list is based on my experience over the course of my career, as well as what we hear from our own clients here at NeoCurrency every day. Asking providers to share details on each of the below API attributes, features, benefits, use cases and pricing will help you select the best gift card API.

1. What reward content does their Gift Card API offer?

A gift card API is only as good as its content, and so the most important feature of the best reward APIs is the ability to offer a wide variety of brands that provide flexibility and choice. Ask your gift card provider if the following products can be supplied through their API integration.

  • Closed Loop Cards: Brands ranging from Amazon, Google Play, Apple, Starbucks, etc.
  • Open Loop Prepaid Cards: VISA, MasterCard, American Express, etc.
  • Cash-Like Rewards: PayPal, Venmo
  • Digital Currency Rewards: Bitcoin, Ether, Dogecoin, etc.
  • Choose-your-own reward option: A universal reward link that allows the end recipient to select their reward/gift card
  • What, if any, other prizes, coupon codes, or digital content can be delivered in their API?

2. What currencies and countries are supported by their API?

Some clients need content relevant in one country. Others need eGift Cards with popular brands across a multi-country regions, an entire continent, or all of the above. Beyond the brands, it’s important to be able to deliver rewards in the appropriate currencies for many reasons. Understanding a partner’s capabilities domestically and across the globe is key, especially if there’s a chance you’ll need coverage in a new region as your platform grows.

3. How easy is the integration of their Gift Card API?

Most Gift Card APIs boast a suite of powerful features from seamless ordering and robust security options to easy, free sandbox access for testing. Getting access to all of the great features; however, can be a challenge. You’ll want to ask your provider about how quickly the API can be deployed and inquire if the API documentation is developer-friendly. You’ll also want to know if it’s easy to work with the provider’s team to launch sandbox testing and move quickly into production. A tech call with your potential provider will quickly tell you how collaborative, supportive, and trustworthy the team is behind the API solution. If they don’t want you to talk to their tech representatives, it’s probably a red flag.

4. What kind of account support do they offer?

On-going account support is a key attribute that sets many Gift Card APIs apart. Whether you’re a small business or an enterprise-level corporate client, the reward API you use should grow with you. And you should have the support you need to answer questions and troubleshoot issues. Whether it’s new content, 24/7 self-serve account access, or strong customer service, you’ll want to ask your potential partner to outline, specifically, how they will support your account.

5. What are the KPIs of their Gift Card API?

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the lifeblood of every good API. Ask your potential gift card provider for metrics around the up-time, load tolerance, scalability, and error rate of their API. Because let’s face it, if the API doesn’t work, it will hurt you. You’ll want to understand the platform’s reliability, downtime risk, and other performance attributes that may impact the API service.

6. What are the costs and fees associated with their API?

Not all Gift Card APIs use the same pricing structure. To get a transparent understanding of the commercial components, you’ll want to ask your provider about all fees associated with their API including the cost of the eGift or prepaid products sourced through the API, setup fees, transaction fees, delivery fees, email template fees, email delivery fees, SaaS fees, or hosting/service fees.

NeoCurrency Stacks up.

NeoCurrency delivers rewards and incentives all over the world.

Since I’m suggesting you ask all of these questions to any gift care API provider you are interested in talking with, here is a quick cheat sheet of how we would answer these questions at NeoCurrency.

1. What reward content does NeoCurrency’s Gift Card API offer?

NeoCurrency offers over 2,000 digital reward options from the biggest brands you expect, to more localized relevant brands that provide more unique offerings around the world—all through a single API integration.

2. What currencies and countries are supported by NeoCurrency’s Gift Card API?

NeoCurrency’s API content covers 140+ countries across six continents in 50 currencies. We offer a multi-currency, global API for clients who need just one country/currency or those that need access to digital rewards across the world. Among many other benefits, being able to redeem in so many currencies helps our clients save money on conversion fees they’d otherwise have to pay.

3. How easy is the integration of NeoCurrency’s Gift Card API?

The team here at NeoCurrency takes pride in our ability to quickly and easily support clients who are integrating into our gift card API. This includes:

  • A four-tier account service support structure
  • Fast access to sandbox account access with test funds
  • Same day/24-hour turn time on technical questions during integration
  • Fast production turn time

We’ve been grateful to have clients praise us on our integration support and turn-time. If APIs provide real-time access to rewards, the team supporting the integration should be as real-time as possible during the set-up, too.

4. What kind of account support does NeoCurrency offer?

Taking care of our clients is something we’ve prided ourselves on since we started the company. We focus relentlessly on providing:

  • Global multi-time zone account service support
  • 24/7 self-service access and control to your API via an account dashboard
  • Real-time, self-service reporting available 24/7
  • Full program assets available for download 24/7 (brand logos, T&Cs, card images, etc) within your dashboard
  • 4-tiered account service support structure that includes customer service, client success, executive and C-level contacts

5. What are the KPIs of their Gift Card API?

At NeoCurrency, we work hard to make sure your rewards are getting where they need to go, when you want them to get there. We are proud to consistently track in the very top of some critical industry KPIS including:

  • 99.999% uptime
  • 0.002% error rate
  • 1-2 second avg API response time

6. What are the costs and fees associated with NeoCurrency’s API?

We’re allergic to fees here at NeoCurrency which is why you’ll pay:

  • NO set-up fees
  • NO transaction fees
  • NO delivery fees
  • NO email template fees
  • NO email delivery fees
  • NO SaaS fees
  • NO hosting/service fees
  • NO minimums

Our pricing is simple. Our clients pay as they go for the reward content they order through the API. We have a global rate that can be sent for review, and pricing is accessed in the client’s API dashboard for viewing and reporting 24/7.


Today’s Gift Card APIs are very different than the ones I began implementing with clients 10 years ago. Your program deserves the best reward API provider; one that offers a comprehensive solution that not only meets but exceeds industry standards and offers you the scalability, security, content, and global reach to make your programs successful.

I hope you find this list to be helpful, and I’d be happy to answer any other questions you may have about the general gift card API marketplace or, specifically, our NeoCurrency reward API solution. All of us at NeoCurrency think we have something uniquely special here, and we’d love to share it with you in detail.



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