Purchasing Gift Cards – Best Practices

Many departments ask about how to best purchase Gift Cards. Here are a few important points to keep in mind:

For All Gift Card Purchases:

  1. Gift cards are an acceptable payment method for study participants but investigators must maintain payment logs for all studies that provide payments to participants.
  2. Gift cards of any value are taxable when given to employees. Tax Services requires a report that includes the employee’s UID, Organization ID#, and amount of the gift card.

Obtaining Gift Cards for Study Participants:

  1. Gift cards may be purchased with a PCard if the cardholder has obtained a PCard Gift Exemption.
    • PCard Gift Exemption for gift cards is specifically for study participants, not for employees
    • PCard Gift Exemption requires VP authorization
    • Departments are required to keep a log of study participants who receive gift cards
  2. Gift cards may be purchased on campus at the Positively U gift shop in the University Hospital.
  3. Amazon physical gift cards are available in the Amazon Punch-out in the UShop Marketplace, however, the purchase of electronic gift card codes are restricted by Amazon. A separate Amazon account can be used to purchase electronic gift card codes as long as the PCard being used carries a Gift Exemption.

Note: Smith’s Food and Drug has recently changed their policy regarding the purchase of gift cards. Because gift cards are viewed as a cash equivalent, Smith’s will no longer honor the Print and Carry form for the purchase of gift cards.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Tax Services or the UShop Help Desk.

Subscribe to the FBS News E-mail ListSubscribe to the FBS News E-mail List