· 2 min read · Features

Back to basics... Pre-paid employee reward cards


Our back to basics series brings you top tips from industry experts on the bread and butter areas of HR

Why does it matter?

If you want to reward excellent performance, incentivise your workforce, or simply update your benefits programme, pre-paid solutions can be a vital component of your employee benefits offering. They provide a way to engage and reward employees with an easy-to-use card that helps them save money on their everyday spending. They also act as a mechanism to give one-time or ongoing rewards to employees, providing them with choice and flexibility on how and where they redeem their reward. Pre-paid employee reward cards are also easily distributable to part-time and remote staff.


  • Promote your culture by personalising cards with your own artwork or logo. Every time your employee uses the card you’ll reinforce their loyalty, satisfaction and retention.
  • Give your employees the ultimate choice via a reward format close to cash. Pre-paid cards are as easy to use as debit cards and can be used at thousands of locations across the UK. With no risk of overdraft fees or banking charges pre-paid cards are also a great way to help staff manage their spending.
  • Consider what card fits your objectives. Are you looking for a one-time reward at bonus time, an ongoing incentive programme, or a simple employee benefit? A wide range of options are available to build the solution that’s right for you and your workforce.
  • Think about your budget and capacity to run pre-paid employee reward cards. If you want a low-maintenance and low-cost option incorporate a self-serve solution where people sign themselves up with no complex management on your side.


  • Forget to promote your pre-paid programme. Plan an internal communications campaign to explain the benefits and encourage employees to sign up and use the card.
  • Assume that you know what your workforce wants to spend money on or how they spend their leisure time. Ask for their views on what rewards they would most appreciate. This could be incorporated into your pre-launch internal communications campaign, annual engagement survey, or other short company pulse-checking activity. Your workforce’s needs and wants will depend on their stage of life and priorities.
  • Over-complicate the rewards you give out. Employee benefits and rewards should be simple, and pre-paid cards are exactly that. This will enable your workforce to fully understand and benefit from the systems in place, giving you the outcome you are looking for – an engaged team.
  • Be scared off by the potential hassle of having to administer a salary-deducted benefits solution. Many of today’s platforms offer self-service for your employees, removing the friction of the past mechanisms. The majority of your staff will already be familiar with online banking, apps and other self-service platforms.

Stacey Richards is product director at Hawk Incentives