Tips for Purchasing Gift Cards

Gift Card Program through Procurement Services

The Gift Card Program, which currently includes six gift card options, was created to facilitate the purchase of gift cards for university business purposes including participant payments, awards, prizes, and employee milestone recognition.  This program allows gift cards to be purchased through Procurement Services to be charged directly to a Worktag through a journal entry in Workday.

An additional benefit of using the Gift Card Program is the elimination of the need to collect Research Participant Receipt Forms or Property Receipt Forms when the amount of the electronic gift card (VISA or Tango) is less than $100.  In these two cases, the recipient templates required to submit the orders through the program are all of the documentation required from the department or unit requesting the electronic gift cards.

The Gift Card Program also offers physical (plastic) gift card options for VISA and Amazon which are kept on hand in Procurement Services for timely distribution.

The Purchasing Gift Cards Website provides additional information on how to request gift cards through the Gift Card Program including the documentation needed for each type and value of gift card.


Any Gift Card Purchased Via Any Process (Gift Card Program, P-Card, T&H Card)

  • Must have a legitimate university business purpose AND comply with Iowa State University policies regarding cash, gift certificates, and other property.
  • Is the same as cash and must be handled accordingly.
  • Cannot be used:
    • To pay suppliers for goods or services. (this includes: purchasing a grocery store gift card to pay for food, or to reward a supplier for outstanding work)
    • To pay any type of wages or compensation. (this includes: buying gift cards for volunteers beyond the amount of a token thank you)
    • For Personal Purchases

Information on how to buy any type of gift card, and the required documentation for the purchase, can be found on the Purchasing Gift Cards Website



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