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Oct 23, 2020

Holiday 2020: 4 Joyous New Ways to Celebrate Employees

How does your company usually celebrate the holidays? If you throw a big party or drop off the classic corporate gift—you know, an item with your logo or a basket of treats—this year offers a new set of challenges. That’s why we’re sharing four easy-to-deliver and sure-to-delight ideas that are perfect for these unprecedented times. Read on to discover innovative ideas that your employees will love.

63% of the people we surveyed are working virtually right now—many for the first time.1


Old way: Corporate holiday party

New way: Restaurant & Delivery Gift and eGift Cards

If you’re looking for a company party alternative, consider letting your employees enjoy a great meal on your dime. Send them physical or digital gift cards for popular restaurants or delivery services such as UberEats or DoorDash. Special meals can be memorable and much-appreciated corporate gifts, and your employees are sure to remember that their employer picked up the tab. Arrange a video conference over lunch for a group gathering. Or, if that’s not practical, ask them to submit photos of their dining celebrations—an online photo album is a great way to share the joy with their remote coworkers.

Are you worried that employees don’t want gift cards? Trust us, they do. Our research shows that even before today’s work-from-home policies, employees would rather skip the company party. Instead, they’d prefer to receive a Mastercard® or Visa® Reward Card or a single merchant gift card. 2020 is the year to say “Thanks for the hard work” with gifts for employees that will truly delight them.

Employees prefer reward cards and gift cards 10x over a company holiday party.2


Old way: Corporate gifts featuring your company logo

New way: Mastercard or Visa Reward Cards with your logo

We’ve all received them: water bottles, notepads, jackets and other logo-emblazoned items. Sure, they’re nice—but they might not please all of your employees, who have diverse tastes and interests. To delight everybody, send them Mastercard or Visa Reward Cards—in either physical or virtual formats—featuring your logo, their names and even a brief message.

These popular network reward cards also offer predesigned seasonal backgrounds or, if you prefer, you can create your own card design. Either way, your logo will be prominently placed in the upper-left corner to remind your employees who sent them this holiday reward.

For the 14th year in a row, reward cards remain the most popular items on people’s wish lists.3


Old way: Gift baskets full of gourmet treats

New way: The MAX Mastercard® Prepaid Card offering choices

Gift boxes with gourmet goodies are more common than holiday turkeys these days, but they’re not always universally appreciated by employees. The desire to let them “treat themselves” during the holidays is heartfelt, for sure. And that’s why we recommend you let your employees splurge at any of the dozens of Canadian merchants included on our MAX Visa® Prepaid Card. These merchants include retailers, restaurants and more—and the card can easily be used online or in-store.

If you’re keeping a closer eye on expenses this year, the MAX Prepaid Card has built-in cost savings to help you optimize your budget. When you place your order, you’ll pay only the total dollar amount of your rewards—there’s no card production or processing fee. That means every dollar you spend goes directly to your employees.

56% of employees surveyed want to choose from 2 or more reward options.4


Out with the old, in with the new

2020 is a great time to start new holiday traditions at your company. Make reward cards and gift cards a part of your celebration, and give your employees presents that can help create memorable shopping or dining experiences; plus, they’re fast and easy to order. For an added festive touch, send plastic reward cards in a greeting card–style mailer. We have plenty of flexible options to make sure your rewards are a seamless extension of your brand.

The bottom line? When it comes to showing your employee appreciation this year, the right holiday reward cards let you take comfort in their joy.


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1 The “Receiving Incentives and Rewards from Your Employer” study was an internet-based study conducted by SurveyMonkey on behalf of Blackhawk Network between March 24–25, 2020. The sample size included 1,718 working U.S. employees ages 18–60.

2 Blackhawk Network Employee Holiday Incentives Study, online survey of 1,500 full-time US employees, Murphy Research, August 2019.

3 The National Retail Federation’s Annual October Holiday Consumer Survey was conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics and published in October 2020.

4 “Consumer Verticals” was an online survey of 1,515 Americans completed between January 25 and February 05, 2018, using Leger’s online panel, LegerWeb. The margin of error for this study was +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.