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coupon vs. voucher vs. gift card

English translation: discount only vs certificate for a specific amount

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17:28 Sep 25, 2005
English to English translations [PRO]
Business/Commerce (general) / USA
English term or phrase: coupon vs. voucher vs. gift card
Could you please explain a difference between coupon, voucher and gift card?

CONTEXT (supermarket scanner)
Payment methods:
Cash
Credit Card
Debit
Debit Cash Back
EBT Food Stamps
EBT Cash Benefit
Check
Other Payment
Coupon
Voucher Payment
Gift Card

Oxford dictionary:
Coupon – a small piece of paper which you can use to buy goods at a lower price, or which you can collect and exchange for goods
Voucher – a piece of paper that you can exchange for certain goods or services
Basia Piela
Local time: 17:44
English translation:discount only vs certificate for a specific amount
Explanation:
a coupon usually only gives you 20% off the price or $5.00 off the total price

gift card is for a specific amount at a given store

voucher is a certificate sold or awarded by a company (travel co., for ex) to be exchanged for one night hotel or a train ticket

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Note added at 32 mins (2005-09-25 18:00:32 GMT)
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I live in the U.S.
Selected response from:

RHELLER
United States
Local time: 10:44
Grading comment
Thank you!
Many thanks to Charles for the summary (unfortunately I cannot share these points).
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +10discount only vs certificate for a specific amountRHELLER
5coupon= document to get a discount; voucher=document to exchange; gift card=document exchange for va
Charlesp
4 +1see notes
Ivana UK
4see explanation below
Vera Costea


  

Answers


10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
see explanation below


Explanation:
Coupon
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A coupon is a ticket or document that can be exchanged for a financial discount on a product. Customarily, coupons are issued by manufacturers of consumer packaged goods or by retailers, to be used in retail stores as a part of sales promotions. They are often widely distributed through mail, magazines, newspapers and the Internet. Internet coupons have become very popular as of late, because the cost is borne by the user (who has to print off the coupons themselves) as opposed to the businesses issuing the coupons.

Coupons are also "attached" to bonds, either physically (as with old bonds) or electronically. Each coupon represents a predetermined payment promised to the bond-holder in return for his or her loan of money to the bond-issuer. (The bond-holder is typically not the original lender, but receives this payment anyway.) The coupon rate (the amount promised per dollar of the face value of the bond) helps determine the interest rate or yield on the bond. The phrase "coupon clipper" can refer to either a bond-owner or someone who uses coupons from newspapers.

Another type of coupon is the trading stamp.

Voucher
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A voucher is a certificate which is worth a certain monetary value and which may only be spent for specific reasons or on specific goods. Examples include - but are not limited to - housing and food vouchers.

The word is also synonym to evidence, in the sense, for example, of the declaration that a service has been performed or that a expenditure has been made.


Scrip is now issued in the form of gift certificates, which have recently almost completely been made obsolete by ***gift cards***. The two are essentially the same, except that the cards automate the checkout and accounting processes. Cards usually have a barcode (mostly Code 128), but many have a magnetic stripe, which can often be processed through a standard electronic credit card machine.

Cards do not have any value until they are sold, at which time the cashier enters the amount which the customer wishes to put on the card. This number is rarely stored on the card, but is instead noted in the store's database. The major exception is in many public transport systems, and public library photocopiers, where a simplified system (with no network) stores the value only on the card itself (a stored-value card). To thwart counterfeiting, the data is encrypted, though not very strongly given the relatively low amounts of money involved. The magstripe is also often placed differently than on credit cards, so they cannot be read or written with standard equipment.

One music store chain in the U.S. (Turtles Music, bought out by Blockbuster Music) even used gift coins, the same way old scrip was used. This was relatively successful, given that coins are hard to forge, and there is a tactile sense of value.

The retail "sale" of such certificates, cards, or coins is not considered to be an actual sale, and thus is not normally subject to sales tax, nor is it reported in a company's sales figures, or subject to any coupon or other discount. When they are used to purchase an item, they count as tender, the same way that any other form of payment would.


    Reference: http://www.wikipedia.org
Vera Costea
Canada
Local time: 12:44
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Romanian
PRO pts in category: 4
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +10
discount only vs certificate for a specific amount


Explanation:
a coupon usually only gives you 20% off the price or $5.00 off the total price

gift card is for a specific amount at a given store

voucher is a certificate sold or awarded by a company (travel co., for ex) to be exchanged for one night hotel or a train ticket

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Note added at 32 mins (2005-09-25 18:00:32 GMT)
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I live in the U.S.

RHELLER
United States
Local time: 10:44
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 71
Grading comment
Thank you!
Many thanks to Charles for the summary (unfortunately I cannot share these points).

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Can Altinbay: Sounds like you covered it.
7 mins
  -> hi Can :-)

neutral  Ivana UK: "voucher" is also sinonymous of "coupon" - the words are often inter-changed
13 mins
  -> this is definitely not true in the U.S. (synonymous WITH!)

agree  Roman Bardachev: yes, a voucher basically can be exchanged for something already pre-paid (e.g. meal), a coupon would normally entitle you to a discount, these terms are not interchangeable
1 hr
  -> thanks Roman !

agree  lindaellen
1 hr
  -> thanks Linda!

agree  Michael Barnett: A coupon is usually mass produced and distributed indiscriminately to the public. A voucher is given to a specific client as some sort of credit.
4 hrs
  -> thanks for that clarification :-)

agree  Cristina Hritcu
5 hrs
  -> thanks Cristina :-)

agree  humbird: That how I understand them in the US.
6 hrs
  -> thanks Humbird!

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
14 hrs
  -> thanks Marju :-)

agree  jennifer newsome
1 day1 hr
  -> thanks Jen :-)

agree  NancyLynn
1 day9 hrs
  -> hi Nancy !

agree  Saleh Chowdhury, Ph.D.
3 days23 hrs
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11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
see notes


Explanation:
coupons and vouchers are pretty much the same thing. They offer either discounts (eg. £0.50 off) or can be used as a monetary substitute (ie. you can redeem a voucher/coupon for a free pouch of cat-food or bag of potatoes). Vouchers and coupons can be found in magazines (to cut out) or can be downloaded from the internet. Large stores often send vouchers and coupons to potential customers as part of their marketing campaigns.

Gift cards are the same as "gift vouchers". they can be bought in fairly large denominations - normally from £5.00 upwards so when a friends birthday arrives you can go to their favourite shop and buy a "gift card" for say "50.00, which they can spend on whatever they want from that shop!

Hope this helps!

coupon = coupon, voucher

- a negotiable certificate that can be detached and redeemed as needed

voucher = a negotiable certificate that can be detached and redeemed as needed

gift card =


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Note added at 12 mins (2005-09-25 17:41:13 GMT)
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The above definition of "cupon" and "voucher" is the same in Wordreference - in fact the words are interchangeable in English (UK English at least)!

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Note added at 17 mins (2005-09-25 17:45:30 GMT)
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** Another definition of "voucher":

Social services often issue vouchers to people in financial difficulties instead of money ie. food vouchers. This is to ensure that the money they are given is spent on food.

With the government planning to extend the food voucher scheme to all asylum seekers, BBC News Online spoke to refugees and asylum workers. ... It took two to three weeks before he was assessed for food vouchers. In Waltham Forest, all food vouchers, which come in £5 and £10 forms, can only be used ...

www.news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/368754.stm

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Note added at 1 hr 27 mins (2005-09-25 18:55:29 GMT)
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N.B.** There are many types of voucher. yes there are "pre-paid" vouchers but there are also discount vouchers, discount vouchers have exactly the same function as coupons - they give you a discount when presented at the time of purchase.

Find UK Freebies, Offers, Vouchers and Discounts with Loquax Offers ... Rating: Money Off Lingerie Discount Voucher. Figleaves have over 200 brands of lingerie including Gossard, Lepel, Panache ... £20 Money Off Voucher (Laithwaites Wine) ...


www.offers.loquax.co.uk/offers/67/Figleaves.htm

Ivana UK
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:44
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in ItalianItalian

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ruth Martinez
5 hrs
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12 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
coupon= document to get a discount; voucher=document to exchange; gift card=document exchange for va


Explanation:
coupon = document to get a discount (valid for a particular item usually)
voucher = document to exchange for an item OR credit slip to exchange for anything
gift card = document exchange for items up to the stated value (usually purchased by some and given to another as a gift, hence the name "gift card" (in lieu of an actual gift, and valid only at a particlar store)

(all the other answers are good, but here is my brief alternative)

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Note added at 12 hrs 49 mins (2005-09-26 06:17:55 GMT)
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in more brief: coupon gives you a discount; voucher gives you te item; gift card = is redeemed at its cash value (or for particular item).

Charlesp
Sweden
Local time: 17:44
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 27
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