The single most requested holiday gift is now available at 14 Omaha Area Post Offices. Recognizing the natural tie between the use of gift cards and the mail, the Postal Service is now selling gift cards at nearly 5,000 Post Offices, including 26 in Nebraska and 33 in Iowa.
Gift cards are available now at the following Omaha area Post Offices: Omaha Main, Boystown, Elmwood Park, Millard Highland, South Omaha, Northwest, Postal Impressions, Saddle Creek, Ralston, West Omaha, Papillion, Elkhorn, Bellevue, and Council Bluffs Main. Other Nebraska locations include: four in Lincoln, Columbus, Kearney, Lexington, Grand Island, Hastings, Scottsbluff, Fremont, Norfolk, and McCook.
The new line of “open-loop” gift cards — so-called because they can be used at any merchant that accepts the card brand — is part of a two-year market test of the ability of gift cards to increase customer convenience and enhance Postal Service revenue by encouraging use of the mail. Many locations selling the gift cards also offer greeting cards.
“I think our customers will enjoy the convenience of buying and mailing a gift card in a single purchase, and just in time for the holidays,” said Omaha Postmaster Keith Reid.
American Express Gift Cards will be sold in denominations of $25 and $50 and in variable-load denominations, with a minimum denomination of $25 and a maximum denomination of $100. The Postal Service will operate only as a sales agent and will receive a negotiated portion of the purchase price of $3.95 for the $25 denomination; $4.95 for the $50 denomination; and $5.95 for the variable-load cards. There are no monthly fees and the funds on the card do not expire.
According to a 2010 survey for the National Retail Federation, gift cards are the single most-requested gift, with 77 percent of consumers buying at least one gift card during the holiday season.
While the Postal Service can expand the market test to other vendors, American Express is the first company to participate in the program.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.