What We'll Cover

When a customer buys a gift certificate, the purchaser receives an email confirming their order, and the recipient gets a notification email with the certificate details attached. Note that gift certificates can only be redeemed online.

You can find which orders used a specific gift certificate by going to OrdersGift Certificates and reviewing the Gift Certificate History found in each certificate's details. Gift certificate data is also included in order exports.

Enabling and Disabling Gift Certificates

To enable or disable gift certificates, go to MarketingGift Certificates. After configuring the settings, click Save.

When enabled, a Gift Certificates link appears at the top of your store's pages. Shoppers use this link to purchase gift certificates. The exact location of the link may vary, based on your store's theme or if it's been customized.

Disabling this feature will not prevent existing gift certificates from being redeemed. It will only prevent new ones from being purchased. See Deleting a Gift Certificate to learn how to delete or void a gift certificate.

Gift Certificate settings
  • Select a currency — specify the currency the gift certificate is valid for (only visible if multiple currencies are being used)

  • Enable Gift Certificates? — select the checkbox to enable the gift certificate system. Deselect to disable it.

  • Gift Certificate Values:

    • Specify a list of allowed gift certificate amounts (one on each line)

    • Allow customers to enter the value for gift certificates (specify a minimum and maximum amount)

  • Gift Certificate Expiry — select to set the amount of time after which the gift certificate will expire

Credit CARD Act: Before setting an expiration date for a gift certificate, you should familiarize yourself with the applicable laws in your area. See Credit CARD Act Requirements for Gift Certificates, Store Gift Cards, and General-Use Prepaid Cards for a good overview of US gift certificate laws.


To delete a gift certificate, go to OrdersGift Certificates. Locate the gift certificate you would like to delete, select it and click the trash can icon.

Example of deleting a gift certificate

To void a gift certificate, go to OrdersGift Certificates. Locate the gift certificate you would like to void and select Expired from the Status drop-down.

Example of voiding a gift certificate

Viewing Gift Certificates

To view gift certificates that have been purchased, go to OrdersGift Certificates.

The Gift Certificate view in the BigCommerce control panel

You will see the following:

  • Code — the gift certificate code

  • Customer Name — the name of the customer who purchased the gift certificate

  • Amount — the original amount of the gift certificate

  • Balance — the amount left on the gift certificate

  • Date Purchased — the date the gift certificate was purchased

  • Status — the current status of the gift certificate

Click the + sign next to a gift certificate code to see additional details, such as:

Example of a gift certificate in the BigCommerce control panel
  • Sent to — the name of the person the gift certificate was sent to

  • From — the name of the customer who purchased the gift certificate

  • Message — the optional message that was attached

  • Gift Certificate History — the order(s) the certificate was used in, including the date ordered, customer and balance used


Gift certificates will have one of the following statuses. They change automatically, but you can also change the status manually by selecting it from the drop-down.

  • Active — gift certificate is ready to be used

  • Pending — gift certificate has been purchased, but the order is not yet complete. The order status must be set to Completed for the certificate code to be sent to the recipient.

  • Disabled — gift certificate has been disabled and cannot be used

  • Expired — gift certificate balance has been depleted

Searching Gift Certificates

You can search your gift certificates by entering a query in the Filter by Keyword field then clicking the filter icon. For more advanced search queries that let you search by a range of criteria, click the Advanced search button.

Search fields in the Gift Certificate view

The settings in Advanced search allow you to search for gift certificates by the following criteria:

  • Keywords

  • Certificate Status

  • Certificate ID

  • Certificate Value

  • Remaining Balance

  • Date Purchased

  • Expiry Date

You can also set a Sort Order, using the same parameters. If you find yourself using the same criteria regularly, consider creating a Custom View. Custom views allow you to quickly sort your gift certificates for easy viewing and can be especially helpful for stores with a large number of gift certificates.

Custom View tab in the Gift Certificate view

Resending Gift Certificates

If a gift certificate recipient reports they're unable to find the gift certificate email in their inbox, you can send it to them again. Advise the recipient to also check any "spam" or "junk" folders in case the message gets flagged. Gift certificates can only be resent to the original recipient's email address.

To resend a gift certificate, go to OrdersGift Certificates, and find the certificate you want to resend. Then click the Action button to the right, and select Resend Certificate.

User-added image

Purchasing Gift Certificates as a Customer

Gift certificates can only be purchased/created from the storefront and cannot be used to purchase other gift certificates. The following steps illustrate the flow a customer would follow to buy a gift certificate from the storefront.

1. Locate and click the Gift Certificates link. Generally, this is located in the top menu of a storefront but may vary from theme to theme.

Example of the Gift Certificate purchase link on a storefront

2. Fill in the gift certificate details fields. Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.

  • Recipient's Name* — the name of the person the gift certificate is being purchased for.

  • Recipient's Email* — email address of the person the gift certificate is being purchased for. The gift certificate code will be sent to this email address once the order has been completed.

  • Your Name* — the name of the person sending the gift certificate. This will appear on the gift certificate email that is sent to the recipient after purchase.

  • Your Email* — email address of the person sending the gift certificate. This will appear on the gift certificate email that is sent to the recipient after purchase.

  • Your Message — the message to be included on the gift certificate. Maximum of 200 characters.

  • Amount* — the dollar value of the gift certificate. The choices listed are determined by the Gift Certificate Values setting.

3. Click the I understand that gift certificates are non-refundable checkbox.

4. Select a Gift Certificate Theme. The theme determines the colors and background image used in the gift certificate email that is sent to the recipient. The choices are:

  • Birthday

  • Boy

  • Celebration

  • Christmas

  • General

  • Girl

5. Click Preview to view an example of the gift certificate with the settings you selected or click Add Gift Certificate to Cart to proceed with the purchase.

Localized Store Experiences: Customer facing certificate error messages and certificate theme options such as Birthday, Celebration, and General, are available for all of our supported languages. For more information on the default language store setting, see Store Profile Settings.

Once the purchase has been completed, an email containing the gift certificate as an attachment will be sent to the recipient's email address. The gift certificate will contain a code that they can use to redeem their gift certificate at checkout.

General Customization

To customize a gift certificate, go to Storefront › Gift Certificate Templates. There you will see a list of the gift certificate templates available to your customers:

  • Birthday

  • Boy

  • Celebration

  • Christmas

  • General

  • Girl

Customization is limited to text and cosmetic design. New gift certificate templates cannot be created, nor can existing templates be deleted.

Edit any of the templates by clicking ActionEdit. You can then customize the text or table cell properties of each template using the WYSIWYG Editor

The following variables generate all of the gift certificate content:

  • %%LNG_GiftCertificate%% — displays the text "Gift Certificate"

  • %%LNG_GiftCertificateCode%% — displays the text "Code"

  • %%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateCode%% — displays the automatically-generated certificate code

  • %%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateAmount%% — the value of the gift certificate

  • %%GLOBAL_HeaderLogo%% — displays the store name set in Storefront › Logo by updating the text version of the logo. See Adding a Store Logo for more information.

  • %%LNG_GiftCertificateTo%% — displays the text "To"

  • %%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateTo%% — displays the name of the gift certificate recipient

  • %%LNG_GiftCertificateFrom%% — displays the text "From"

  • %%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateFrom%% — displays the name of the gift certificate sender

  • %%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateMessage%% — displays the text "Hello, here is a certificate for you!"

  • %%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateExpiryInfo%% — displays the text "Expires on ##/##/####"

  • %%LNG_RedeemGiftCertificate%% — displays the text "Redeem your gift certificate at"

To customize the text generated by these codes, delete the entire variable including the beginning and ending %%, and replace it with the text you'd like to appear instead.

Be careful! %%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateCode%% and %%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateAmount%% are essential to gift certificate functionality, so we do not recommend modifying them.


All gift certificate themes include a default background image. Follow these steps to replace it with a custom image instead.

1. Go to StorefrontImage Manager, then click the Upload Images… button.

2. Upload the image you'd like to use as the background of your gift certificate.

Check your image dimensions. The default size of the gift certificate image is 560 x 134 px. The image you upload can be any dimension, but it will only show a portion of the image if it is larger than the default size.

3. Go to StorefrontGift Certificate Templates.

4. Click ActionEdit to the right of the certificate whose background image you want to customize.

5. Click the Edit HTML Source WYSIWYG icon.

User-added image

6. Locate the code that begins with background. Then using the following format, replace the URL inside of the quotations with the URL for your custom image:


User-added image

7. Click Update, then Save your changes. To preview your customized gift certificate, click ActionPreview.

Want to remove the background image? To delete the default background image altogether, remove the entire line of code that begins with background, then Save your changes.


Are customers taxed for gift certificates?

No. Sales tax is not applied to the gift certificate itself. Sales tax is applied when the gift certificate is used to purchase from the store. Avalara has a good blog post on this.

Can customers use multiple gift certificates on the same order?

Yes. Gift certificates can be stacked.

Are customers able to check the balance of gift certificates?

Yes. Customers can check the balance of their gift certificates by clicking on Gift Certificates in the top menu, selecting Check Gift Certificate Balance, then entering in the code.

Will Automatic Promotions affect gift certificates?

No. Gift certificates are excluded from Automatic Promotions.

Can I disable a gift certificate that has been purchased?

Yes. You can either delete it or expire it. See Deleting a Gift Certificate above to learn more.

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