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Level 2

Promotional Gift Cards

As a new promotion, we are giving away our Branded $100.00 gift cards to raffle at trade shows. These GC are for our products only and hold no cash value until redeemed.  We do not ever sell these gift cards for cash.


When the gift card is "won" by the customer, I currently track that serial numbers on a spreadsheet.  No accounting is entered into QB.

When the customer redeems the GC (for tangible products we manufacture and sell) the QB Discount Item ('GiftCardPromo') is used to reduce the sale by the $100.00.  


1.  Can I assign serial numbers to discount items in QB to make sure a GC isn't duplicated? 

2.  Should the discount item 'GiftCardPromo' be offset to Discounts Given (Income) or Promotional Expense?  Does it really matter as long as it happens in the same accounting period?

1 Comment
QuickBooks Team

Re: Promotional Gift Cards

I’m happy to see you in the Intuit Community, astanleyCTG.


I can see that this is your first question here in the community let me take the time to welcome you to the Quickbooks Family. Let me point you in the right direction about tracking gift cards.

The good news is, you can use the Serial Number feature to track the gift cards to avoid duplication. To begin, you'll have to turn on the feature first.


Here's how:


  1. Go to Edit menu at the top menu bar, then select Preferences.
  2. Select Items & Inventory on the left panel, then choose the Company Preferences tab.
  3. Click on the Advanced Inventory tab, then choose the Serial/Lot Numbers tab.
  4. Select Enable Lot or Serial Numbers.
  5. In the Advanced Inventory Settings, select Serial Numbers or Lot Numbers.
  6. Mark the box for the transaction where you want the serial numbers to show.
  7. Click on OK twice.

Once done, you can now assign the serial information on the item. You’ll find the detailed instructions in the Use Serial or Lot Numbers article and go directly to the To assign serial/lot numbers to existing inventory section.


Every industry has a different structure, and it typically goes to the posting accounts used for transactions. For this reason, I still recommend reaching out to your accountant to help determine the correct account to use when offsetting the item.


The resolution I provided should address your concern. If you have additional questions about QuickBooks, please post a comment below. I’m always ready to help. Have a great rest of your day.


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