Microsoft’s Skype Takes Its Gift Cards International, Now In 44 Countries, As It Continues Retail Rollout

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In an effort to get more people using Skype Credits and paid services on the site, today the Microsoft-owned Internet calling giant Skype is expanding its Gift Cards: as of today these are now live to buy online in 44 countries.

The company is also gearing up to expand its push in physical stores. Physical gift cards are available for purchase with retailers in the U.S., UK and Mexico, and a Skype person tells me more countries will be announced soon. Users in the U.S. also have an option to buy gift cards via Facebook.

The move to begin offering Skype Gift Cards in physical stores was first announced earlier this month. In the U.S. retailers include Target, OfficeMax and Microsoft retail stores. In the UK retailers include Walmart-owned Asda, Currys, PC World, WHSmiths and the supermarket Sainsburys. Pricing for cards begins at $10.

Skype Gift Cards essentially work like gifting Skype Credit to another person: the funds can be used to make calls to fixed and mobile numbers and to use the company’s international WiFi service.

There is another perk for users of Skype Credits: it looks like by partaking in this, you are exempt from advertising, an area where Skype is increasingly dipping its toes into — last week kicking off a new push in social advertising.