Nowadays you can buy a gift card for almost any store, restaurant, or online platform imaginable. You see them in the checkout lanes at grocery store, up front at drugstores, and endless racks of them at places like Walmart. However, this convenience has led to them being used a little too often. A gift card can still make a good gift, but you should just make sure to use them under the right circumstances.
When a Gift Card is a Good Gift
There are certain times when a gift card is a going to be the perfect gift. When you are giving out gifts to a large group of people, and they don’t need to be personal in nature, it can be the right thing. Maybe you need to give a gift to business associates, your child’s teacher, or your building doorman. Also, if you find that giving a physical gift is inconvenient, sending one along with a nice card can be the best solution.
They also can be appropriate for somebody that is difficult to choose for. Maybe you know enough about them to know their favorite store, but are hesitant to pick out something specific. A gift card to that store shows you are familiar enough with the things they like, but will still give them the freedom to pick out something on their own. This can be especially good when buying for kids or teenagers. They might be picky, or not trust an adult’s taste, but would be very excited to have a gift card to spend on their own.
When a Gift Card is NOT a Good Gift
Giving a gift card, when you should have given something more personal, can make the recipient think you didn’t put too much thought into their gift. It can be very disappointing to think that somebody with whom you have a personal relationship didn’t take the time to get you an actual gift. Everyone knows you can pickup a gift card at almost any store these days. So, if you don’t want to give the impression you waited to the last minute, and just grabbed the closest one of the shelf, make sure it’s not a time where you should have purchased something more personal and thoughtful.
A gift card is in many ways similar to giving cash, but that doesn’t mean they are interchangeable. They both may be thought of as impersonal, but it can also be a mistake to give a gift card when giving cash is more appropriate.
Gift Card Tips
When you do think it is right to give a gift card, you can use these tips to make sure it is well received.
As mentioned, choosing one from a store the recipient usual shops at is good, but getting them one for something that is a more upscale version or out of their budget can be a great gift. It shows you know their taste, and also understand their aspirations.
Don’t just use the gift card in the holder it came in, but take the time wrap it up. At the very least, buy a nice card, and make the presentation a little more thoughtful.
In addition to the gift card, writing a note explaining why you chose this store’s gift card can personalize it in a way that shows you care.
These days most gift card don’t have expiration dates, but it’s good to make sure whichever you chose doesn’t have other restrictions that might not work for the recipient.