Gift cards are no longer a cop-out present. In fact, there are lots of great gift card options that let your friends, family, and coworkers dive into a new interest like cooking or working out, or stock up on something they actually need. But which one should you choose, how much can you spend, and what’s will your friend/family member like most? No matter how much time you have to shop, these are the best options for the techie, chef, shopper, and traveler in your life.
What Are the Best Gift Cards to Give? 4 Considerations
An Amazon gift card lets you buy just about everything. But a Steam gift card might be better suited for your online shopaholic friend. Chances are, the most popular option in 2020 is different than it was in 2015. Here are a few considerations to take into account.
- Consider your audience. Close friend? Chances are you know how they spend their money. Shopping for a new colleague or relative you only see a few times a year? Look at the most popular retailers in 2020.
- Amazon is the most popular retailer in 2020. When you don’t know what to get, you can never go wrong with an Amazon gift card.
- Steam is the highest rated option, according to Google reviews. This digital option lets your friend spend money on a game of their choice on the Steam platform. Looking for a teenager? This could be a great option.
- Some gift cards have expiration dates. The typical expiration date is 5 years, thanks to the CARD act signed into law during the Obama Administration.
5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing
- What does the person you’re shopping for need?
- What are their interests?
- Where do they live?
- Do they like retail or e-commerce shopping?
- How much credit are you looking to put on a gift card? Does that amount make sense for the store in question?
Having answered these questions, here are a few suggestions to guide you this holiday season.
9 Gift Cards for Techies
We all have someone in our lives who is already on to the next best thing. Here are a few gift cards for the tech gurus in your life who come over to fix your computer.
- Spotify: For the trendsetter who always knows the hit songs first.
- Steam Gift Card: For the friend who beats you at every game ever.
- Amazon: For the techie who wants the latest thing in their mailbox by tomorrow.
- Best Buy: For the bargain hunter who loves their 60-inch smart TV.
- Microsoft X Box: For the gamer on the waiting list for every hot release.
- Playstation: For your boyfriend who just bought a new console.
- Google Play: For the friend who avoids Apple products like the plague.
- Hulu: For the TV fanatic who’s always quoting The Office.
- Adobe Creative Cloud: For the budding graphic designer who just started freelancing.
8 Presents for a Wellness Enthusiast
- Outdoor Voices: For the Instagrammable yogi who’s always on her way to the next barre class.
- The Art of Shaving: For the man in your life with great taste.
- Classpass: For the friend always looking to try new things.
- Birchbox: For the skincare enthusiast who loves trying new products.
- Daily Harvest: For the wellness guru who makes the most photogenic smoothies.
- Walgreens: For the last-minute shopper always running to the corner.
- CVS: For the queen of drug store beauty.
- Zeel: For the BFF who needs a massage ASAP.
9 Presents for the Iron Chef (and the Wine Enthusiast)
- MOUTH: For the hipster who loves trying locally sourced food.
- Trader Joe’s: For the earthy-crunchy friend always in line at Trader Joe.
- HelloFresh: For the healthy eaters who want to try something new.
- Blue Apron: For food lovers who don’t have much time.
- Whole Foods: For the friend who eat organic everything.
- Winc: For the techie wine lover who appreciates the finest vintages.
- Firstleaf: For the wine drinker looking to branch out
- Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream: For your go-to movie and ice cream buddy.
- Sur La Table: For the couple that loves to cook but could use a cooking class.
8 Gift Cards for the Traveler
- Airbnb: For the globetrotter looking for a pied-de-Terre in Paris or a weekend in a treehouse.
- Uber: For the one who doesn’t want to walk home in heels.
- Away: For the friend who appreciates stylish, useful luggage.
- Hotels.com: For the vacationer who loves soft bath towels.
- Shell: For the road-tripper who spends more on gas than you do on rent.
- Delta: For the jet setter itching for a weekend away.
- Seamless: For the friend always on the go (with an empty fridge).
- StubHub: For the friend who’s always out seeing music.
4 Gift Card Options the Outdoorsy
- REI: For the friend with a #naturephotography Instagram account.
- Patagonia: For the stylish outdoorsy friend always climbing mountains.
- LL Bean: For the rugged man/woman in your life who wants vintage durability.
- The America the Beautiful National Park Annual Pass: For the camper looking for her next excursion under the stars.
5 Suggestions for the Home Improver
- Brooklinen: For the #selfcare guru who loves to sleep in.
- Lowes: For the one who’s redoing their kitchen. Again.
- Home Depot: For your loved one who insists on doing everything themselves.
- Bed, Bath and Beyond: For the serial apartment-hopper who needs new towels and new everything.
- Handy: For anyone who wants a clean apartment without doing it themselves.
8 Gift Cards for the Shopaholic
- Rent the Runway: For the one who loves events that require heels.
- Target: For the bargain hunter with an enviable closet.
- Visa: For the picky shopper who wants exactly what they want.
- Sephora: For the beauty queen who’s always done up.
- Allbirds: For the environmentalist and shoe lover.
- Etsy: For the crafty friend who loves to support local artists.
- Barkbox: For the dog that’s living its best life.
- Everlane: For the hipster who needs basics.
3 Gift Card Ideas for the Bargain Hunter
- Walmart: For the one who loves a good deal from one place.
- Costco: For the prepared friend who wants a lot of everything for a little.
- Groupon: For a friend with lots of friends — and lots of hobbies.
Shopping for the Perfect Gift Card Made Easy
Gift cards used to get a bad rap. But with so many options to choose from — from your friend or loved one’s favorite coffee shop to their go-to shopping website — you can’t go wrong with the right gift card. Not only are they are great presents to receive (and an easy one to give), but they’re also sustainable. Instead of buying something someone doesn’t need, let them choose for themselves, all while giving them the opportunity to explore their passions.