A lot of folks think gift cards are kind of tacky. And in light of all the various companies who are going bankrupt, various fees, and the risk of having them lost or stolen, giving a gift card can even be a bit risky on several levels.
But I think gift cards can be a good gift idea – especially when you put some thought into it.
Give gift cards to companies where you know the recipient shops. If you have a book lover on your shopping list, get an Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. Is someone a Target junkie, give them a Target card. The more thought you put into finding the right card for the right person, the more it will be appreciated!
Think about the location of the store in relation to your recipient. Is there a store near where your recipient lives? Is there an online option? There’s nothing worse than getting a gift card to store that is more than 2 hours away from you.
Think about the terms of the gift card. Does it expire? Does the card have fees attached to it? You don’t want to see the value of your gift decrease over time.
Check the back of the card. Most gift cards have a spot where you can scratch off to reveal the pin number for the gift card. Be sure this is still intact when you buy the card. Some scam artists will scratch the cards off in the store, and then write down the pins. They wait until you activate the card, then use the pin to order stuff online. Your unsuspecting friend or family member could get ripped off before you even give them the card!
Be creative in giving gift cards. You don’t have to stick the card in an envelope and be done. You can tuck it into a goodie bag filled with candy, attach it to a cute stuffed animal, or wrap it in a huge box. Make it fun!