The Art of Gift Card Giving

When you’re at a loss as to what to give, the trusty gift card seems like the perfect present, doesn’t it? They can be found just about everywhere from the internet to drugstores, are available in any dollar amount and cover just about everyone’s tastes. Or so it seems.

As you’ll see in the video, gift cards are not for everyone and there’s definitely a right and a wrong way to give them.

1) Not Everyone Likes to Shop

While some of us look at gift cards as free money to spend at a favorite retailer, others regard them as another reason to have to shop. For your friends who view shopping as drudgery and not entertainment, opt for a traditional gift–one that is picked out and wrapped by you. It’s much more personal than a piece of plastic anyway.

2) Get the Right Gift Card

The Gift Card Golden Rule is to make sure you’re giving true value. Meaning, giving a loved one a $20 gift card for a high-end jeweler doesn’t make much sense. That dollar amount would go a lot further at a coffee shop, where your recipient can enjoy your gift more than once.

3) Get the Gift Card from the Retailer

Gift cards associated with banks often have hefty fees attached to them. Since the idea is to maximize value, buy the card directly from the retailer. If you want your loved one to have the freedom to spend the money anywhere, opt for cash. It’s a much better deal.

4) Put them in an Envelope

It’s happened countless times: Someone sticks a gift card in a bag or an envelope with a card and…whoops! The gift card winds up in the garbage. Make sure you always separate the gift card and present it in its own envelope.

So while giving a gift card may seem like any easy option, there really is an art to it.