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The 25 Best Gift Cards For Travelers

A gift card

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Travel gift cards are great last-minute gift ideas for travelers. But the big question is, what are the best gift cards for travelers? Which stores and brands do they love and where can you find them?

For today’s post, I gathered the 25 best travel gift card ideas that travelers will definitely love, and more importantly, use.

Did you know that 80% of the respondent of an international study in 2021 said they were planning to give gift cards over the holidays? It’s by far one of the most popular gifts, and it’s only getting bigger and bigger. Check out the gift industry statistics or gifting fact posts for more interesting stats.

Table of Contents

Save these travel gift cards

Don’t forget to save these travel gift cards to Pinterest, so you know where to look next time you need last-minute travel gifts!

The best travel gift cards for travelers

Best activity gift cards for travelers

#1 Global experience gift card by Viator

Viator gift cards for travelers

The global experience gift card is one of the travel gift cards that I often recommend in my destinations guide.

The gift card can be used for Viator tours from around the world. Recipients can choose from over 350,000 different types of activities, day trips, or multiple-day tours with this card. Which makes it one of the best gift cards for travelers of any kind. Whether they are city-trippers, backpackers, hikers, foodies, or cruise-lovers, Viator offers tours for everyone.

For more travel gift card ideas for cruise lovers, check out #14

#2 Tinggly gift cards

Tinggly travel gift cards

Just like Viator, Tinggly offers tours, getaways, experiences, and activities around the world. You can go for a Tinggly e-gift card, and decide for yourself how much money want to put on the gift card.

But what’s cool about Tinggly is that they offer all sorts of pre-designed gift cards for travelers, such as Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, and Just Married boxes. The latter, I also shared in my travel wedding gifts.

So make sure you check out Tinggly to see if they have a gift card box for your recipient. If not, the e-gift card is the perfect alternative. Or check out the next Tinggly gift box if you are looking for travel gift cards for foodies.

#3 Tinggly’s taste the World box

Taste of the world travel gift cards

Are you looking for the best travel gift cards for foodies?

Then Tinggly’s “Taste the World” box is the gift you need.

As I explained above, Tinggly boxes give the recipients access to Tinggly’s tours and activities, and in the case of this box, it allows the recipient to choose from over 300 food-related experiences in over 50 countries.

Some activities you can think of are tapas making in Spain, tagine cooking class in Morocco, or a Brazillian food class.

#4 Spafinder gift card

Spafinder gift card

Are you looking for travel gift cards for someone who loves saunas and spas? Then the Spafinder gift card is what you are looking for.

Spafinder gives the recipient access to over a thousand spa and salons across the US. Unfortunately, they don’t operate outside of the US. So make sure you only give this gift card to someone traveling to the US or someone who lives there.

However, the gift card doesn’t expire, so even if the recipient isn’t going to the US soon, they can still use the gift card in 5 or 10 years.

#5 CityUnscripted gift card

e-gift cards

CityUnscripted gift vouchers are the best gift cards for travelers who love unique and authentic experiences.

The activities and tours that are available on CityUnscripted are not designed for large buses filled with tourists, but for the individual. Literally.

They offer private and personalized activities in 45 different cities around the world.

Activities you can think off include private walking tours, food tours, or just a kick start to a new city with a local guide.

Best accommodation gift cards for travelers

#6 Airbnb gift card

Airbnb card

Airbnb is one of the largest platforms for lodging and homestays. So a gift card from Airbnb will definitely be useful for any type of traveler.

However, there is one thing to keep in mind before buying an Airbnb gift card. They are not valid everywhere. In fact, they are only valid in the following countries Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. So if you are looking for gift cards for travelers from other countries, you will need another option. Check out the next lodging gift cards for that.

#7 Global hotel card by Expedia

Global hotel card

One of the best travel gift cards for accommodation besides Airbnb is the Global Hotel Card by Expedia.

Expedia is a popular and highly rated platform to book flights and hotels. And their gift card gives access to over 350,000 different hotels across the world.

Unfortunately, you can’t buy the gift card directly from the Global Hotel card website, but you can buy it on Amazon.

#8 gift card gift card

Another good alternative to Airbnb and Expedia is This also allows the recipient to book hotels around the world. They have access to hundreds of thousands of different hotels, so they will surely find one they like.

You can buy the gift card directly from or from Amazon.

#9 Pack & Go travel gift card

Pack&Go gift card

The Pack&Go card is one of the best gift cards for travelers because it gives the recipient the option to choose which brand they would like to spend it on.

The brands that are featured are Airbnb, Southwest Airlines, Chevron, Texaco (although these seem to be out of stock often), and Grubhub. So they can choose if they want food, plane tickets, gas, or a place to stay with this gift card.

One important thing to know about the Pack&Go card is that the recipient has to pick one of the brands. They have to convert the Pack&Go card to an e-gift card for one brand specifically, which they can then spend.

#10 Coolstays gift card

Coolstays logo

If you are looking for gift cards for travelers who love unique accommodation, then the Coolstays gift card and the next one are the two you need.

Coolstays is a platform that (as the name already suggested) offers cool accommodation options. From beautiful castles to cave houses and treehouses. You can find all sorts of unique lodge ideas here.

You can order the Coolstay gift card directly from their website and it will be sent to you by email. The gift card is only valid for two years. Which should be plenty of time for the recipient to book one of the 2300+ options.

#11 Small luxury hotel gift card

Small luxury hotels of the world

The gift cards by Small Luxury Hotels (SML) are also great travel gift cards for people who love authentic lodging. As you probably already guessed, SML gift cards give recipients access to more than 500 cute and small boutique hotels. They operate in over 80 countries, so I am sure that the recipient will find a beautiful small luxury hotel in their favorite country too.

Best transport gift cards for travelers

#12 Delta airline gift card

Del gift cards

Delta gift cards are great travel gift cards for all sorts of travelers. Recipients can use the gift card to book flights or Delta vacation packages. And luckily, Delta flies to many different destinations around the world.

However, if you don’t want to limit the recipient to one airline, check out the next gift card.

Read Post  How Travel Changes You (and makes you far more interesting)

#13 Flightgift

Flihtgift logo

Flightgift is a Dutch company that provides gift cards that can be used to book flights with more than 300 different airlines and to over 980 destinations across the globe.

#14 Princess cruise gift card

Princess logo

Are you looking for gift cards for travelers who love cruises? Then a gift card from the Princess Cruise Lines is what you need.

The gift card can be used to book one of their cruises or for onboard purchases.

But before you buy this gift card, there are two things to know.

The first one is that the gift cards can only be purchased by residents of Canada or the United States. If you live in a different country, you should go for one of the other 24 travel gift card ideas on this list.

And the second thing applies to Canadian customers. You should select the e-gift card option because the physical cards are not sent to Canada.

#15 Uber travel gift card

Uber card

This is another one of the gift cards for travelers that is useful for any type of traveler. Uber operates in many different countries and whether the recipient is a cheap backpacker or staying in a luxury hotel, at some point they will need a taxi. And for that, Uber is perfect.

You can buy a gift card directly from Uber or check out Amazon.

#16 Eurostar gift card

Eurostar gift card

Are you looking for travel gift cards for travelers in Europe? Then the Eurostar gift card is perfect.

It gives the recipient access to all Eurostars’ train routes in Europe, mainly between England, France, Belgium, and The Netherlands.

The voucher is only valid for one year, so make sure the recipient will be in Europe in the coming year to use the gift card.

Best travel gear gift cards for travelers

#17 Arc’teryx


Are you looking for travel gift cards for outdoor lovers and climbers? Then a gift card from Arc’teryx is perfect.

Arc’teryx is a well-known outdoor brand that makes high-quality climbing gear. However, they also have high-quality clothing and gear for other outdoor sports such as hiking, trail running, skiing, and snowboarding.

#18 The North Face gift card

The North Face gift cards

The North Face is one of my personal favorite brands when it comes to travel clothing and gear. So if you are looking for gift cards for travelers who could use more clothing or gear, then I highly recommend a gift card for The North Face.

You can buy one online or in stores, but keep in mind that the in-store bought cards are only valid in the US.

#19 Mountain Hardwear

Mountain hardwear

A gift card from Mountain Hardwear is a great gift for people who love alpinism and other mountain sports. They provide high-quality clothing and equipment. And since mountain gear is often quite pricy, a Mountain Hardwear gift card will always come in handy.

#20 Swimsuits for all gift cards

Swimsuits for all card

Are you looking for travel gift card ideas for people who love to swim or who love the beach? For those, a gift card from Swimsuits for all is perfect.

You can find all sorts of swimsuits for all types of bodies on Swimsuits for all, so I’m sure the recipient will find something she likes.

Oh yeah, Swimsuits for all only sells women’s swimwear.

#21 Bluffworks gift card

Bluffworks logo

Bluffworks is one of the best brands for fashionable travel clothing. Their clothes are specifically designed to look great, but also be practical for travelers. So their clothes are wrinkle-resistant, can be washed in a washing machine, and have practical hidden pockets.

In other words, if you are looking for gift cards for travelers who want to look fashionable while traveling, Bluffworks is the card to go for.

#22 Columbia gift card

Columbia gift cards

Columbia is another famous travel brand, so when you are not sure which of these travel gift cards you should go for, Columbia is always a safe option. Though check out #25 for an even safer option.

#23 Zappos gift cards

Zappos gift card

Are you looking for gift cards for travelers who also love to look fashionable? Then a gift card for Zappos is perfect. They can literally find any style of shoes or clothing, so there will always be something the recipient can use.

#24 Apple gift card

Apple gift cards

If you are looking for travel gift card ideas for techy people, then a gift card from Apple is always a good idea. You can buy it directly from Apple or from Amazon.

#25 Amazon gift cards

Amazon gift card

Alright, let’s finish this list with one of the safest gift cards for travel lovers (or anyone, really). A gift card for Amazon.

You can literally find anything on Amazon, so every traveler can surely find something they need on Amazon.

Save these travel gift cards

Don’t forget to save these gift cards for travel lovers on Pinterest!

The 25 best travel gift cards for travelers

Final note on the best travel gift cards

Alright, if you made it all the way to the bottom of the post, I am assuming you haven’t decided which gift card to buy yet.

If you want to play it safe you can always go for the Amazon (#25) or the Tinggly (#2) gift cards.

Tips for travelling to Europe in winter

Bled Slovenia in winter

Many Australians and those from the southern hemisphere are keen to experience a European winter vacation but are unsure whether travelling in winter is a good idea. Don’t let chilly temperatures, possible snowstorms and shorter opening hours of many attractions put you off visiting Europe over winter.

After travelling Europe in winter, I can recommend it as a great time to visit and the following tips will help you to be prepared and to get the most out this wonderful experience.

What’s in this Article

Europe in winter travel tips

So, you’ve decided you are ready to visit Europe in winter. There are a few things you should know so that you can plan your trip to make the most of your precious holiday time.

Check opening hours

In most European cities the major tourist attractions remain open over the winter season, albeit often with shortened opening hours. The website of the attraction/s you want to visit will show you opening times for when you plan to visit so check this out before you leave home so you can organise your sightseeing accordingly.

Winter is often a really good time to visit some attractions as crowds are often smaller and therefore, queues shorter.

Once you get into rural Europe, though, many attractions will be closed for the winter months.

If you are travelling to a regional area, again, visit the tourist association’s website and check out opening hours for places you want to visit. That way, you won’t be disappointed if you get there and find out that longed-for visit to the local attraction is not possible.

Limit your luggage

Wheeling suitcases in the snow

Travel as light as possible. Wheeling suitcases in the snow whilst carrying assorted other bags isn’t fun!

Having as little luggage as possible is always a good idea as it makes things a lot easier when travelling. (See my tips on packing for winter in Europe below.)

I’m definitely not a ‘carry-on only’ traveller – I always take a suitcase which I check into the aircraft’s luggage hold – but always limit myself to just one additional bag such as a handbag.

Having one hand free makes it so much easier if I need to use an umbrella whilst out and about.

Limiting the amount of luggage you carry is also essential if you are travelling around Europe by train. Getting on and off trains – which usually only stop at the platform for a couple of minutes – is difficult enough with one suitcase.

Platforms can be covered in snow, too, so maneuvering multiple suitcases through snow can be a real test of nerves.

Travelling around Europe in winter

Unless you plan on joining an escorted coach tour for your Europe in winter experience, you’ll most likely by travelling by car or train. Both methods of transport have their advantages and disadvantages so below you’ll find a number of things to consider when planning your European winter travels.

Click here for ideas on European White Christmas and winter itineraries by car and train

Driving in Europe in winter

Snow lined street with cars

Be well prepared if you plan on driving in snowy conditions in Europe.

In many countries it is compulsory to have your vehicle fitted with winter tyres from December to March (inclusive). Check with your rental company that winter tyres are included in the cost of your car hire if you will be driving your rental car during this period.

If not, you may have to pay an additional fee for winter tyres on collection of your vehicle.

Major roads and autobahns, as well as city streets, are regularly cleared of snow by snow ploughs but extra care should always be taken when travelling in wet, snowy and icy conditions.

If you are at all apprehensive about driving in Europe during winter, I recommend you hire an automatic vehicle – not having to change gears is one less thing you’ll have to think about.

Travelling by train in Europe

Europe is well known for its efficient rail network but in particularly bad weather conditions services can be disrupted. Make sure you allow for some flexibility in your itinerary in case of delays.

If your rail journey requires a change of train en-route, allow plenty of time to transfer from one train to the next. Platforms can be snow-covered – and very slippery – so transferring from one platform to another can take longer than usual.

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Where to visit in Europe in winter

Dresden Christmas market

Christmas markets are the reason many travellers visit Europe in winter.

Choosing which countries to visit on your winter holiday to Europe will depend on a number of things. If your main focus is to experience the European Christmas markets, then countries like Germany, Austria and Switzerland should be in your itinerary.

Skiers and snowboarders will find the mountain resorts in Italy, France, Switzerland and Austria (amongst others), the place to be.

And those who just want to soak up the convivial winter atmosphere in rural villages surrounded by snowy fields will have no shortage of destinations to choose from.

In southern Europe, some countries, particularly those on the Mediterranean, enjoy a milder winter climate, so if you’re not particularly fond of cold weather, there are warmer destinations that you can head to.

I’ve written a number of destination-specific posts about visiting Europe in winter. Click here to browse all the articles.

What to wear in Europe in winter

It goes without saying that you are likely to experience some pretty cold weather during your Europe trip in winter. Many of the northern and central European countries frequently have daytime temperatures below 5° Celcius so knowing what clothes to take to Europe in winter is vital.

Layering is the key

One of my biggest tips for deciding what to pack for Europe in winter is to layer, layer, layer. Shops, restaurants and museums are well heated and as soon as you enter you’ll be stripping off clothes.

Wear clothes on top that are easy to remove, or if your coat is super-warm, only wear a couple of light layers underneath.

You’ll be surprised how few clothes you need to wear indoors so once you’ve removed your coat, gloves, scarf and hat, you’ll probably be warm enough inside with just a light jumper or sweatshirt and long pants.

Essential items to pack for winter in Europe

Thermal underwear is great for layering. Don’t dismiss thermals as being just for skiing trips – they are fantastic insulators and reduce the amount of other clothes you need to wear.

And even though they might remind you of grandma, consider taking a pair of thermal long johns – I swear by mine when travelling in Europe in winter.

I’m often asked which are the best thermals for European winter travel. I’ve only personally tried the Kathmandu brand (I buy them when they are on sale) and Uniqlo and I have found them both to be excellent.

Hats really make a difference when you are outdoors – it’s amazing how much warmer you feel when your ears are warm – so grab a beanie or woollen hat and wear it every time you go outside.

Whilst we might associate woolly hats with skiing and football games in Australia, in Europe you’ll see the locals wearing them whenever they are outside – to work, going shopping or out to dinner. You definitely won’t be the odd one out if you’re wearing a warm hat.

Scarves (the woollen variety) and gloves are two more things to take to Europe in winter. Both are easy to carry, quick to put on or take off and great for added warmth.

Scarves can also add a bit of that European chic to an outfit – an added bonus!

What to wear in Europe in winter

Essential items of clothing for a European winter holiday include a waterproof coat, sturdy shoes and a warm scarf and gloves.

When choosing the best shoes for Europe in winter, put comfort and practicality ahead of fashion. Rain, snow and ice can make footpaths slippery and wet so having the correct footwear is essential.

I’ve worn both a soft adventure/hiking style shoe from Merrell as well as long leather boots during my winter travels in Europe.

The Merrells were great for everyday sightseeing whilst the boots were perfect for evenings out and for the occasions when I wanted to feel a little more dressed up. European winter travel doesn’t have to mean dressing down!

When packing your shoes and boots, don’t forget warm socks. I love Explorer socks that we can buy in Australia and always have a few pairs with me.

The bulkiness of coats and jackets can be a nuisance when planning your European winter packing list but your outer layer doesn’t have to be squashed into your suitcase.

Why not carry your jacket or coat onboard the flight with you? It might even come in handy as a blanket if you get cold on the flight. Keep this in mind when considering coats or jackets for European winter travel.

If you are shopping especially for winter coats for Europe, look for ones that are waterproof, windproof and are made from a breathable, insulating fabric.

Winter packing list for Europe

Now that you have assembled all the necessary pieces of clothing and footwear it’s time to pack for your winter trip to Europe. A lot of travellers tend to stress about how to pack for Europe in winter – and I’ve been guilty of this too – but the thing to remember is that whatever you forget to take, you can buy in Europe.

Below is a list of the main items I pack for a winter trip to Europe. You may wish to change it around slightly (perhaps you’d prefer to sub out a pair of bottoms for a warm skirt and leggings or tights) but these are the basic items that will see you through a week.

Packing list for winter Europe travels

3 x bottoms (jeans, pants, etc.)
5 x lightweight long sleeved t-shirts or shirts/blouses
3 x jumpers/cardigans/sweatshirts
1 x waterproof jacket or coat
2 x pairs of boots or shoes
2 x thermal tops
1 x pair thermal pants (long johns)
Pyjamas and slippers
Foldable umbrella

Unfortunately carrying sturdy footwear and coats is going to add bulk to your luggage. My biggest tip for how to pack light for winter in Europe is to make sure that all the clothes you pack earn their place in your suitcase.

Can you wear at least two of your jumpers or cardigans with each pair of pants? Can each pair of shoes or boots be worn with at least two of your pants? If you can change up your outfits by wearing the same pieces in different combinations you’ll go a long way towards packing light.

Things to do in Europe in winter

I’ve written numerous articles on things to do in winter, particularly at Christmas time, including:

Now that you’re armed with all these tips it’s time to start booking your holiday to Europe over winter. Enjoy!

Gift Cards- The Good, The Bad And When To Actually Gift One

You are about to buy a gift card but wondering if it is better to buy an actual gift? You are not alone!

Each year consumers spend billions of dollars buying gift cards and the number keeps growing. Check out the stats below-

Gift Card Statistics

No wonder every imaginable store sells a gift card today. They seem convenient and far better than a cringe-worthy last-minute gift idea. But do gift cards make good gifts?

The following will help you make that decision. Make sure you read till the end to find out when are gift cards considered an appropriate gift and how much you should ideally put on a gift card.

Are Gift Cards A Good Gift Idea

Like anything else, even gift cards have both advantages and disadvantages that make them an ideal or not so ideal gift.

5 Advantages Of Giving A Gift Card

Below are some compelling reasons to buy gift cards-

1. A Last-Minute ‘Better Than Nothing’ Gift

I am sure I am not the only one who has found themselves in a sticky situation where I either forgot to buy a gift for someone (yes it has happened) or was extended a last-minute invite to a party – Are you coming to John’s party? It is his last day at work today.

You get the point! In situations when you really don’t have a chance to put thought and effort into buying a proper gift, a gift card can be a lifesaver.

2. Well Thought Gift Cards Are Always Appreciated

Gift cards get a bad rap for being less memorable. But a gift card can also be a memorable gift if it is ideal for the recipient and serves a greater purpose than a physical gift.

For instance, on the wedding anniversary of our friends, we gifted a hotel gift card to a place they had been planning to visit for some time. Their faces lit up as they opened the gift card attached to the handwritten note.

Not only did the gift stood out but they were also thankful for the thoughtful gift. The best part is that they remember us whenever they talk about that vacation.

Should You Really Give A Gift Card As A Gift?

3.When You Don’t Know What To Buy For Them

Gift cards are also good when you know which stores people like, but not sure what they like from the store. It does take the guesswork out of the equation and saves the giver any disappointment of giving a bad gift.

For instance, you know they want to buy Nike shoes but you don’t know which one and their size. Instead of buying the wrong type and the wrong size, it is better to give a gift card that saves the recipient the hassle of returning the gift at the store.

They will be no less thrilled to receive a gift card than if you actually wrapped the shoes in a gift box.

4. The Convenience.

It is so much easier to buy and send a gift card – purchase it in the store or online, deliver it by mail or via email- they really are as convenient as it gets. Which unfortunately is also one of the main reasons for its unpopularity but I will get to that later in this post.

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5. Gift Cards Are Best For Someone On The Move

If the recipient is traveling to/ from out of state, then gift cards are certainly a better choice than a physical gift . The gift card will save the individual from the packing dilemma or any issues exchanging the gift at the store if the need arises.

All of the above points make it seem like the gift cards are the way to go, but let’s not come to a conclusion without giving a thought to the disadvantages.

Do gift cards make good gift ideas for friends, coworkers and family

7 Disadvantages Of Gift Cards

There is some good to gift cards, but for some folks, gift cards are bad presents and here are the probable reasons why-

1. Preference For Actual Gifts

To the ones that enjoy the thrill of finding the perfect gift, gift cards seem vacant and inconsiderate. It is a good idea to refrain from giving a gift card to these individuals as a gift.

2. Gift Cards Tie Them To A Specific Store

Most brick & mortar and online stores offer gift cards that can only be used at the retailer’s store, these are called ‘closed-loop’ gift cards.

Unless you know which stores they like to frequent, there is a chance your retail store gift card will leave the recipient unimpressed.

3. People Often Forget To Use The Gift Cards.

According to Washington Post, each year Americans spent close to $130 billion on gift cards, out of which close to $1 billion worth of gift cards were never used.

Unlike an actual gift, people tend to store gift cards away from sight- in drawers, in the back pocket of a wallet- ultimately forgetting to use them. By the way, this is pure profit for the company since they got the money but never sold an item.

4. Gift Cards Are Not Safe From Fraud.

As people buy more gift cards, the scammers have also caught on to this part of the retail industry. The hackers run bots through the retailer’s online system to look for any cards that have an active balance on them. Once they get this information, they can sell the card information over the internet.

This is just one way the hackers steal information, there are many other ways they run gift card scams.

This means that the unused gift card sitting in your drawer can lose all its balance.

5. A Lost Gift Card Is As Good As Gone.

There is no way of getting a refund for a lost gift card at most retailers. An eGift Card is a more secure option but most people prefer to give a physical gift card to make it seem as less impersonal as possible.

6. Gift Cards Seem Impersonal

The convenience with which gift cards can be bought makes them seem unoriginal and lacking a personal touch. They can also seem all the more impersonal when the giver lacks proper gift card giving etiquette.

This brings me to the most important things to remember when presenting a gift card.

7. Return The Same Amount

The recipient is often left puzzled if you yourself prefer to receive gift cards and if they are compelled to give the same amount as they received.

It does not feel like a gift if they are supposed to return to you the same amount when it’s their turn to give you a present.

Proper Gift Card Etiquette

Yes, gift card etiquette does exist! Just because it is a gift card and not an actual gift does not mean your work is done once you bought it.

Follow these 5 simple gift card etiquettes to make your lackluster gift card look and feel like a showstopper:

-It is a gift card, but it can still use some fun wrapping (check out some creative ideas for presenting gift cards below) . Place it in a nice box and wrap it like a boss. If you don’t have mad wrapping skills, just keep it inside a greeting card with a nice handwritten message.

-Make sure the gift card is still valid.

Yes, some gift cards come with an expiry date so you should always check. The same is true if you are passing off an old card that you received as a gift yourself, no one is judging!

-Give a gift card that is redeemable both in-store and online so the recipient can shop with convenience.

-Put some effort into finding the right gift card.

Find out what they really like. There is no point in giving someone a Domino’s gift card if they prefer their local pizzeria over it.

-Put an amount that is relative to the store your gift card is for.

A $25 gift card for Bloomingdales means that the recipient will most likely have to add more from their pocket to buy anything of value. There is a higher chance that they will store the gift card away than using it.

How Much To Put On A Gift Card

It goes without saying that the amount you put on a gift card can play a significant role in how well it is received by the recipient. A gift card does not seem significant but the cash value of it should at least be decent.

Before loading the gift card ask yourself the following questions to determine the right amount for the recipient.

>Your relationship to the recipient

Here’s, why!

> Your relationship to the recipient will play a major role in the decision since how much we want to spend, believe it or not, stems from our subconscious mind.

You like someone – you want to give more… like a friend or your niece etc. You don’t like someone or when gifting to an acquaintance- you will resort to what is considered the norm.

>Their age should also be a point to consider.

You are giving an iTunes gift card to a high schooler- anything between $25- $50 is considered good. But if the gift card is intended for a grown adult- your brother in law, for instance, you should ideally load $50 or more.

>The occasion sometimes dictates it’s own rules too.

The cost of a wedding has skyrocketed in recent years and so has the cost of attending one. The wedding gift is the biggest piece of expense for the guests and if you intend to skip giving an actual gift in favor of a gift card, load it up with at least $75 and up.

If the occasion is a birthday or a housewarming, however, anything above $25, depending on your relationship to the person, is a decent amount as well. But are all occasions perfect for handing over a quick ‘gift card’ as a present?

When Is It Appropriate To Give A Gift Card

A gift card can make the perfect gift sometimes, but not all the time.

Festivities are one time when buying gifts for everyone can seem overwhelming and gift cards seem to be the easiest gift to grab and give.

So is it okay to give gift cards for Christmas? – The answer is a big Yes and No!

You should always think about the recipient when making that decision. If you know the person well enough to know what they like you should buy them an actual gift based on what they like.

Their hobbies are a good place to start if you are looking for gift ideas. For instance, a book lover gift, photography enthusiast gift, comic fan gift, etc.

Unless you want them to buy what they need themselves with your gift card!

The advantages and disadvantages I discussed above in the post will also help with the decision.

Are Gift Cards Better Than Cash?

While some may consider both gift cards and cash as similar, in truth gift cards are better suited to some occasions than plain cash. For instance, you will most likely not gift cash to your colleague or a friend.

There are two more reasons why you are better off picking a gift card vs money.

Once the recipient receives cash they will most likely not remember who gave what, and probably spend it on everyday mundane stuff than actually buying something ‘gift-worthy’ for themselves which is not what you intended when you gave them cash.

Additionally, gift cards can also feel more thoughtful than cash, even though in theory they are both the same.

For instance, if someone gifts you a Sephora card, it shows that they at least know you love to buy makeup and frequent that store quite a bit.

The gift card is a way of saying I would love for you to go ahead and buy what you like from your favorite store.

So, Is Giving Gift Cards A Good Idea?

It is not really a black or white decision. It is for us to judge the situation and make the decision. After all, everybody wants to be the person who gifts the perfect present even if it is a gift card.

I hope all of the above pros and cons of giving gift cards have helped you make your decision.

What are your thoughts on giving gift cards as presents? Is there any specific occasion, in your opinion, that is best/ worst suited for gift cards? Do share your thoughts below in the comments section.




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