How to Buy a Gift Card: A Guide for Gift Card Comparison

When thinking about giving gift cards as presents, first learn how to buy a gift card to suit each recipient. Whether it's a small amount or a veritable shopping spree contained on that little plastic card, it's flat-out exciting for anyone to receive. If you've never bought one for someone before, you may not be sure how to buy one or how to make it a personal and unique gift experience—we're here to help!

Gift cards are excellent choices for those last-minute events when you don't have time to shop and pick out the perfect present. Aside from being a convenient option, they allow your recipients to choose anything that they wish.

You Need a Gift Card, Now

You've been invited to a birthday party at the last minute and you have zero time to come up with a present. There's no need to panic. A gift card is the perfect solution! Just jump online, pick an amount, print it out and put it in a birthday card for your friend. Or better yet, surprise the birthday person with an email containing the information needed to go shopping, and remind them that the card is usable immediately or at any time that's most fitting for that shopping bug.

If you're buying for a friend of a friend or a relative that you only see once every few years, something in the range of $20 should suffice. It's enough to show that you care. For closer friends or family members, the sky's the limit, but $50 to $100 is typically acceptable.

Another gift card benefit is using them as thank-you tokens. If you're the leader of a team at work that just beat a big deadline, consider surprising the whole group with $5 to $10 cards. It's a thoughtful and fun way to say thanks. Make them even more enticing by pairing them with a thank-you gift for the whole team to share, like some of our chocolates or cookies.

Personalize the Gift Card-Giving Experience

One of the best gift card ideas is to play with themes you know your friend enjoys. Say you've decided on a few gifts you think would be perfect, but they're just not enough. Get the teapot, book, vase or mug, and then grab a gift card to go with it. It's an ideal way to show someone that you have their interests in mind while gift giving. We have a few ideas that you can get along with a card:

  • Frequent flyer: Journal, travel mug, miniature game
  • Bookworm: Scented candle, cozy blanket, lamp
  • Coffee fan: Novelty mug, gourmet coffee, measuring spoons
  • Foodie: Unique spices, cookbook, kitchen gadget
  • Decorator: Planter, throw pillow, one-of-a-kind rug

  • Not quite sure what your friend is into? Consider gift sets. If all you know about this person in your life is that they love pedicures, for example, you can find something suitable in the form of a kit. Adding a gift card to the set just makes it that much more special.

    Gift cards aren't just ideal as birthday gifts; they're also one of the best ways to give your friend or loved one a little something extra just to say you care. Pick up some our candles, mugs or bottles of wine, and nestle cards in there, too.

    Just remember that presentation is crucial to get the full effect. You can just put a gift card in an envelope and hand it over, but where's the fun in that? Consider dressing it up with a small gift box and some ribbon.

    What You Need to Know About Gift Cards

    Most gift cards don't have expiration dates, so your friends, family members, loved ones or colleagues can use them right away or save them for later. Plus, gift card purchases are treated like cash, so if your recipients need to make returns or exchanges, there's no problem. Whether used online or in-store, the cards ensure that your special people will receive the perfect gifts, and that's something we can all celebrate.

    Gift cards don't have to be used all at once. If you gift a $50 gift card, your recipient can use half now and the rest later—or however they prefer! They can also check their gift card balance in just minutes so they always know how much more fun they have on hand. And because gift cards are treated like cash, they have to be protected like cash: They can't be replaced if they're lost, so they have be kept safe.

    Do some gift card comparison to find the ones that fit the different people and occasions of your life. Also keep in mind that regardless of the design, your friends, coworkers or acquaintances will be getting the gift of shopping where they can find unique, fun items that'll perk up their home, office or life.