Jump to content Jump to search

Why are Gift Cards the Best Gifts to Give?

Why are Gift Cards the Best Gifts to Give?

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like getting presents, but what is the best present to give. Do you really know the person you are gifting well enough to buy them something they really want or can use. I am a collector of sports memorabilia. My interests are very specific. If I don’t send my wife links to exactly what I want, she has no idea what to get me. I don’t care about clothes, or car accessories, or much of anything other than adding to my collection. This obviously makes gift giving hard for her, both what to get and trying to surprise me. Being surprised by presents really doesn’t matter to me anyway, but she likes to. What I would much rather receive are gift cards. Cards to online auction sites where I can purchase what I really want. Well, that’s just you, you’re thinking. Not everyone feels that way. Not true, my children and wife would completely agree. I have a 12 year old son and a 9 year old daughter, and both of them would prefer gift cards to pick out their own presents. I asked them both this question. My son said gift cards because he is “hard to buy gifts for.” Which is very true. When asked why he likes cards he said, “You don’t have to go out. You can find what you want online easier and its less likely to be out of stock.” My daughter’s response to the same question was “makeup, money, and cards” so she can again, buy what she wants. Kids are very computer savvy and know exactly how to search for what they want. My wife would rather go clothing shopping for herself than get garments I picked out for her. That puts us both in difficult situations. Me for trying to find something she would actually wear, and her for having to pretend to like it. I’ve gotten the “do you really not know me very well” look several times and have learned this lesson the hard way. Sometimes she just makes up a reason to take it back, like size or color, but never to return home with the same article of clothing. I don’t believe my family is much different than most. For one reason or another, and there are many good reasons, people prefer to be given cards as gifts.

Three main reasons people prefer cards are one: it allows you to avoid the awkward act of regifting. Two: they can choose what they want. Three: they can spend it when they want. Not only spending the money when they want, but actually spending it on something that would be a gift. I know if I get cash, it rarely ever goes to me. I pay a bill or buy groceries with the money, so it is never used for its intended purpose. Cards force the gift receiver to actually receive a gift. Being able to choose what you want is always appreciated. You’re not going to put the money in savings now, because you can’t, so you can pick when you want to spend the money. Spending the card at your convenience, whenever you want to go to the store or shop online, makes them preferable. This is especially convenient now with people worried about going out to stores because of Covid. The third reason people prefer cards is it eliminates any chance of an awkward regifting moment. Everyone has done this, don’t lie. You might feel personally guilty, or you might forget who gave you what and re-gift it back to or in front of the person who gave it to you in the first place. Nothing screams “thanks for that POS” like giving something back. I’m an elementary school teacher and I get student gifts all the time. I very much appreciate this from my families, but I can only have so many coffee cups and travel mugs. During the holidays I can only eat so many cookies and treats. I will often give these gifts of candy to my grandparents and put the cookies out on a tray during family gatherings. I don’t receive them often, but when I do, cards are the best. So parents, if you want to get your child’s teacher a present we will absolutely be thankful, but cards are the best.

Three more reasons cards are the best gifts are one: they can be used online. Two: they can be held back to save up for something larger. Three: you avoid getting something you already have. Getting something you already have and need to return is not a gift, especially around Christmas time. Taking gifts back after Christmas is as painful as going to the BMV. Parking, waiting in return lines, and stressing about receipts are all obnoxious experiences. At that point I would rather give my grandma back a present she literally just handed to me. Cards can be held onto to save up for something bigger. My children love to horde cards until they can buy a video game or Lego set. Typically parents are left making up the difference when cash burns a hole through their child’s pocket. Saving up cards helps with this as well. Another reason using cards online makes them the most convenient of gifts. Covid or not, sometimes I just want to order online and have something shipped directly to my home. You can order online and have it show up on your front porch a couple days later. I don’t have to spend hours at the store with my daughter as she spends her $50 on the thirty cheapest things she can find. This literally just happened to me recently. She had $35 and bought a half dozen items, none of which were over a couple bucks. This puts me back in the store for round two whenever she can sucker me into going again. I would rather her buy one more expensive item and make up the difference if necessary.

A couple more reasons to buy cards are they are easy to stay on budget with, sometimes deals are offered, and they are easy to transport and present. When buying cards, you know you’re most likely going to spend $25 or $50. When I buy gifts for my nieces and nephews, it’s always $25 each. I know going into my shopping trip exactly what I will be spending on those presents. Sometimes you end up paying less than the card’s value if the business is offering deals or specials. Oftentimes you can get an additional value amount for spending a set amount of money. This is often found at small local businesses and restaurants. Small businesses can definitely benefit from this. Get your loved one a card to somewhere new and local you know they haven’t been before. You are really giving them two gifts, the money on the card and the experience. Some grocery stores also have rewards when you buy cards. Finally, cards are easy to transport and present. You don’t have to wrap a gigantic and awkward box and then lug it to your relatives house. Put the gift in a card, or do what we do, tape it to a box of candy or a candy bar. This is the perfect gift that all of my nieces and nephews have come to expect and look forward to.

People often think cards are an impersonal gift, but what is really impersonal is giving someone a gift they can’t use or don’t want. Which is a better alternative, giving someone a gift that will forever sit in a closet or cupboard to never see the light of day again. Cards are without question the best, most appreciated, and most useful present you can give. Avoid lines, disappointment, hassle, wrapping, guessing and the litany of other negatives associated with traditional gift giving. Make life easier on yourself and get them something they will actually want and use, a gift card.
Jump to top