Are gift cards good gifts? I say yes! Here’s my logic.
A few weeks ago I took to my Instagram story to raise the debate: Would you rather be given a gift or a gift card? I was just genuinely curious as to what other people thought because I LOVE receiving gift cards, but I always feel weird giving them. I don’t want my friends or fam thinking I’m lazy or thoughtless. But personally, I prefer gift cards because I enjoy the experience of spending them – doing things or buying things I otherwise wouldn’t. Surely other people feel the same, no?
To my surprise (and delight), 51% percent of those who responded to my Instagram poll a few weeks back agreed – they’d rather receive a gift card than an actual gift. A tight race for sure, but honestly not what I expected seeing as how I always feel so guilty buying them for others – you know, because of the whole lazy and thoughtless perception thing.
Maybe people like gift cards because they like experiences, too. After all, 68% of my poll respondents said they’d prefer to receive an experience over a material good. Or maybe people just like being in control of what they receive (48% of poll respondents want their friends/family to ask them for ideas vs. surprising them). Either way, I think we can all agree that gift cards are not the worst presents you can give OR receive. If you still feel like you have to prove you’re a bit more “thoughtful” than JUST giving someone a gift card, here are some ways you can personalize the experience.
Speak to a Person’s Palette:
Does the person you’re purchasing for love a specific type of food? Is there a restaurant they’ve been dying to go to? They say the best way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, but a little bit of knowledge as to what they actually like can go a long way.
Show You Know Their Interests:
Is the person you’re purchasing for a fitness buff? Then maybe they’d love a Nike gift card so they can buy themselves some gear! Do they love to travel? Hotels.com actually offers gift cards, who knew?! And if they’re into attending events, StubHub offers gift cards, too.
Share Something You Love:
When all else fails, a gift card to a restaurant, store or experience (like a cooking class or wine tasting) you’ve enjoyed is another great option! Tell the recipient why you loved it and why you think they’ll love it, too! So long as there’s a little background story it won’t seem random or thoughtless.
Honestly, the best way to personalize a gift card purchase is to listen. Don’t just wing it! Anytime my loved ones talk about something they want, would love to do, etc. I make a note in my phone without them even knowing it. That way I’m not scratching my head at the last minute!
Join in the on coversation in the comments! What do you think? Do you like receiving gift cards? Do you despise it. Enlighten me. 🙂