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Six Types of Gift Cards You Can Buy for Friends and Family

Never worry again about gift cards being impersonal. Most people want them when it’s time to exchange holiday or birthday gifts. Studies show that year after year, gift cards top people’s gift wishlists.

And if you’re the gift giver, that’s good news because gift cards are easy to give, requiring little time to find, choose, and wrap.

Next time you’re looking for gift cards for your friends and family, try one of these six types that they’ll surely love.

1. Restaurant and Retailer Gift Cards

Among the most classic and common types of gift ideas are restaurant and retailer gift cards. These gift cards can be used at popular chain restaurants, shopping centers, and retailers.

The next time you think about buying a loved one a new clothing item, toy, or other gift, consider buying them a gift card that allows them to choose an item themselves.

If you know they frequently shop at a particular store, grab that retailer’s gift card as a gift. Or if you know their favorite restaurant, give them a gift card that they can use there whenever they want.

If you’re not sure what types of shops and restaurants a loved one likes, you can give them a gift card to a large box retailer, where they’ll have plenty of choices from clothing to electronics.

Another great option is to choose a gift card that can be used at a range of participating retailers and restaurants (typically owned by the same parent company).

2. Service Business Gift Cards

Many people overlook service business gift cards, instead opting for restaurant and shop gift cards. But almost anyone will appreciate a paid trip to their local salon or a visit from a housekeeper.

Think about the busy people in your life and what types of services they would appreciate. Then, find local service businesses that offer gift cards or certificates.

These gift cards are a great way to help out a loved one while supporting businesses in your community.

3. Digital Gift Cards

If you don’t have time to sort through gift cards at physical stores, head online to choose from a wide range of digital gift cards, or e-gift cards.

Different types of e-gift cards have been around for years, but now, you can find almost any gift card in a digital form. You can even buy them using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Click here for more information.

For a convenient gift that you can buy and send digitally any time, digital gift cards are a smart option.

4. Subscription Gift Cards

Now more than ever, people rely on subscriptions for a variety of services, entertainment, and products. You can subscribe to beauty boxes, streaming services, food kits, and almost anything else you can imagine.

If you know someone who already has a subscription, or who could benefit from one, try giving them a subscription gift card.

Unlike most other gift cards, these gift cards don’t equate to a specific dollar amount. Instead, they can be redeemed for a certain length of time, such as one month of the subscription. After that, your loved one will have to continue paying for the subscription if they want to continue.

Even though this gift doesn’t last forever, it can still be a great option, giving your gift receiver access to different subscriptions such as:

  • Audible, an audiobook app
  • Disney+, a Disney streaming service
  • Netflix, a movie and TV series streaming service
  • Blue Apron, a meal delivery service
  • Birchbox, a beauty box subscription

There are subscriptions for almost every interest and activity, so you can surely find something for everyone on your list.

5. Gaming Gift Cards

This type of gift card is strictly for the gamers in your life.

Gaming gift cards can typically be redeemed either for a specific game or a specific console. For example, you can find gift cards for games like Roblox and Fortnite, as well as consoles like Xbox and Playstation.

Some can also be used for computer game platforms like Steam, where you can use the gift card in any Steam-compatible game.

Before giving a gaming gift card, be sure to know exactly what kind of game, console, or platform your loved one likes. The last thing you want is to give a Nintendo gift card to an Xbox user, for example.

6. Credit Card Gift Cards

Of all types of gift cards, credit card gift cards are the most versatile and flexible. And even though they’re one of the least personal types of gift cards, almost no one would be upset with receiving one.

Credit card gift cards are typically issued by credit card companies and can be found alongside other gift cards in big box retailers. And while they’re not actually credit cards, they’re used in the same way, allowing your loved one to purchase almost anything they want.

If you want to give your loved one full control over what they can get with their gift card, try giving them one of these gift cards. But remember, they’re less specific to the receiver compared to other types of gift cards. To make up for it, try adding a greeting card or friendly message for a personal touch.

Choosing a Gift Card for Everyone on Your List

Whether it’s the holiday season or time for a loved one’s birthday, gift cards can be an easy gift idea. And with all the different types of gift cards available, there’s an ideal match for almost anyone.

From restaurants to games, try one of these gift cards the next time you’re looking for the perfect present.

Looking for more gift ideas? Check out our gadgets articles for inspiration!