We’re of a mixed mind regarding gift cards. Here are some great reasons to love giving gift cards:
- You don’t have to agonize over purchasing a gift for someone and wonder if it meets their aesthetic standards: the right style, the right color, not to mention the right size.
- The cards are certainly easy to obtain and easy to use.
- If you know the recipient loves shopping, the gift cards allow them the experience without the economic pinch: fun for kids and adults.
- If you know the recipient hates shopping like you do, most cards allow e-commerce, too.
- At this point, most gift cards no longer expire nor reduce in value. This is not universal: spas and restaurants typically have a year expiration date. And of course, you were out of luck if you didn’t spend your Border’s cards before they went bankrupt…
And yet…there are some down sides:
- The cards do seem impersonal. How much time did you spend on purchasing the gift? Not much.
- There is no denying how much you spent on the gift when it’s a gift card, where as sometimes a real purchase isn’t as patently obvious.
- For those of us who don’t splurge on ourselves, there is something about receiving something tangible that we never would have bought for ourselves.
- We know the corporations depend on people purchasing gift cards but not utilizing them: it’s a huge business, upwards of $2 billion of unredeemed gift cards yearly! We don’t like giving the stores money for nothing in return!
- If you’re going to be impersonal, maybe cash is a better gift…