Social Question

nikipedia's avatar

How do you feel about receiving gift cards as gifts?

Asked by nikipedia (27692points) May 19th, 2010

I am a horrible gift giver. (To be fair, I am also a horrible gift receiver.)

My best friend’s birthday is coming up, and the only things I can think of to get her are in the general category of gift cards (e.g., paying for her yoga membership for a month).

Is this tacky? Especially as a best friend, I feel like I should be getting something more heartfelt.

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27 Answers

jeanmay's avatar

I like gift cards. I especially like vouchers for indulgent treatments such as massages, as I wouldn’t normally make time for such things, but do if someone has gone to the trouble of paying for it for me. I also love book vouchers. In the UK you can buy national book tokens that are widely accepted in a variety of vendors. I love receiving those as you’re not restricted to one store, and I just love any excuse to buy new books.

I don’t think it’s a tacky gift if you think your friend would appreciate it. How about adding something more personal and inexpensive to go with it, like a framed photo or mini album.

zenele's avatar

I like to say I like getting cards, but I really think the person is just cheap – or didn’t have time to buy a small gift.

In the very least, one should get a book or bottle of vino. A card can be added gratis in most stores, especially book/gift shops.

Worst case scenario, with today’s technologies, text/email a Hallmark card and save a tree. But the gift is important, imho. Just an opinion, don’t hate me.

jazmina88's avatar

gift cards are good. You can choose something you want or need.

bake her a low fat muffin with a candle, or something gooier.

jeanmay's avatar

@jazmina88 That is a good idea! Full fat for me please!

nikipedia's avatar

@zenele, sunshine, a gift card and a card are not the same thing.

Kraigmo's avatar

I think gift cards are no more pleasing than cash. (Both are pleasing).
Give cash to the equivalent of the month’s yoga, and just say its for that, but in reality she’ll have the flexibility to do whatever she wants with it, including that.

And in many states, gift cards expire. Plus no one ever uses the last 75 cents, creating an undeserved windfall for the card issuer.

Cash is good.

Sarcasm's avatar

Depends on how consistently you do it. If you’re giving a gift card to the person every birthday and christmas, then I’d say it’s annoying and I disapprove.
If this is a one-time thing, then I don’t see a problem with it.
From time to time, it is nicer to just get some extra money and to have your own choice of what to do.

I feel like paying for a month of yoga (or some other thing of that nature) is very different from just giving a gift card to amazon/itunes/local mall, though.

nikipedia's avatar

@Sarcasm, good point. Part of the reason I want to give a gift card-y thing rather than a physical gift is because she’s moving to Europe in a couple months… I figure the last thing she needs is more crap to ship. Under other circumstances I might be more likely to get a physical item. Maybe.

jeanmay's avatar

@nikipedia Good idea if she’s going abroad. Although, a small physical thing might be good as something to remember you by! I once received a bracelet from a friend on the eve I went away. It was one of those cheesy bead bracelets where each colour signifies something different. He got me black, which was meant to signify courage. I never took it off my whole trip.

mrentropy's avatar

I don’t mind getting gift cards. Everyone says I’m hard to shop for.

perspicacious's avatar

I think they are groovy.

partyparty's avatar

Under the circumstances I think a gift card would be ideal. Also as they are moving away perhaps a little keepsake would be nice to remember you by.
I am more than happy to receive gift cards myself, then I can buy exactly what I want.

cookieman's avatar

I like them.

I’m difficult to buy for and as much as I would love someone to put lots of thought into that perfectly special gift that is just right for me, the truth is – nobody really cares that much.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I like them, especially for online stores like Amazon.

Blackberry's avatar

Any rational person would not care what the present was. Gift cards are the best unless there is an actual list of stuff you know the person wants, but with gift cards they can get whatever they actually want and you don’t have to worry about getting something they don’t want.

john65pennington's avatar

Here is the routine in my house, concerning gift cards. if the recepient lives more than 50 miles away, they receive a gift card. anything less than 50 miles, receives a personal gift and is hand-delivered.

ubersiren's avatar

I love them. I like getting those and cash. As someone without an income, I appreciate being able to buy something without asking the hubs for money.

casheroo's avatar

I love them too. They’re so practical, and the person can get what the need/want, instead of having junk that they’ll never use.
Some of my favorite gifts have been gift cards to grocery stores.

meagan's avatar

I loathe gift cards. Just give me the money! I feel like gift cards are what your parents give you when they don’t want you buying drugs or a tattoo.

Blackberry's avatar

@meagan And gift cards are what we give to adults when we don’t want them spending it on drugs or tattoos…

cookieman's avatar

Do they have gift cards for drugs and tattoos?

Blackberry's avatar

@cprevite For tattoos, yes, but not drugs.

Cupcake's avatar

I don’t love gift cards, but given the circumstances I think it’s fine. I think going to her yoga studio to give her a month free of something she uses is a great idea (somehow I don’t equate this with a $20 Wal-Mart card, for example).

Facade's avatar

I love it. I hate when people try to buy me gifts because I know I won’t like or want it. Cash or a gift card, but no actual cards is perfect for a difficult person like myself =)

downtide's avatar

I like gift cards, because most of the time even I don’t know what I want. But if I have a card in my wallet, I’m free to browse and make up my mind later.

Primobabe's avatar

I love receiving a gift card.

Gift-giving is so problematic among adults who really don’t need or want anything. I have more tchotchkes, silky scarves, and purses than I’ll ever use. When I receive such a gift, of course I’m grateful, and I’m touched by the giver’s kindness, effort, and generosity. But, the item really is just one more thing to tuck into a drawer or store on a shelf.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

Agree with @Primobabe. Half the time I don’t even know what I want. Gift cards are always a safe bet with me, especially for bookstores. :-)

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