Gift cards are often the best gift to give but not always to receive, even when they are prepaid gift cards or store gift cards. Finding the best gift card will make a great gift. The highest-ranked gift cards with no fees will be a good gift to give and receive. Review our list for finding the best gift card, pre-paid or from a store, for friends and family on your shopping list.
When you find a good gift card, you still have to read the fine print. Every gift card has different terms and conditions, and some come with high fees or strict limitations. You want to give a gift, not a headache, so follow our tips to find the best gift card.
Best pre-paid gift cards
Pre-paid gift cards can be given as a gift just like you would give cash, but gift cards come with extra protection. Pre-paid gift cards are best for when you aren’t sure what to get someone on your list but still want to show that you care. The best pre-paid gift cards don’t have an expiration date and have no monthly fees. The gift card is even better if a lost gift card can be replaced for free.
The American Express gift card does just that. It costs $4 to buy but that covers a lot of buyer protection. GiftCardMall.com offers its own Visa gift card. It costs $3.95 to purchase and another $1.99 for delivery, but like the American Express gift card, there are no additional fees and lost card replacement is free. These pre-paid cards can be used anywhere that American Express and Visa are accepted. Pre-paid cards just like cash, but with more security because it’s a gift card.
Best gift cards from stores
Gift cards from major retailers are another option. If people on your list love electronics, a good gift card for them would be from Best Buy. If they like do-it-yourself projects, a great gift card for them would be from The Home Depot. A gift card from Amazon would be great for the online shopper on your list. You can also give gift cards for necessities, such as a gift card to Whole Foods for groceries or Costco for bulk shopping.
Be careful which retailer you select though. If the business closes down, like in the case of Blockbuster recently, the store gift card could be worthless.
Gift cards from local small businesses
Don’t forget the local small businesses in your neighborhood or community. Many of these small businesses will offer their own store gift cards or gift certificates that can make a great gift that is more personalized.
Buy gift cards for less
You don’t always have to pay full price for pre-paid or store gift cards. Some people sell the unused balances on their gift cards for pennies on the dollar. Many websites resell gift cards, including both pre-paid gift cards and store gift cards, but do your due diligence to make sure the site is reputable before handing over your money.
If your credit card offers a rewards program, you can cash in your bonus points to get gift cards that will make great presents. These gift cards are a low cost to you, or are even free, since you have already earned the points, but the gift cards are still at a full value for the recipient.