10 Cheap and Practical Gift Card Ideas that Don’t Suck

Don’t you hate it when grandma buys you a sweater for Christmas that you know for a fact you will never wear and will have to make a trip to the store to return?

Buying gifts is not easy because people are picky. In fact, we return 10% of all gifts after Christmas.

Cash is thoughtless. At least when you get a gift card, people Gift Card Ideasthink of you while shopping and the effort you put into choosing the right one.

While some cards are annoying, others make great practical gifts and keep your spending in check in the process. Check out these 10 places to get a great gift card without spilling your Eggnog:

10. Prepaid Visa Gift Card

The granddaddy of all gift cards – practical, affordable as you can load any amount of money on it, useful no matter where you go. Some see lack of imagination, I see choices.

Give a prepaid Visa gift card.

9. Bed Bath & Beyond Gift Card

For women this store never disappoints. Some things aren’t cheap, but there are plenty of goodies I could spend hours looking at before buying. From practical and affordable kitchenware to candles and towels – fun doesn’t end at leaving the store.

Give Bed Bath & Beyond gift card.

8. Gas Card

This may sound like a lame idea but people hate paying for gas. Next time they fill up, they’ll be thinking of you! Beats the heck out of grandma’s sweater.

7. Etsy Gift Card

Some of the most amazing things can be found on this craft site. If typical is not your thing, check out Etsy, where even $20 can go a long way.

Give an Etsy gift card.

6. Victoria’s Secret Gift Card

Five panties for $25? Hello!! Fact: women like to feel sexy. If you are a clueless guy this year, you can’t go wrong with a gift card for Vicky’s. Just be sure it’s not for your mom (or grandma).

Give Victoria’s Secret gift card.

Newegg Gift Card5. Newegg Gift Card

A nerd heaven, Newegg is my go-to place for electronics. Electronics are typically expensive, but even a small amount of money can buy something practical and fun on Newegg.

Give a Newegg gift card.

4. Walmart / Target Gift Card

If Walmart and Target are your recipient’s common destinations for shopping, why not give them something that will directly save money out of pocket while reminding of you at the same time? Stuff is fairly cheap in these stores so you don’t have to wreak havoc on your bank account.

Gift a Walmart gift card.

3. Starbucks Gift Card

Starbucks Gift CardCheers me up every time! Peppermint Mocha? Yes please! Want to be super awesome? Let them know the next several cups of the world’s most addicting coffee are on you!

Give a Starbucks gift card.

2. Amazon Gift Card

Amazon Gift Card

The range of products on Amazon is short of mind-blowing. Whether they’re into sushi sets, Lego sets or movie sets – all sorts of neat stuff can be found on Amazon … on a budget!

Give an Amazon gift card.

1. Their Favorite Restaurant Gift Card

Restaurant Gift CardYummy yummy food! Who doesn’t love to eat? To make this an awesome gift, make sure to get a card that will pay for two people (you want them to have fun with company without worrying about costs). Also, check to see that their favorite restaurant is nearby and won’t make them spend the same amount of money on gas just to get there. Don’t get me wrong, I love thoughtful gifts, but nothing is more exciting than the thought of my favorite meal in my tummy. Oh… and I didn’t have to pay for it!

Give a restaurant gift card.

Do you get gift cards for Holidays? What kind of cards do you typically gift?


    • It’s a great way to get someone to try something new isn’t it? I gave one to my mom several years back for a spa because she’e never been to one, now she won’t shut up about how great it was haha.

  1. Hah, the boy adores Newegg too! He purchases the bulk of his electronics from there and receives a nifty discount. The VS and Bed, Bath and Beyond are neat ideas because normally I wouldn’t think to spend money on those things, making a gift card a rare but special indulgence. (Psst, wonder if Nordstrom offer gift cards? ;) )
    Jennifer Lynn @ Broke-Ass Mommy recently posted..Win $100 Cash with the ‘How to Save Money on Grocery Shopping’ Giveaway!!My Profile

    • Right?! I wish the last card I got for a restaurant next town over was a Walmart card instead… Much more practical and closer.

  2. Maybe because I don’t need many things I wouldn’t want a gift card for a special store, although you can’t really go wrong with the ones on your list. I would take the Visa card, or maybe Victoria Secret :)
    I usually give cash to my little brother, with a nice packaging, so he can spend it wherever. My own personal gift card!
    Pauline recently posted..How to save money on grocery shoppingMy Profile

    • I found out about the Visa cards from one of my employers. He would give me one every Christmas :) Very useful cards! For a while there was a bug where you could purchase things with 0 balance. I think Visa realized it and fixed it fast.

    • Aww, he’s sweet! I used to get Starbucks gift cards with my Chase Ultimate rewards and give them away as gifts. I’d rack them up every couple of months for $50 and people would always wonder why I’m buying starbucks cards. Well… they were the best bang for the buck in rewards at the time.

    • Believe me, there are time when I wish I got cash instead of a gift card. I tried thinking of the most practical cards that people would appreciate and actually use. The thing with cash for me is, I feel removed from the person who actually gave me the gift. If my favorite restaurant is nearby and I used a gift card I got from someone I love, that would make me think of them rather than just using cash. Especially if cash is deposited into a bank account, then it wouldn’t feel special at all.

    • When my brother bought his home I gave him Home Depot cards ;) He loved them. It wasn’t much compared to what he spent later on renovations but a little is better than nothing. Like you say – buy a new tool or something.

    • Haha, can’t blama ya, Target is great! I’m lucky to be living near a Target that I can walk to. It’s a nice change of scenery once in a while.

    • It’s a California based company (actually not far from here), not sure if they are popular outside of U.S. or even ship outside of U.S.

    • Haha, I bet! How are your projects coming along? How are you finding time to work on them and blog at the same time?!

  3. Glad you mentioned Newegg. It’s where I bought most of the parts to build my computer. I didn’t even know some of these places like Etsy offer gift cards, good to know :) I agree that not all gift cards are the same. I once got an A&W card, not very useful because I don’t go there often :S On the other hand, I love both giving and receiving Amazon gift cards :D
    Liquid recently posted..Weekend Business and Blog Roundup – Dec 1stMy Profile

    • I used to shop at TigerDirect but then realized Newegg had the same or better deals and much faster shipping. They over-achieve on shipping speed every time :)

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