When the holiday seasons approach, even in times like these with a pandemic looking over everyone’s head throughout the world, we can still spread some cheer in both small ways and big ways. Bringing a smile to people’s faces should be a priority to everyone in the world and what better time to do it than during Christmas?

It’s something to buy someone a gift, and a wonderful wrapping paper, which they may or may not stash in their drawer collection, but it’s another buying them a gift card that they can choose what to get with. The more personalized a gift card, the better. If you know whom you will be buying a gift card for, what their likes and dislike are, it makes things a lot easier to get them something more meaningful, not to mention practical, than a box of chocolates for instance.

Chocolates are great, don’t get us wrong! But an experience or a memory that sticks with you for a lifetime is much better.

What Are Gift Cards

Back in the 90s, someone got an idea of a gift card, but not just any gift card, an electronic one. This idea was taken hold of by waves of people and every holiday brought new meaning to presents and material gifts. This link will tell you more about this fascinating item. The idea behind one of these is it is an electronic or physical prepaid debit card that is topped up with a certain amount of money and can be used for an assortment of purchases. 

So, if you buy a card from the famous online retailer Amazon, you can top it up with $20 or $50 or even $1000 and give it to someone as a gift, and that person can buy whatever they like with that money. It looks and feels like a credit card and is identified either by a number or a code, but isn’t. Some people may know it as a gift certificate and we think this is one of the cleverest ideas since sliced bread was invented!

Different Types of Gift cards

The nice thing about these is that they come in an array of options. Some can be reloaded and used more than once, while others expire once they are used for purchase. There are a few different types, namely, closed-loop gift cards, open loop, and digital. Some of which is an indirect source of advertising for the companies. 

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According to CNBC some of the top 10 gift cards that people often buy for friends, families, and colleagues include iTunes, Starbucks, Amazon, Walmart, Victoria’s Secret, Best Buy, and Sephora. See here for the other ideas:https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/20/these-are-the-top-10-best-gift-cards.html There can be text gift cards, online cards, and even E-Gift cards which are emailed to you.

The umbrella idea of these is they are found either online or inside stores, for sale near the counters or gift items aisle. They can enable the cardholder to purchase anything from that specific retailer and are typically used with one merchant only. You can use it to buy items online or at the store. If, however, one main company owns several different retailers or different branches, the card may be used to shop at any one of them.

An example would be ‘GAP’. They have affiliates in different stores and under different names such as Athleta, Old Navy, and the Banana Republic, which you can shop at if you get a card from GAP. Some are also printable gift cards, especially when someone buys it online and emails it to you, then you can print it out and take it to the store with you where they will happily accept it.

They do not normally have activation fees and just require you to deliver it with your goods to the cashier’s counter, who will take it and deduct the money from the card for the items. A very similar process to when you would normally shop at a store but with one small difference; someone else indirectly purchased the goods for you through the gift card. These are the cards that can have an expiry date to be sure to check when you get it as a gift. Once that window closes there’s no going back.

If you have a wedding registry or baby shower coming up, this would be the ideal gift for the recipient. It can also be used at birthdays and anniversaries. What better gift to give someone than something that want?

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