For certain people, there’s a bit of a stigma around the idea of giving gift cards. The most popular criticism about gift cards is that they’re “impersonal,” or that they show that the giver didn’t try very hard to find a good gift.
Personally, I strongly disagree with all of it! I consider gift cards to be an excellent gift option, especially for people with specific tastes or interests who can be tricky to shop for.
With a gift card, the recipient has more freedom to get something they really want. And with a bit of creativity, you can find other small items to give along with the gift card to make it every bit as thoughtful as any other gift!
To show you what I mean, I’ve put together 7 creative ideas for giving a gift card. Feel free to steal these ideas for your last-minute gifts, or use them as inspiration for your own unique gift card ideas! :-)
7 Creative Ways to Give A Gift Card
1. Movie Theater Gift Card
A movie theater gift card makes a great gift for movie buffs, couples who could use a date night, or anyone else for that matter! Nearly every theater chain sells their own gift cards, which can often be used for both movie tickets and concessions.
If you’re not sure what theater your intended recipient likes best, a Fandango gift card is a more versatile option. They can use it to purchase movie tickets at thousands of theaters nationwide.
How To Gift It: Tuck the gift card into a cute container filled with classic movie treats like popcorn, Red Vines, and Junior Mints.
2. Hotel Gift Card
Give a hotel gift card to your favorite world traveler, or someone who could use a vacation! Hotel chains offer gift cards that can be used at all of their various locations, but for maximum versatility, I suggest picking up an Airbnb gift card.
The recipient can put the funds on the card toward any Airbnb stay, regardless of destination or budget. Whether they put it towards a stay at a local inn or a resort abroad, they’ll be sure to put your gift card to good use!
How To Gift It: Wrap up the card with map-themed wrapping paper or tissue paper. You could even pack it in a cute toiletry bag or with a set of packing cubes to make it even more practical!
3. Coffee Shop Gift Card
Who doesn’t love a warm drink in the wintertime? Give someone the gift of a tasty latte or a comforting hot chocolate with a coffee shop gift card.
Since Starbucks locations are everywhere, you can be sure a Starbucks gift card won’t be difficult to use. If there’s a Krispy Kreme nearby, a Krispy Kreme gift card makes a two-for-one gift of coffee and donuts!
How To Gift It: Wrap up your gift card and tuck it inside a reusable travel mug. It will help keep their drink warm, and it’s better for the environment!
4. Bookstore Gift Card
Any bookworm would appreciate a Barnes & Noble gift card! They’ll get to pick out something they’ve been dying to read, and you won’t have to spend hours combing the shelves for the perfect book.
How To Gift It: Wrap up your gift card with a notebook, a few bookmarks, and some pens or highlighters.
5. Beauty Box Gift Card
It can feel impossible to find a good gift for daughters, nieces, or girlfriends who are into makeup and skincare. So instead of trying to pick out specific products, give them a Birch Box gift card instead!
Birch Box is a beauty subscription box featuring samples of different skin, hair, and beauty products each month. The recipient will get to tailor their box according to their own preferences, making it a truly personalized gift!
How To Gift It: Place the card inside a zippered makeup pouch she can use to carry her favorite products.
6. Craft Store Gift Card
It’s impossible to know exactly what your favorite crafter is in need of for their current or future projects. With a gift card to JOANN or Michaels, your crafty friend will be able to stock up on the specific yarn, paper, or fabric they need!
How To Gift It: Wrap the card up with a few basic and inexpensive crafting supplies, like scissors, glue sticks, etc.
7. Outdoor Recreation Store Gift Card
With a gift card, the recipient will be able to choose whether to use it for smaller items or put it toward a more expensive purchase.
How To Gift It: Include the gift card with one or two useful outdoor tools, like a flashlight, a compass, or a multitool.
Share your creative gift card idea with us in a comment below!