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What are Some Popular Gift Cards?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
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  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2016
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A new shopping trend, which is becoming increasingly popular, is giving a gift card from various stores, restaurants, theaters, or even amusement parks like Disneyland®. In recent times, these cards, which resemble credit cards, have increasingly replaced gift certificates, usually written on paper. You’ll even find many different gift card choices in major grocery stores, and it can be one way to spend less time shopping for gifts, while still providing something the giftee will truly enjoy.

If you’re unsure what gift cards are best for someone, there are some popular choices of gift cards that can help you make up your mind. Also bear in mind the interests and age of a gift card recipient. A gift card to Nordstroms® is probably not going to be a terrific choice for a two year old.

Some of the most popular gift cards on the market today are those to stores like Home Depot®, Target®, and Wal-Mart®. The last two are particularly suited to virtually anyone because of the range of merchandise carried in store and online. You can buy toys, video games, clothing, supplies for the home, office supplies, and even home furnishings. These cards can suit young and old, and anyone in between and offer people many purchasing options. Home Depot® cards might be better suited to those who are specifically looking to purchase materials for the home, building materials, or tools, so they are more limited in scope.

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Since the gift giver wants to give maximum choice to the receiver, another popular gift card selection is a “pre-loaded” Visa®, Mastercard®, or American Express® card. You can often purchase these in any amount you like, and the person possessed of such a card may use it anywhere that these cards are accepted. Occasionally people may have trouble using these online, since some stores may check credit limit and reserve a limit. In most cases though, they pose little problem and can be used to purchase a great variety of things.

Another gift card that is popular is one designed to be used at a large mall the person frequents. For instance you can buy Simon® gift cards that can be used at any store within a Simon Mall. This again offers a lot of choice; just be sure there’s a Simon Mall near the person to whom you’d like to give this card.

A few gift cards that tend to win great favor are iTunes® cards, which will allow you to download new songs for your iPod® or MP3 player. If a child or adult has a Nintendo Wii®, consider purchasing Wii Points® available at many video game stores, and which allow Wii® users to download classic video games for play. Coffee lovers may be thrilled with cards for companies like Starbucks®.

While there are popular gift cards, there are also unpopular ones. Cards to Barnes & Noble® and to Borders® rank among the most unpopular. Alternately, cards to Amazon.com® remain popular because they offer a wider range of merchandise. In any case, popularity depends on interest, and if you’re giving a gift card to a bookstore to a lover of books, it will likely be appreciated.

Before you begin gift card shopping remind yourself to read the fine print on all gift cards. Some of them have expiration dates or begin to lose money to charges by the company after a time. Be sure to only purchase those that won’t expire or impose charges on the person using them, or make sure you warn the person receiving the card, that they need to use the card within a set time period.

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oasis11
Post 4

BrickBack-I usually like to buy the AMC movie theater gift cards for the teachers. It is really nice and everyone enjoys going out to see a movie. It really is a nice treat and you do not have to worry about them not liking it.

BrickBack
Post 3

Cupcake15-I usually go to the gift card services counter at my local mall and buy a Visa gift card. There is a $3 fee for activating the card, but at least the recipient can use the card virtually anywhere.

They can also be used on online purchases which makes it nice as well. I think the American Express gift cards have a higher processing fee.

The American Express card is something like a $5 processing fee, so unless the card is for a high denomination you are better off with the Visa.

Also, Visa can be used in more places as well. That is just something to keep in mind.

cupcake15
Post 2

SauteePan-I know that some people are starting to give E gift cards to like Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

I do not like to buy gift cards online. I usually give gift debit cards from Visa or American Express for my nephew.

He has just about everything and it is difficult to find the right gift, so this always works.

I know that many of the restaurants also give free gift cards if you buy a certain amount of gift cards.

For example, Chiles was offering a $5 gift card for every $25 dollars you bought in gift cards. These free gift cards do have a time limit so you have to keep that in mind.

SauteePan
Post 1

I think that popular gift cards like restaurant gift cards are always a hit because most people enjoy a night out especially when they do not have to worry about paying for it.

I usually buy P.F. Chang restaurant gift cards. A few years back I gave my sister a gift card for Tavern on the Green the landmark restaurant in Manhattan, and I am glad I did because it recently closed because it had difficulty renewing a permit from the city and faced too many financial problems.

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