Why Do People Give Gift Certificates?

Lorna W.

Gift certificates make a highly convenient gift. Most people feel that they're a step above handing someone cash, since they take a little more thought and effort to acquire, but they still give recipients the benefit of choosing their own gifts.

Certificates to a movie theater are a great gift for film buffs.
Certificates to a movie theater are a great gift for film buffs.

You can purchase gift certificates almost anywhere. Movie theaters, department stores, spas, restaurants and just about any other place that serves customers offer gift cards. Some places even allow you to buy gift cards online, so you never have to leave home to do your shopping. You can buy very specific gift cards, like one redeemable for a single movie ticket or more generic versions, like a $20 gift card good at any store in the mall.

Gift cards can be for a specific place or be usable at any store in a shopping center.
Gift cards can be for a specific place or be usable at any store in a shopping center.

Gift certificates are a safe choice when you don't know the person very well. At the same time, gift cards don't have to be impersonal. Since there are so many types of gift cards available, you can find the perfect one for anyone's interests.

Want to automatically save time and money month? Take a 2-minute quiz to find out how you can start saving up to $257/month.

Gift certificates to a person's favorite clothing store may be given as a present.
Gift certificates to a person's favorite clothing store may be given as a present.

Gift certificates are also great for people you know are picky or for the person who seems to have everything. If you're going to include a gift receipt with the item anyway because you know they're going to return it, why not save everyone the hassle and just give a gift card?

Gift certificates can be spent on a variety of items.
Gift certificates can be spent on a variety of items.

Gift certificates are especially useful when you have to give a large number of gifts at once, like during the holidays. Save valuable time by choosing gift cards for everyone on your list. Similarly, they are great options when you are buying gifts for many members of a group; if you want to thank your coworkers for helping on a particularly arduous project, you can give each of them a gift card.

Gift certificates to local coffee houses are good presents.
Gift certificates to local coffee houses are good presents.

The downside to gift cards is that if you are actually close to the recipient, they might feel hurt that you didn't buy them a more personalized gift. Most people, though, will appreciate the chance to buy something they really want or to enjoy a special treat while someone else is paying the bill.

Some recipients prefer gift certificates so that they can select their own items at a favorite store.
Some recipients prefer gift certificates so that they can select their own items at a favorite store.

You can also embellish a gift certificate by presenting it in an attractive envelope or even in a box with a special bow. This way you convey to the gift-giver that you put in a special effort, but they still benefit from all the advantages of gift cards.

Gift certificates provide a more personal alternative to cash gifts.
Gift certificates provide a more personal alternative to cash gifts.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments

sunshine31

Oasis11-That is a really good tip. I had never thought about that. I know that day spa gift certificates are really popular too.

We received spa gift certificates once for a massage. I know most people would have loved it, but I was uncomfortable because I don’t like the idea of getting a massage from a stranger.

I think salon gift certificates are better because you can get your nails done or get you hair cut or highlighted.

I think that holiday gift certificates are a great idea but a safer bet would be a gift card for a movie theater, a restaurant in the area, or a big box retailer where everyone shops like a Target. You really can not go wrong with any of those choices.

oasis11

Anon1180-I don’t know the answer to your question but I do know that they did away with that in the United States.

I wanted to say that I think that business gift certificates are not a good thing. I prefer offering a generous basket from like a Harry and David or a great bottle of wine.

The holiday gift certificates are great for friends and family especially when you do not know what to get. I know some people give internet gift certificates, but I have never received one or given one that way.

I usually get the standard gift cards. My sister always sends my children Toys ‘R Us gift cards in the mail. Sending gift cards in the mail saves you on postage, but you have to make sure that the package does not look like a gift card or it will be stolen.

That happened to me once and I learned my lesson. I always give gift cards in person and if I have to send them I will get a larger bag and make it look like I have a much larger package.

anon1180

Is it legal to put an expiration date on a gift certificate in Canada?

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register: