Between gifts, birthdays, and holiday, it can be difficult to figure out what to give the people we know and love. With everybody having their own minds about what to get for themselves, the thought of giving a selected gift becomes challenging. What if the headphones you pick our for your brother aren’t exactly the best headphones you can buy? Your niece is into gaming, but there’s seemingly no way to remember what games she wants. The solution to all of this disarray and individuality could be cash, but different families and groups tend to have frustratingly unwritten rules around cash giving. That leaves one real solution: The gift card.
But that solution quickly brings forth the new problem of trying to figure out which gift card to give. Nearly every company and service offers one nowadays. And different ones give different sentiments. A gift card for a weight loss program’s merchandise could be either be the most thoughtful, well-wishing gift of the year or a metaphorical slap in the face. Despite appearances, a gift card is not necessarily the equivalent of cash. What, then, should you choose?
To guide you on your gift card buying journey, we’ve assembled the best you can buy, based on the interests of Digital Trends readers at large. For each entry, we’ll tell you generally who the gift card is for as well as some things the recipient might likely purchase with the card.
Amazon is where we get everything these days. And, being a purely online store, it isn’t cash friendly, either. This means that an Amazon gift card is great for just about anybody, but especially for teens without a credit card of their own.
You already know the type that wants an Apple gift card. They’re the ones who bring their MacBook with them to the coffee shop, know the best iPhones by name, and are totally stuck in the Apple ecosystem.
Best Buy is a sort of tech wonderland. You can look at OLEDs and QLEDs in person, try on the latest headphones, and consider if you need to upgrade some of your appliances all from the same place. This gift card is great for your friend or relative that needs to experience a product before buying it.
Netflix remains one of the best streaming services year after year. They have original TV and movies as well as worldwide favorites that you wouldn’t ordinarily get exposed to. And while they aren’t a gaming streaming service, a subscription to them will allow you to download and play some mobile games with no additional costs.
Disney Plus is a fantastic source of entertainment that has things everybody in the family will like, but especially children. Again, though, don’t let the Disney name fool you, as this is entertainment for everyone and Disney owns quite a lot of IP outside of Mickey Mouse these days. Check out our constantly evolving list of the best movies on Disney Plus to see what we mean. Diverse viewing option aside, a Disney Plus gift card is the perfect gift for families with young children.
We all know the cook that spends more on the ingredients than the tools used to cook them up. A Williams Sonoma gift card is a friendly way to encourage them to up their cookware, bakeware, or cutlery game.
Target is home to a ton of home appliances, craft supplies, beauty products, and even has some surprisingly good clothing. A Target gift card allows the recipient to get something they really need, and the best part is that they’ll be thinking about you every time they use it.
If you have a friend or relative that’s always going out to concerts, live shows, or sporting events, you need to check out the Ticketmaster gift card. As you’ve probably discovered, figuring out what events other people will like and on what schedule they should go to them is nearly impossible. A Ticketmaster gift card is a touching way to tell a pal that you want them to enjoy themselves, be at an event they care about, and do so on their own schedule.
Whether you’re a frequent business traveler or just need a vacation after a long year at work, you may prefer a homely AirBnB over a traditional hotel. Your friends are likely the same. An AirBnB gift card is a way to remind a friend that you feel they always deserve the comforts of a home, no matter where they’ve wondered off to.
If you’ve ever traveled, you know that the rental car can be one of the worst expenses on a trip. And if you’re in a largely walkable city, you may have found yourself disappointed in its cost-effectiveness. Don’t let others fall down the same path. Get them an Uber gift card so they can experience the phone-operated modern taxi equivalent on an as-need basis.
In a lot of ways, a Visa gift card is like cash. It can be used anywhere you would a regular Visa card, after all. But the real draw of a Visa gift card is that it can allow your teen, who might not have their own debit card yet, the ability to buy things online. As a bonus, it is good practice for managing money they you can’t see and count in real time.
If you want it, it’s probably at Walmart. This giant retailer and grocery store really needs no introduction, so long as you remember there are ample opportunities to buy great game consoles, clothes, and appliances at the store.
If you recognize any of our picks for best business laptops simply via that friend that lugs theirs to every coffee shop in town, this is the gift that you should get them. Of course, grabbing a cup of Starbucks coffee (or tea) is also a great way to pad out the morning commute or catch up for a chat with a friend, too.
The more we get caught up in our digital lives and current digital trends, the more we can lose touch with nature. A gift card from The Sill lets your pal pick a plant or get plant supplies for their home, keeping a little bit of nature around, even during lengthy work hours.
If you have a friend that always wants to cook and eat new foods but can’t stand choosing what to get or hates collecting spices they’ll only use one, they should try out Hello Fresh. From our first hand account of using Hello Fresh, we can confirm the food tastes delicious.
From speedruns to “Just Chatting” you can find a ton of live entertainment on Twitch. But with increasingly good anti ad block technology, you’ll have to subscribe to your favorite streamers to avoid annoying midstream ads. The platform is surprisingly addictive and your favorite web writer might have a stream open on their second monitor as we speak. LUL
GameStop remains a fantastic place to grab controllers, consoles, game discs, and game cartridges, plus a whole host of other game-related items. Get this gift card for your favorite gamer to show you support them enjoying their leisure time in the way they please.
If your giftee owns an Android phone, they’re probably highly acquainted with the Google Play Store app. It’s where Android users get apps, games, and more. While their are tons of great free options in the store, this gift card will allow complete freedom to get the best Android apps.
To make a long story short, MasterClass is a bit like Netflix, but it centers of educational content delivered to you by experts in the field, including famed stars like Gordon Ramsay and Will Wright. A MasterClass gift card can symbolize your support of a friend who is going through a period of growth.
Who has time to cook these days? A DoorDash gift card will allow the recipient to call in their favorite foods on delivery and on demand. With DoorDash, your friend can even schedule their meals to be delivered in advance, so they have something at their door the moment they log off of Slack for the day.
Uber Eats is another great food delivery service that operates in a way that will be comfortable to all Uber users. Getting an Uber Eats gift card for someone is a great way to show that you care about them getting delicious meals no matter where they are.
Let’s face it, your PS5-owning friend or child is in constant need of the best PS5 games, present and future. This gift card will allow them to pick up the best of what’s available now as well as what’s coming in the future.
A Microsoft Store gift card opens up everything from Xbox games and controllers to Microsoft tech for whomever you’re gifting it to. Give this gift card to whomever you think deserves the best in tech and/or gaming.
The Nintendo eShop has regular gift cards, which allow you to spend up to their stated amount, but the coolest innovation they’re offering right now is the “Choose One” gift card. This special type of gift card lets the receiver choose one of three complete games to download. This helps avoid the frustrating situation of having a few dollars left over on a gift card, not enough to buy what you want but also too much to let go to waste.
If you know a PC gamer, then you’ll want to give them a Steam gift card. Steam is the largest store for PC games and pretty much everyone who games on a computer, even users of the best gaming laptops, uses it.
If the music-lover in your life hasn’t tried out Spotify, perhaps because of the ads on the free version of the app, then this gift card is for them. Spotify is also a great way to share your music tastes with your friends and can help create a wonderful conversation around music.
Not all gifts need to be for humans. Get your favorite pet parent a Chewy gift card to help them get things that are perfect for their furry friends. Chewy has all the pet supplies you, your friend, or their pet could ever want.
B&H specializes in photo, video, and audio equipment. Your friend or family member that receives this gift card can get anything from a new TV to one of the best cameras. Get this gift card for the person that is always talking about tech and seems to have a constant need to upgrade their gear.
Our digital lives have us sitting at desks and craning our necks down to stare at smartphones all day, every day. A massage is the perfect tension killer. Get a Massage Envy gift card for your friend that works long hours at a desk but completely neglects self care.
Know you want to someone a gag gift or something a bit strange, but aren’t sure exactly what? Uncommon Goods specializes in unique items and gifting somebody their gift card is the perfect way to say, “I appreciate your quirky side.”