5 gift card ideas for everyone on your list can make your life easier if you've decided to go with this most blessed of gifting routes.


Colette Bennett

Dot Recs

Posted on Nov 7, 2019   Updated on May 19, 2021, 11:33 pm CDT

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Its 2019 and many holiday shoppers still feel like gift cards are a less than personal choice. Which is wild, when you consider what a gift really is: money spent on others. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need any more hand-knitted sweaters, scented candles, or bath bombs. Those are great and all, but if you really want to be thoughtful, just give me a gift card and all of the freedom of choice it offers. can make your life a lot easier if you’ve decided to go with this most blessed of gifting routes. Not only does it feature dozens and dozens of retailers to choose from, but it saves you the trip of going out and purchasing the gift card in person–in other words, walking into a mall during a time where people are perfectly capable of murdering each other over a parking space.

What are the best gift cards?

1) For the bargain shopper: The Happy Holidays gift card

If you’re hoping to give the perfect gift for someone who loves to shop after-Christmas sales, this gift card is an ideal choice. They can hit up Macy’s for clothes and housewares, Ulta for makeup, and GameStop for video games. When all that deal-hunting has worn them out, they can go plop down at Chili’s. P.F. Chang’s, or Red Lobster for a meal. And if home improvement is more their speed, this card can also be used at Lowe’s. 


2) For the grumbly teenager: The Happy Teen gift card

If you live with one of those eternally irritable human beings between the ages of 13 and 19, we salute you. It can be boggling to even imagine that they can be happy about anything, but this gift card is willing to give it a try. It’s usable at a cleverly curated group of retailers and restaurants that includes Jamba Juice, Dave & Busters, American Eagle, Barnes & Noble, Sephora, Under Armour and Regal Cinemas. Now they won’t need to ask for money the next time they want to go see a movie.


3) For the eternally hungry foodie: The Happy Dining gift card

If you’re shopping for someone who treasures a good meal above all else, give them the gift of a few paid dinners. This card can be used at The Cheesecake Factory, McCormick & Schmick’s, Red Lobster, Cracker Barrel, P.F. Chang’s and Buffalo Wild Wings. You might wish your gift was more thoughtful, but trust me, when they’re chowing down on your dime they’ll be happy as pigs in the mud.


4) For the travel-happy: The Airbnb gift card

If they’re always plotting the next trip to an unexplored locale, why not help them pay for it? The Airbnb gift card can be as much as $500 and is good for any spot they may pick. Best of all, it never expires, so even if it takes them a while to get around to choosing where to go, they’ll still be able to enjoy some relaxation thanks to your generosity.


5) For the person you just aren’t sure what to get: The personalized Visa gift card

Don’t know where they like to shop and eat? No problem. Personalize a Visa gift card with a custom image or theme for just about every holiday you can imagine, or go with a non-specific image like flowers or a beautiful destination. This card can be used anywhere that accepts Visa (which is basically everywhere), so it’s the closest you can get to handing someone cold, hard cash.


None of those quite fit the bill? Go dig into all the options has to offer, which includes tons of restaurants, retailers, theaters, day spas and more.

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*First Published: Nov 7, 2019, 10:44 am CST