Gift certificates: Good or bad?

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7 thoughts on “Gift certificates: Good or bad?

  1. Unless you have a very specific gift in mind, that you’re very certain the recipient will be delighted with, a gift card is a wonderful thing. Just yesterday, my partner and I bought a $100.00 birthday gift card for my best friend, from a western wear shop that all three of us patronize on a regular basis.

    Now, it’s true that we could put a $100.00 bill inside a birthday card, and my friend would be pleased to receive it. There’s a good reason not to do that, though. If someone gives me “birthday money” as an adult, it will invariably be spent, at least in part, on daily trivial expenses. In the alternative, it might be spent on “needs” for which it gives welcome relief, but not the kind of enjoyment that we all hope to create with our gifts.

    When someone gives me a gift card, however, I truly get to enjoy it as a “gift.” I don’t end up feeling like I should use the money for something practical or “fiscally responsible.” It’s a guiltless opportunity to purchase something simply because I’d enjoy it. That, in itself, is a nice gift.

  2. As another option to the gift card, I’ve been know to give a bag of loonies… I know it’s a bit crazy, but the pirate in me thinks it’s cool to have a bag of booty.

  3. It was more than a bit crazy…the kids were way more excited than I was to see a stocking full of loonies. Also, probably wondering why Santa didn’t fill their stockings with loonies.

    PS. Our Stockings are HUGE!!

  4. Dar I bet your stockings aren’t as big as ours :) I like getting gift cards. I live a long way from our extended family as well as son and his family and it is very costly to mail out presents. I do not like to send them though although I have only cause SOMEONE would not give me ideas that fit in my budget. I like getting a gift card just as Nick answered.. cause then you feel like you really can go spend it perhaps at a store you never go in because you never thought of it or the prices and now you can. Money would just end up going to pay groceries or something equally mundane.

  5. Gift certificates are nothing more than a merchant’s attempt to trap you for a customer. No refunds, no change, and fees and/or expiration dates. If you don’t use it all the remainder goes to the merchant. Bad idea for the recipient, good idea for the merchant.

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