Choosing gifts for loved ones can be tricky. After all, you may know where they like to shop, but you're not exactly sure what they want. If you want to shower your friends and family in gifts they'll love, consider gift cards—they're bound to appreciate what they get because after all, they'll be picking it out themselves.
Whether they love home décor or would appreciate a night without cooking, many retailers and services offer gift cards that are perfect for any occasion. Before you purchase one, double-check how much value you're able to add, as well as if the cards are digital or physical, and if there are any expiration dates the recipient should be aware of.
Here, the best gift cards to give as gifts.
Sunbasket Gift Card
For your friend who loves to cook but doesn't always have the time, a gift card to Sunbasket is a great option. The delivery service makes meal prepping easy by sending you all of the ingredients and step-by-step instructions on how to prepare a certain recipe.
Recipients can choose their meal kit to be diet-specific, so no need to worry if you’re shopping for someone with certain restrictions. A $100 gift card will cover a week of three meals for two people, but you can customize the amount loaded onto the card.
Winc Monthly Wine Club
Your favorite wine connoisseur is sure to toast to a Winc gift card. The brand offers over a personalized experience as well as 100 wines to choose from, each of which can be shipped right to the lucky recipient.
Gift cards are offered in subscriptions for either one, two, or three months. To find the perfect bottle, Winc users answer six questions that'll assess their specific taste. From there, the site sends you wine recommendations that users rate, helping Winc further refine its picks for each person.
Clare Digital Gift Card
New paint color can transform any living space, and Clare has just the colors, primers, tools, and finishes to do so. Whether you're shopping for a new homeowner or the DIY-lover in your life, a gift card to the brand is sure to come in handy.
Clare offers tons of colors to choose between, from soft neutrals to bold blue hues. Each of the paints is 100 percent acrylic, zero-VOC, and GREENGUARD Gold certified. And if a shopper isn't sure which color to go with, the brand offers $2 swatches that make it easy to test it out first. If you're all set on wall paint, however, Clare also has primers, ceiling paint, tools, and even brand merchandise.
The company offers digital gift cards, making it easy to send via email to loved ones no matter where they are. Cards can be loaded in $50 increments from $100-$500—be sure to keep in mind one gallon of paint is $59.
Brooklinen E-Gift Card
A Brooklinen gift card is the perfect pick for anyone that wants to upgrade their bath or bedding situation. The brand has everything from comfy robes to plush towels and beyond that'll make any home cozy.
The brand's digital gift card can be loaded in predetermined increments between $50 and $500, allowing you to decide just how big or small you want to go for a specific occasion. You can send this gift immediately or schedule its e-delivery so it'll get to the lucky recipient on a specific day.
Material Kitchen The Gift Card
If your favorite at-home chef could use new cookware, a gift card from Material Kitchen is the perfect pick. From knives to cutting boards, chefs of all levels are sure to find a high-quality piece for their collection.
Material Kitchen's gift cards start at $75 and are offered in increments up to $250, making it less flexible than other options out there in terms of value. However, you'll be able to schedule an e-delivery for a chosen date, so you can gift it whenever you want.
Seamless Gift Card
With the Seamless Gift Card, your recipient can order from their favorite meal from local restaurants and have it delivered right to their door for a date night, quick bite, or midnight snack.
One of the best parts about a Seamless gift card is they have no expiration date, so recipients can hold onto it and use it whenever they see fit. Cards can be pre-loaded with a minimum of $25 and in increments up to $1,000. They're sent digitally and can also be designed for a specific occasion, adding an additional festive detail.
Away Gift Card
An Away gift card is the perfect gift for a loved one that's caught the travel bug. The brand offers stylish yet durable carry-ons, travel accessories, and suitcases that are great for any trip.
The brand's digital gift cards can be loaded with a custom value, but you can also choose from one of their five suggested amounts. There are also five designs to choose from but if you want to make it even more personal, the card can also be sent with a gift message.
Uncommon Goods Gift Certificate
Gifts from Uncommon Goods are just as they sound—uncommon. From a unique array of housewares to virtual classes, the site is the perfect place for the loved one in your life that has everything.
The site offers both digital and physical gift cards, so you can choose which one you prefer. You can load it with a range of $5-$1,000 and even include a custom message for a more personal feel. If you're shopping on a tight deadline, be sure to consider that a digital version will arrive within 24 hours of an order being placed, while physical cards will arrive within 3-5 business days.
Baked by Melissa E-Gift Card
Anyone with a sweet tooth will be glad to receive a gift card to Baked by Melissa. The brand's mini cupcakes and macaroons are the perfect bite-sized treat and make it easy to sample flavors and share with friends.
With a gift card, recipients will be able to choose flavors and cupcake types that fit any dietary requirements—gluten-free, nut-free, vegan, and kosher included. From seasonal flavors to classic picks, everyone is sure to find something they'll love.
Baked by Melissa’s digital cards can be preloaded with any amount of your choosing—it's worth noting, however, boxes of 25 cupcakes start at $32. The cards are also offered in eight different themes, from birthdays to words of encouragement to just because, and can be further personalized with a gift message.
Trade Coffee Gift Subscription
Coffee drinkers will get tons of use out of a gift card from Trade Coffee. The site offers a selection of coffee from all over the world, as well as drinkware, and other equipment that'll make every cup feel like a gift.
The site offers users the opportunity to answer a quiz about their coffee preferences. Afterward, they'll customize their order frequencies, grind settings, and choose their own coffees to receive. Users will then receive fresh coffee, as well as experience a new coffee and roaster with each package.
Trade Coffee offers gifts as subscriptions, with two coffee bags being the minimum amount—however, discounts are applied as the amount of bags increases. Recipients will be able to enjoy free shipping as well as coffee based on their preferences.
Hulu Gift Card
If your BFF is always asking for your Hulu password, a gift card to the streaming service is sure to be appreciated. The $50 gift card will cover the cost of 7 months on the most basic plan, so they'll be able to access the extensive library of shows and movies.
The digital card is offered in one monetary value and can be sent with a personalized gift message. Plus, you can schedule the delivery for a future date so the lucky recipient will receive it on a specific occasion.
What to Look For in a Gift Card
While some gift cards will allow you to load a specific value, many come with pre-set options to choose from. If you're shopping on a budget, take note of whether or not the card is customizable or has pre-set options with lower increments that you're comfortable with.
Physical or Digital
When it comes to deciding between physical or digital, it’s important to know your audience. A tech-savvy or long-distance loved one will love the flexibility a digital card can offer. However, a family member who hasn’t quite mastered their email yet might prefer a physical card.
Many cards have a certain window in which they must be redeemed or they will lose their value. If the card you pick doesn’t say it won’t expire, make sure to do your research, find out how long your recipient has to make their decision, and inform them of the expiration date so that they don’t miss out on your thoughtful gift.
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Celine Macura is a Fall 2021 Commerce Resident at Dotdash, specifically working with the MyDomaine team on commerce content. She is currently a student at Northwestern pursuing a B.S. in journalism.