Gift cards are often dismissed as an unimaginative and thoughtless gift — but that isn’t always the case. Here are five reasons why they can be a welcome alternative.
Gift vouchers picture from Shutterstock
1. Digital era ownership tracking is difficult
In the physical media era, it was usually possible to work out if a potential recipient owned a given book/movie/CD/game by sneakily checking their shelves. That’s a fair bit more difficult these days, when everyone’s libraries are stored on password-protected digital devices. (Games are easier if they’re multiplayer and online, but books are close to impossible.)
2. Vouchers extend the pleasure of giving
You don’t have to spend a gift card in one sitting — you can shop around and spend a little on multiple visits. That said, if you give a gift voucher, note the expiry date and remind the recipient a month or two beforehand, so they don’t miss out. Once a voucher expires, that’s it. )
3. Less on postage means more for the present
If you’re sending a present to distant locations, the actual physical postage can be high. A gift card pops inside a standard envelope — so what you don’t spend on shipping you can use to increase the value of the voucher. (Or keep the money for yourself — we’re not here to judge.)
4. It shows you respect the recipient’s taste
Yes, there’s something lovely about receiving a gift that shows how well the giver knows you, but there’s also something pleasing about knowing you can get exactly what you want, rather than having to feign enthusiasm.
5. It beats getting underwear
Well, unless you’re Kotaku editor Mark Serrels.
Are you pro- or anti- gift cards? Share your views in the comments.