Gift Card Etiquette 101: Dos and Don’ts for Gifting and Receiving
Gift cards have become a popular choice for gifting, whether it’s for birthdays, holidays, or special occasions. They offer the flexibility of letting the recipient choose what they want, and they’re easy to wrap – just put it in a cute envelope and you’re done! But just because they’re convenient doesn’t mean there aren’t some important do’s and don’ts when it comes to gift card etiquette. Here are some tips to help you navigate the world of gift cards:
Do: Personalize the Gift Card
While gift cards are a great option for those hard-to-shop-for people on your list, it’s still important to add a personal touch. Consider pairing the gift card with a small item that complements it, such as a coffee mug for a coffee shop gift card or a book for a bookstore gift card. This shows that you put thought into the gift, even if it’s not a physical item.
Don’t: Give Expired or Unused Gift Cards
It may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning: don’t give expired or unused gift cards. Before giving a gift card, make sure it’s still valid and has a balance. The last thing you want is for the recipient to be disappointed when they go to use the gift card and find out it’s no longer valid.
Do: Include a Receipt
While it’s not required, including a receipt with the gift card can be helpful for the recipient. If there’s an issue with the gift card, such as it not being activated or having the wrong balance, having the receipt can make it easier to resolve the problem.
Don’t: Regift a Used Gift Card
Regifting is a common practice, but when it comes to gift cards, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Make sure the gift card you’re regifting is still valid and has a balance. If the original recipient partially used the gift card, be sure to let the new recipient know. You wouldn’t want to give someone a gift card with only $5 left on it and have them think it’s worth $50!
Do: Consider the Recipient’s Preferences
When choosing a gift card, think about the recipient’s preferences. If they’re a foodie, consider a gift card to their favorite restaurant. If they love to shop, go with a gift card to their favorite clothing store. By choosing a gift card that aligns with their interests, you’re showing that you know them well and put thought into the gift.
Don’t: Give a Gift Card as the Only Gift
While gift cards are a great addition to any gift, they shouldn’t be the only thing you give. Adding a small personal touch, such as a handwritten note or a small item that complements the gift card, can make the present feel more thoughtful and special.
Do: Check the Balance Before Using
Before using a gift card, it’s always a good idea to check the balance. Many gift cards can be checked online or by calling a toll-free number. This ensures that you know how much you have to spend and can avoid any surprises at the register.
Don’t: Forget to Use the Gift Card
It’s surprisingly common for people to forget about gift cards and let them go unused. Don’t let that happen to you! Make a note of any gift cards you receive and set a reminder to use them. After all, someone gave you the card to enjoy a treat, so don’t let it go to waste!
Following these do’s and don’ts of gift card etiquette will ensure that both the giver and the recipient have a positive gift-giving experience. Remember, a little thoughtfulness goes a long way, even when it comes to something as simple as a gift card!