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Gift cards are fantastic presents for just about any occasion – and they’re incredibly popular in the modern world. The mixture of value, flexibility, and convenience that gift cards offer is totally unbeatable. Add in the fact that just about every store sells gift cards, and it’s no wonder that gift cards have been the #1 choice on wishlists for nearly a decade.

But there are still some people who don’t think that gift cards are a very special present. And we can see their point. When you select a gift for someone, it often takes quite a bit of time and research. Choosing the perfect present is a way to say “I was thinking about you”, and can be very impactful.

Gift cards, for all of their merits, can lack this sense of deep personalization, so handing someone a gift card may sometimes feel like a bit of a letdown. But that doesn’t have to be the case! If you choose the right gift card and present it to the recipient correctly, you can give a thoughtful, flexible gift that will be just as special as any other present!

Curious? Great! We’ve put together a fun, handy list of 8 different ways that you can make your gift card more special, and ensure that your recipient loves your gift!

1. Do Your Homework

It’s important to realize that gift cards are not a “one-size-fits-all” present. Despite the fact that most stores sell gift cards, you can’t expect a recipient to be satisfied if you just randomly pick a gift card off of the rack.

This is at the heart of why some people think that gift cards don’t make great presents – because so many places like grocery stores and convenience stores sell gift cards, they think that a gift card means that you weren’t thinking of them until it’s too convenient.

So if you’re trying to give a gift card that will truly feel special, you’ll need to do your homework, and choose a gift card that will impress the recipient. Here are a few ways you can do just that!

If a friend or a loved one has a birthday or a special occasion coming up, make it a point to listen to them closely, and get some great ideas for a gift card that will be perfect for them. Are they planning a big fishing trip sometime soon? Are they interested in a few new pieces from their favorite department store?

Simply listening in this way can help you pick out the perfect gift card, and show the recipient that you purchased the gift card just for them – according to their needs.

2. Pick A Gift Card With A Shared Interest

This is another great way to make a gift card special. If you and a friend are both interested in racketball, for example, giving a gift card to a sporting good store so that your friend can buy a new racket is a fantastic choice!

Choosing a gift card that you and the recipient share an interest in, is a great way to bond and connect, especially if you often partake in similar hobbies together. It’s a way to say “I know what you like, and I like it too! Let’s do it together!”

This also helps reinforce your relationship. If you give a gift card to your favorite movie theater, for example, you can offer to go along with your friend, and enjoy a movie together!

3. Tailor Your Gift Card To The Situation

It’s important to choose a gift card that’s appropriate for the situation, event, or holiday that it’s for. This may seem a bit silly to say, but it really is important.

For example, you might give a gift card to Victoria’s Secret to your significant other if it’s your anniversary or Valentine’s day – but that wouldn’t exactly be an appropriate gift for an office party, or for a graduation party.

In the same vein, you probably wouldn’t want to give a friend, a gift card to an outdoor superstore in the middle of winter – while in the heat of summer, this may be the perfect choice! No matter what kind of gift you’re giving, it’s truly the thought that counts, so make sure that you choose a gift card that’s appropriate not only for the recipient, but for the event, holiday, or special occasion.

4. Use A Gift Card To Recommend A New Place!

Even though it’s a safe bet to give a gift card to somewhere the recipient already loves, you can use your gift as an opportunity to introduce them to a new place!

This can be somewhat risky, but if you choose a place that’s similar to places that you know they like or have gone to in the past, this can be a fantastic way to give a memorable gift that they’ll appreciate for years to come.

After all, the gift card may only be used a few times – but if you can introduce a friend to a new favorite store or restaurant, they’ll be thinking about your gift every time they come back! They may even go back to the store that sells gift cards, and buy gifts for their own friends!

And if you choose a gift card to a place that they end up totally loving, they’ll be very impressed with how well you know them – they’ll realize that you put a lot of thought and effort into their gift.
However, there are two things you should consider before buying a gift card in order to recommend a new place to a friend or loved one.

  • Location – If you’re thinking about buying a gift card to a local restaurant or chain of stores, consider the location of the recipient. If they’re not able to quickly and easily get to the establishment, it may not be the right choice, and they may be unable to use your gift.
  • Personal preferences – Does your friend or loved one enjoy new experiences, or are they more comfortable sticking with what they know? If they don’t mind trying new things, buying a gift card to a place you recommend may be a great idea – but if they prefer routine, they may simply never use the card, even though they’ll appreciate the gift.

If you think that the gift recipient will love the card, and you’re sure they’ll be able to use it, go for it! Giving a gift card as a recommendation for a new place is a fantastic choice.

5. Tell Them Why – It’s The Thought That Counts!

If you had a reason for buying a particular gift card, let the person know when you give them their gift! Maybe they loved a sweater from Kohl’s that they borrowed from you – so you decided to buy them a gift card so that they could purchase their own sweater!

This is a great way to make a gift card more special because it shows that you truly care about the recipient, and that you put real thought into the selection of your gift card. And it may be a cliche, but we’ll say it again – it really is the thought that counts. When it’s clear that you’ve put thought, effort, and attention into your present, it will feel special – guaranteed.

6. Include A Heartfelt Note

gift note

This is great advice – no matter what gift you’re giving. Gifts are great – but there’s nothing better than an honest, heartfelt note about what makes the recipient special. A touching, emotional message can be more valuable than a $1000 gift card – and the recipient is sure to remember it for years to come.

Not sure where to start when writing a note? Here are some basic tips!

  • Think about what the person means to you – This is a great way to get some inspiration when you’re trying to write a meaningful note. Think about what the person you’re giving the gift to means to you, and what makes them special. Write about one particular occasion that sticks out in your memory, and you’re sure to create a fantastic note.
  • Keep it simple and honest – This is the true key to a great note when giving a gift. You don’t have to use fancy, “ten-dollar” words, or make your note more emotional than it has to be. Just be honest about your feelings about the person, and keep your note simple. This direct approach will make your note much more meaningful, as it will be clear that it’s been written straight from the heart.
  • Don’t overthink it – This is, perhaps, the most important piece of advice for writing an effective note. If you overthink your message, you’re going to get stuck, and you won’t be sure what to write. When you get inspired, just roll with it – don’t expect perfection. Write from the heart, and you’re sure to write a great note.

Package your gift card up in a nice envelope with your note or your greeting card, and you’re sure to give a gift that will be memorable and appreciated by your friend or loved one – no matter what gift card you give!

7. Customize That Card!

Many companies that sell gift cards offer customization options. This is more common on “open-loop” gift cards like VISA gift cards and prepaid MasterCard gift cards.

When buying one of these gift cards online, you’ll be able to customize the artwork, logos, and more – so if you’re looking to create a custom gift card for a special occasion, these gift cards are great choices!

However, most retailers that sell gift cards don’t offer any customization options for the cards themselves. So how can you make a gift card more special? With a gift card holder!

If you’ve got craft skills, custom gift card holders are totally easy to make. Here’s a template to get you started. All you need is a printer, some paper, a pair of scissors, and a steady hand!

Need a little inspiration? Check out this Pinterest roundup of 25+ totally awesome gift card holder ideas, or this BuzzFeed article!

8. Create A Themed Gift Around Your Gift Card!

If you really want to spice things up when giving a gift card, you should definitely consider creating some kind of themed gift basket around your gift.

For example, if you’re giving a gift card to a friend who loves movies, you can create a “movie night” gift basket! Buy them a gift card to Netflix or your favorite local movie theater, and surround it with other movie-themed accessories and gifts – such as candy like Raisinets and Junior Mints, 3D glasses, microwaveable popcorn, or even movie posters for their favorite films!

This is a really fun way to change the traditional way that gift cards are presented, and to make your gift feel more special. The opportunities are endless.

So next time you’re at a store that sells gift cards, take a moment to think about how you can create a themed gift around a particular card! You’re sure to come up with some brilliant ideas that will make your gift truly unique.

Got Gift Cards You Don’t Want? Sell Gift Cards Now At EJ Gift Cards!

Even if you take special care to select a great gift card for a friend or a loved one, it might not be the right choice. But that’s okay! Now that it’s easier than ever to sell gift cards online, your gift will never be wasted!

If you want to sell gift cards you don’t need, come to EJ Gift Cards today! We’re the #1 buyer of gift cards! We buy hundreds of different gift cards at competitive rates, and our simple selling process makes it totally easy to get paid. Just enter the information on your card and your payment details, and we’ll send your payment directly to you via PayPal.

It’s really just that simple – and if you have any issues, our customer support team is glad to help. So don’t let the value of your unwanted gift cards to go waste. Sell your gift cards with EJ Gift Cards now – and get paid in cash!