Everybody loves gift cards. They’re the most popular gift for people of all ages – from adults, to teenagers, and even to kids! For more than 9 years, gift cards have topped wish lists both during the holiday season, and all year-round!
This is especially true among millennials – and the trend is continuing among even younger children and teenagers. Our kids love the flexibility and usefulness of gift cards, and are likely to love getting gift cards as a gift.
So if you’re looking for a gift for your child, a gift card is a fantastic choice. You can give gift cards to your children as part of their birthday celebrations, during major holidays, or even just because you want to make them happy, or reward them for doing well in school or a sports team!
Gift cards are appropriate for just about any occasion, and just about every store and establishment sells gift cards, so you have plenty of choices when selecting the card you’d like to give your child.
However, if you’re buying a gift card for a younger child (let’s say younger than 13), there are some extra considerations you’ll need to take into account when purchasing a gift card.
Of course, you need to take the tastes and preferences of your child into account – you wouldn’t give a Barbie fan a gift card to a sporting goods store! But there are quite a few other factors that should influence your choice, as well.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some basic tips on selecting gift cards for kids. Whether it’s for their birthday, elementary school graduation, or any other occasion, this guide is sure to help you pick out the right gift card, and make sure you give your child the right present!
1. Pick The Right Value
Buying a gift card for kids starts with choosing the right value. Stores sell gift cards in a huge variety of amounts – so what’s right for your kid?
The answer will depend, of course, on your budget and the occasion for which you’re buying the gift card. For example, you may be willing to drop $100 on a Target gift card for your child’s birthday – but a graduation or a sports championship may only earn them a $20 gift card.
Still, research suggests that the average gift card purchased for a child is between $25-$50. Approximately 60% of surveyed participants bought a gift card for a child or a teen that was valued in-between $25-$50.
As a rule, younger kids will be okay with getting lower dollar amounts. Still, we suggest around $20 as a minimum gift card value for most gift cards – any lower, and your child may be severely restricted when shopping.
2. Choose A Gift Card With Plenty Of Low-Price Options
This goes hand-in-hand with point #1. Younger kids tend to value quantity over quality. Of course, this depends on the child – but being able to buy a larger volume of items is usually preferable for younger kids. Purchasing a bunch of stuff at once feels more satisfying – and kids are less likely to want to invest in high-quality, durable, long-lasting goods.
When looking for a store that sells gift cards, try to find a store that offers plenty of inexpensive, low-price options. This is one of the reasons that Target gift cards are always so popular. Target offers a huge variety of goods – from toys, to video games, to electronics – and carries quite a few cheap items.
This lets kids choose whether or not they want to spend their gift card balance on a single item, or on a bunch of toys, accessories, and other lower-priced items.
3. Pick A Store That’s Easily Accessible
If you want your kids to be able to redeem gift cards independently, it’s a good idea to buy gift cards to local businesses and stores that are within walking/biking distance. Kids love the idea of being able to shop on their own – and when you give them a gift card, you empower them to go out on their own, and buy something they’ve had their eye on for a while.
Of course, if there are no stores close by, or you don’t want your child going out on their own, you’ll have to give them a ride to the store. Again, you should look for a store that sells gift cards and is fairly closeby. Driving to a store that’s 45 minutes away can take a serious chunk out of your day, so opt for a store that’s easily accessible.
Alternatively, you can choose to buy your kids gift cards to online stores like Amazon, iTunes, or Steam. This allows them to redeem gift cards on their own from the comfort and safety of their own home – and lets them shop independently.
4. Buy A Gift Card That Offers Plenty Of Variety
Kids love having choices, and they can be quite picky. This is why it’s important to choose a gift card to a retailer that offers plenty of variety. Typically, a big-box department store like Target or Walmart is a great choice – as these stores offer just about everything that a kid could want.
If you choose to buy a gift card that doesn’t offer much variety, your kid may get frustrated when shopping, and be unable to find something they want. If this happens, your gift card can seriously backfire – and you may end up having to “buy” the gift card off of your child.
So before purchasing a gift card from a store that sells gift cards, think about what your child is into, and the variety of different shopping options available at the store. This will help you make an informed decision.
You can also keep a list of things that your kid mentions they want – such as athletic socks, new toys, or a new videogame – and use this list as a guide to purchasing the right gift card. This list is also helpful if they can’t decide what they want to buy – you can remind them about the things they’ve mentioned in the past.
5. Choose A Gift Card To A Store That You Also Like
This is a great way to multitask when shopping with your kids. Find a store you like that sells gift cards, and choose these cards for your kids! That way, you’ll choose a store that’s close by and that you visit frequently – and your kids can shop for their own stuff while you do your day-to-day errands!
You can let your kids loose to pick their own gifts while you shop, and they’re sure to find something that they like. And the best part of this tip is that it’s got a built-in “bail out” strategy. If your kids don’t end up finding things they’re interested in, you can offer to let them “sell” their gift cards to you for cash.
You’ll be able to use the gift card, and they’ll have cash that they can use on other things – so that’s a win-win!
6. Keep Track Of Your Kid’s Gift Cards
Kids are infamous for losing just about everything they get their hands on. When you give your kid a gift card, you should make sure that they keep it somewhere safe – and you should note down important information such as the gift card numbers, expiration date, security code, and other info.
This will allow you to redeem most gift cards online in case they’re lost – and you may even be able to get a replacement card issued from some retailers.
You should also keep track of remaining balances, if possible. Your kids are going to be seriously disappointed if they try to spend a $50 gift card – only to remember that they already spend most of its balance.
So keep track of your kid’s gift cards, and make sure they’re spent in a timely manner.
The Top 10 Gift Cards For Kids
So, what are the best gift cards for kids? Without further ado, here are our top 10 recommendations!
- iTunes – iTunes gift cards are an absolutely fantastic choice for kids. They can redeem them for apps, music, movies, and more – directly from their phones or tablets! There’s always something to buy on iTunes, and if your kid decides they don’t need anything, you can easily sell gift cards from iTunes online, and give them cash instead!
- VISA Prepaid Gift Cards – If you want true flexibility, a prepaid VISA gift card is a fantastic choice for your kid. These gift cards can be spent just like cash at any store, and can even be used online – unlike cash!
- Amazon – Amazon is a great choice for a gift card, especially if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber who gets free shipping. Shipping costs can eat into the value your kids can spend – so if you don’t get free shipping, you can consider offering to pay for shipping yourself, so that they can stretch their dollar further.
- Target or Walmart – Target and Walmart both carry a huge variety of items. From toys, to clothes, video games, electronics, accessories, and even snacks and junk food (what kid doesn’t love that!?) Target and Walmart are both great choices, especially if there’s one close by.
- Movie Theaters – Kids love movies. You can give your kid a gift card to a local chain, or a card like a Fandango gift card that can be used at most movie theaters. We recommend loading the card with enough money to cover at least 2 movies, as well as some snacks like popcorn and a soda! That way, your kid can see a movie with their best friend!
- Fast Food Restaurants – A little money goes a long way at fast food restaurants. A $20 gift card to a restaurant like Taco Bell can easily cover 3-4 meals! If you’re okay with your kids eating fast food every once in awhile, consider getting them a gift card to their favorite fast food joint.
- Sporting Goods – A gift card to a store like Nike, Dick’s Sporting Goods, or Under Armour is a perfect choice for a sporty child of either gender. However, sporting goods and athletic clothing tend to be expensive – factor this in when considering the value of your gift card.
- Clothing/Accessories – Typically, this is a better choice for girls than boys. A gift card to a store like Claire’s lets your child pick out a ton of great accessories for a low cost – giving them plenty of variety and choices.
- Specialty/Hobby Shops – If your child is into a particular hobby like board games, paintball, or any other specialty sport/activity, a gift card to a local hobby shop or specialty shop is a great choice. They’re sure to be able to buy something they’ve had their eye on!
- Local Gift Cards – Gift cards to local stores like ice cream shops, donut shops, or other popular, nearby businesses can be a great idea for your kids. Just make sure that these gift cards abide by the guidelines we set forth in the first section of our guide, and you’re sure to make the right choice!
While there are plenty of other options, this list is sure to help you understand what makes a great gift card for a child. You’ll be able to choose a store that sells gift cards that are perfect for your kid!
Got A Gift Card You Don’t Want? Sell It For Cash With EJ Gift Cards Now!
If you give your child a gift card they don’t want, don’t panic! You can just sell unwanted gift cards online to recoup most of your investment – and give them cash!
With EJ Gift Cards, selling unwanted gift cards is totally simple. Whether your or your child has a gift card you don’t want, it’s easy to sell your gift cards with us.
Just log onto our website, start our step-by-step gift card selling process, and enter the details about your card. We’ll send you a (reversible) quote for the value of your card. If you like what you see, fill out the rest of the page with your payment details – and your payment will be delivered via PayPal as soon as processing completes! It’s just that simple.
Got questions or comments? We’d be happy to hear them. Drop us a line!