Best Gift Cards to Give (and Get) for the Holidays

Enjoy a little something extra, whether you're gifting someone or gifting yourself.

(Image credit: © Catherine Lane 2014)

If you’re a holiday gift-giving traditionalist, you look at gift cards as a lazy cop-out: Little thought, even littler effort. In other words, perfect for me. So here’s a hearty humbug to all you Debbie Downers out there, and a gift to all you gift card fanatics: We searched for the season’s best gift cards for giving and receiving.

A bit of advice before we dive in: If you have unused gift cards tucked away, by all means use them. Americans purchased nearly $130 billion in gift cards in 2015, estimated consulting firm CEB, yet some $1 billion worth of them went unredeemed.Alternatively, sell your unwanted gift cards online. You won’t get face value, but it beats letting them sit idle in your wallet or the back of a drawer. GiftCardGranny.com is a good place to start.

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Bob Niedt
Contributor

Bob was Senior Editor at Kiplinger.com for seven years and is now a contributor to the website. He has more than 40 years of experience in online, print and visual journalism. Bob has worked as an award-winning writer and editor in the Washington, D.C., market as well as at news organizations in New York, Michigan and California. Bob joined Kiplinger in 2016, bringing a wealth of expertise covering retail, entertainment, and money-saving trends and topics. He was one of the first journalists at a daily news organization to aggressively cover retail as a specialty and has been lauded in the retail industry for his expertise. Bob has also been an adjunct and associate professor of print, online and visual journalism at Syracuse University and Ithaca College. He has a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater from Hope College.