Best Gift Cards of 2023

A new WalletHub study compares the 50 most popular gift card options across five major categories

illustration of someone giving a gift card
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you’re like many shoppers, you may have asked: Is giving a gift card okay, or does it show a lack of effort and imagination? It turns out that gift cards can be a great choice. In fact, gift cards are the most popular present for the 17th consecutive year in 2023. 

Gift cards are also great if you're in a tight spot and need a present quickly. WalletHub compared 50 of the most popular options across five major categories. 

  • The popularity of the cards 
  • Shipping or purchase fees 
  • Average buyer discount
  • Popularity of the retailer 
  • Resale Value

Based on these criteria, they determined the best of the best, whether 'gifting' a gift card for Christmas, a birthday, graduation or some other celebration. 

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We whittled their list down to our top ten picks, based on the 2023 WalletHub study

2023’s Top Ten Best Gift Cards

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Gift CardWalletHub Score*Popularity RankShipping/Purchase FeesAverage Buyer DiscountAverage Resale ValueRetailer Rating
Starbucks Gift Card704$05%$783
Sephora Gift Card606$03%$812.5
Target Gift Card60 3$04%$803
Disney Gift Card565$02%$822
Chick-fil-A Gift Card5510$0N/A$812.5
iTunes Gift Card559$04%$803
Fandango Gift Card5214$211.5%$721
Visa Gift Card511$6N/A$882
eBay Gift Card518$01%$852
Home Depot Gift Card5112$03%$863

Source: WalletHub. *Total scores are rounded.

Keep in mind that not all gift cards are alike. You can either give a gift card for a specific store, such as Best Buy, Marshalls or Dunkin’ Donuts, or give a general-purpose gift card, such as one from American Express or Visa. There are dozens of other gift card options, each suitable for any occasion. 

Seven Best Gift Card Tips

There are dozens of reasons to celebrate the holidays, like time off work and school; watching Santa come down the chimney, exchanging gifts, overeating with family and friends, and of course, the gifting of gift cards. Here are some great tips for gift card giving to help keep your budget in check

  • Take advantage of discounts. Not all, but some of the best gift cards can usually be purchased for less than face value. Just ask.
  • Avoid card-network gift cards. Gift cards from Visa, MasterCard and Amex usually come with shipping or purchase fees. if you want to give the versatility of cash, why not just use cash instead? It is likely cheaper.
  • Watch for expiration dates. Not all, but some gift cards have expiration dates after five years, so be sure to pay close attention so the gift card doesn't become useless. 
  • Resale may be an option. If you don’t end up using a particular gift card or your gift card recipient doesn’t like it, you can sell it on a gift card exchange site such as CardCash or Gift Card Granny. Or simply swap gift cards with a friend or family member.
  • Buy gift cards with rewards. Most credit card rewards programs allow you to redeem points/miles for gift cards from many major retailers. Check your credit card's rewards website to see if you have enough points or miles to redeem a gift card.
  • Give e-gift cards. When looking for a gift, you sometimes find yourself in a time crunch. When this happens, send an e-gift card instead and avoid any shipping costs.
  • Make sure the card hasn't been tampered with. Before checkout, make sure the card number or PIN has not been scratched off or revealed, which could have been written down and used by a thief.

WalletHub Methodology

WalletHub compared the cards affiliated with the country’s 50 most popular retailers in five categories that speak to their appeal and overall value. Each gift card was scored on a 100-point scale, with 100 representing the best option.

*Total scores are rounded.

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Kathryn Pomroy

For the past 18+ years, Kathryn has highlighted the humanity in personal finance by shaping stories that identify the opportunities and obstacles in managing a person's finances. All the same, she’ll jump on other equally important topics if needed. Kathryn graduated with a degree in Journalism and lives in Duluth, Minnesota. She joined Kiplinger in 2023 as a contributor.