5 ways to make gift cards more personal


When in doubt while holiday shopping, go with a gift card. Gift cards provide a convenient way to ensure people of all ages ultimately get something special.
According to a 2016 survey by the gift card sales tool CardCash, gift cards are a $127 billion market that keeps growing. Physical gift cards have been growing at an annual rate of 6 percent, but digital gift cards are growing at an annual rate of 200 percent. The financial resource The Motley Fool indicates that, during the 2018 holiday shopping season, people buying gift cards purchased roughly four cards each, with an average value of $45 per card.

Many people enjoy the convenience of storing digital gift card information on their phones. Even though gift cards are any easy option, like giving cash, they may seem like impersonal gifts. However, gift givers can explore these ways to add a personal touch to the gift card.

• Make your own gift card. Companies including Visa® and Mastercard® enable gift-givers to personalize cards with their own photos. Shoppers also can choose from predesign galleries to present a card that has a little more flair. The gift cards can then be tied to specific occasions or holidays.

• Choose a popular store. Rather than buying the first gift card you see, iselect a card for a specific store your loved one likes. For example, if the person is an outdoors enthusiast, a gift card to L.L. Bean may be perfect. If he or she wants to be the next top chef, money toward Sur La Table or Williams Sonoma is fitting.

• Wrap it in a unique way. Don’t just give the gift card in an envelope; find a unique way to wrap it. After all, that will make the gift card a gift within a gift. Find a small gift box and wrap the gift card as you would any other gift. Or make it even more exciting by designing a scavenger hunt with clues on where to find the hidden gift card.

• Assemble a gift basket. Add a few extra treats to a basket with the gift card that ties into a theme. If the gift card is for a boating or fishing retailer, place tackle, a floating key ring or a dry storage bag in the gift basket.

• Add a sweet message. Attach a greeting card and share a few sentiments about why the gift card was chosen. This will help make the gift more personal and show that time was taken to select the item.

The National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics reassures that gift cards are one of the most popular entries on holiday wish lists each year. Making the gift a bit more personal can increase the enjoyment factor even further.