Gift certificates can be a dicey choice for Christmas gift giving. So, given all the variables of gift certificates, it’s important to take the pros and cons into consideration when purchasing a gift certificate for your loved ones this Christmas:
You walk into a business, purchase the gift certificate, and you’re done. No wandering around the store trying to figure out what to buy. No dilemma between purchasing one gift over another. It’s easy.
Whether it’s a certificate to your favorite restaurant, or a series of yoga classes, you share your favorite eateries and or hobbies that the recipient may have never been exposed to. So depending on what kind of certificate you select, you have the opportunity to share an experience you enjoy with a recipient that may not otherwise have the opportunity to enjoy.
When you buy a gift certificate for someone you don’t know that well, you have the option to buy a certificate to Best Buy or Target knowing that anyone can find something they need or want with so many choices.
You have to figure out how much to spend on the individual knowing that they will know the price of your friendship.
You spend 50 dollars on the certificate and the recipient also gives you a gift certificate but spends 100 dollars. Awkward.
You give a certificate to a business that your recipient doesn’t frequent or would never spend money at. For example, you give a certificate to Starbucks and the recipient doesn’t drink coffee. Not good.
Because of the convenience of purchasing a gift certificate, it can appear to be insensitive or lack meaning.
The recipient might lose the certificate so you end up wasting your money. Sad.
Bottom Line: When deciding to purchase a gift certificate this Christmas, weigh your options and do your best to fall in the pros department, and stay clear of the cons.
Gift certificate photo available from Shutterstock
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Last reviewed: 5 Dec 2012