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Think Gift Cards this 2011 Holiday Season

Think Gift Cards this 2011 Holiday Season

Ah, the holidays – they’re quickly approaching and most of us have already begun wondering what we’re going to do for all our friends and family. Keeping up with the latest technology is challenging, at best and frankly, were we to start buying the latest “must-have” electronic, there’s a good chance it will have long since been replaced with newer technology by the time it’s ready to be unwrapped.

Clothes are always a sure thing, if you know the right size, color and styles. Overwhelming? Certainly. This is where gift cards come in and they just might be this year’s saving grace when it comes to finding the right gift. Here are a few worth considering.

American Express Gift Card

There’s something to be said for pretty packaging and AMEX is known for its sophistication, so it stands to reason the American Express Gift Card for Consumers not only is a welcome surprise to everyone, but it’s all dressed up in a lovely gold card.

You can use these anywhere the American Express is accepted and they’re available in denominations between $25 and $500. Plus, if the gift card is lost or stolen, you can have the unused balance refunded. Ordering offline usually means you’ll have the actual card in about a week, though personalizing your gift card might add an additional day or two, so it’s always a good idea to order early.

American Express Business Gift Cards

Here’s where it gets good for those shopping for co-workers. It can be a bit awkward; after all, these are folks you work with so it stands to reason you won’t know them as well as you do your own family. Still, you don’t want the holidays or birthdays to get by without memorializing it in some way.

The American Express business gift cards are the ideal solution. Not only are they versatile enough for gifts, but they’re also a great way to say thanks for a job well done or welcome to the team. It allows your co-worker or employees to find that something special for themselves. No awkward questions about favorite colors or whether they prefer wood or metal book ends. It eliminates the guesswork in its entirety.

These are easily purchased in prepaid amounts or in denominations between $25 and $500. Again, these can be personalized if you choose. Ordering is easy and the unused balance is refundable if the card is lost or stolen. It’s perhaps the perfect gift for that age old quandary of remembering co-workers.

Visa Gift Card

Of course, there is always the Visa classic gift card. Again, they serve and invaluable purpose by eliminating the guesswork. The recipient spends whatever’s been loaded and they don’t have to worry about maintenance, monthly or even annual fees. You can easily personalize these gift cards with a photo of you and the recipient or a logo of their favorite ball team – it’s easy to upload the perfect image. They’re good for denominations between $20 and $500. Your card ships via FedEx or the postal service.

Prepaid Cards

While these might not be categorized in the same gift card category, a prepaid card does essentially the same thing a gift card does. You pre-load the card and the recipient uses the same way he would a debit or credit card. These can be reloaded, too. Wal Mart’s prepaid cards issued by GE Money are a fine example of how the tow are interchangeable. You might also discover a bit more variety in the dollar amounts, but the end result is still the same.

All of these gift cards can be used in traditional brick and mortar retailers or online in the same way and the same places the brand is accepted. It really is the solution for all your gift giving dilemmas. Keep in mind that you want to order early so that you have plenty of time before the holidays. Christmas parties and other holiday get-togethers often happen weeks before the actual holiday rolls around, so plan accordingly. Finally, double check the fine print so that there are no surprises (though you shouldn’t run into any).

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