Custom gift cards are extremely popular in Canada because they are a great way to show your appreciation or let someone know that you care. One of the best things about a gift card for a store, clothing brand, spa or restaurant is that it is both thoughtful and flexible, giving the recipient the opportunity to choose their own gift. But gift cards can also seem impersonal so gift card etiquette is important. Here are some do’s and don’ts that you should be aware of when giving a gift card.
Gift Cards Have a Mixed Reputation
Gift cards appear to be more popular with gift givers than recipients. Many people who receive gift cards have the impression that they are impersonal and a lazy option. There are also fears that gift cards may accumulate fees, decrease in value or expire. But the laws in Canada mean that fees on custom gift cards are prohibited for 12 months and the cards are usually valid for 5 years.
Don’t just rush out and buy the most convenient gift card for you, or one from a store that just happens to be on your way to work. You need to think carefully about the type of gift card you are buying and give a card that your friend, colleague or family member will appreciate and be able to use conveniently. Over half of the people who receive custom gift cards in Canada say that they don’t use them because don’t have time to go to the store or shop online.
When buying a gift card, take into account the recipient’s preferences, carefully consider what they like and where their interests lie. This will show that you care. If the gift card is for a close friend or family member, choose something special and stay away from big brand stores. Don’t give a bank gift card unless you know the person needs it or will appreciate it. A bank gift card is flexible but it is also impersonal, generic and bland.
Be Generous but Stick to Your Budget
The amount that you give is a personal decision and needs to be based on your financial situation. If you are unsure of how much to give, follow these guidelines; gift cards for colleagues and acquaintances can be between $10 and $20, for close friends and family members you can spend between $30 and $75 and for your spouse or someone special, spend $75 or more.
Include the Receipt
Gift cards are easy and convenient, and it is unusual for a recipient to have any problems but there is always a chance that the card is faulty, damaged or improperly activated. If the recipient has the receipt it will be easier to sort out the problem.
Include a Personal Touch
Gift cards can be impersonal so consider adding a handwritten note when giving the card. This will show that you care by writing something thoughtful and meaningful. You may also want to include a small gift with the card.
Re-gift with Care
Re-gifting is always a touchy issue and it is no different with gift cards. It is acceptable to re-gift a card that you know you will never use but be careful how you do it. If a family member gives you a gift card that you aren’t going to use, re-gift it to a colleague or friend, not another family member. Custom gift cards are extremely popular in Canada but giving a gift card remains a personal choice. Like any gift, it is important to think about the recipient and consider their likes and dislikes so that you can buy a card that will be appreciated.