Giving gift cards or cash at Christmas is hands down a better option than buying someone something they don’t really want or need. It can also make life easier if you’re short in time or inspiration and don’t want to get it wrong. Far from a final option, they can be a blessing for Christmas for all concerned.
Gift cards could have an advantage in feeling like you’ve put more thought into your present. But don’t see the cash option as a second-best choice. It’s a sign that you’re not tying one person to something specific and the sky is the limit for what they spend it on.
It’s perfectly fine to take either route, depending on what suits you, and who you’re buying for. To help, here are the pros and cons of each to help decide if cash or gift cards would be the right way to go this year.
The case for gifts cards
If you’re familiar with the interests and interests of someone else – and even if not – there’s some Christmas gifts for them. It’s a fact that the UK marketplace for gift cards is worth around $7 billion, making it an option that is popular. Here are a few reasons why:
The gift cards you purchase can be personalized without being too specific.
The big retailers provide a more generic option and allow the buyer to purchase almost everything they need from them. This shows that you are aware of where they shop and what kinds of items they prefer but you’d rather give them the freedom to choose.
With a multi-store gift card you can choose what they’d like to buy from a range of shops and outlets. Or you can go for smaller, less specialist stores and small businesses when you know that they already shop there, or would like to.
The Gift Card & Voucher Association (GCVS) at Christmas 2020 56% of UK gift cards bought were issued by retailers that were single. This means that people are more likely to take a more targeted approach.
They can be purchased as an experience, rather than additional stuff
To become more aware of what you buy and as the majority of us have plenty of items, gift cards might be more appealing.
A bigger budget can get racing days in supercars, fly lessons, and spa days that people would be unlikely to splash out for themselves. However, there are plenty of niche, more affordable options also, like pet photoshoots as well as forests Segway rides paddling, alpaca trekking afternoon tea and meal kits.
If you’re planning to be the person who is a partner in this scenario, you should make sure it’s something you have a passing interest in as well. Yes, it’s a gift for them, but they’re more likely to gain more enjoyment from an experience in fishing with carp for two people if they don’t keep declaring that you’re cold, while looking over your watch.
Cards for gifts are simple to purchase and to send to the last-minute needs of shoppers
If you’re not thrilled with being elbow to elbow with noisy shoppers, or you prefer to wait till the last minute you can give them to the recipient too.
There are physical cards available in supermarkets and stores, but the ease in using digital gifts cards and the possibility of personalizing them is difficult to argue with. You can usually schedule it to be sent at any time you want and not have to worry about the delivery date.
Visit this site to find out which gift card has the highest rate….
GCVS research in 2021 indicates that 42.7 percent of buyers of gift cards prefer to buy gift cards online , and more than half (47%) of those who redeem the cards online. During December 2020, as many as one in four Brits purchased the gift card of someone else mostly because it’s a relatively Covid-safe and easy way to buy presents in the face of lockdown restrictions.
If you think a 12-digit serial number doesn’t necessarily scream Christmas, you’ll be saving only one-use plastic, which some physical gift cards are made from. Most stores let you pick a fitting design or animation when you send an e-delivery gratis, should that make things feel more customised.
Gift cards can encourage the recipient to indulge themselves
While some gift cards can technically be used in a weekly shop however, gift cards are intended for people to inspire them to pamper themselves.
There are people who don’t want to, or don’t have the funds to buy things that they don’t actually need but would love. With a gift card, you’re giving them the right to do so and the opportunity to do it, guilt-free.
The case against gift cards
Are you tempted to go with the gift card route? Before you make the decision consider it, you must know:
There are limits on the locations they can use them
There are typically restrictions in the locations where gift cards may be used and the items they can be used for. So if you’re going certain, ensure that it’s one that the recipient really enjoy or else it could never be spent, or at best, could end up on a gift card marketplace.
Gift cards typically have an expiry date
According to Cardyard, a gift-card exchange website, each an year across the UK gifts worth $300 million expireand are not used. That’s an awful lot of money wasted.
While most gift cards offer a fairly long period to use them, but unlike cash, there’s a time when they’re no longer valid. The time frame varies, so be sure to take note of the terms prior to making a buy. It might be helpful to mention it to the recipient, too.
Bigger retailers, such as John Lewis, ASOS, Boots and GAME provide 24 months from the date of issue as the expiry date, with Amazon gift cards as well. for the long haul, which lasts 10 years. National Book Tokens last for eight years, but if you don’t make use of it during the time frame, you may request replacement with an alternative.
Examine the terms and conditions of the card, so that you know when it will expire. If you’re booking an experience, make sure you know when reservations have to be made, and keep in mind that conditions of the gift card could differ from the terms that the location has.
If they lose it You’ll have the chance to get a replacement
This string of numbers, or the card that has a scratch-off area can be easily lost or destroyed. If the situation occurs, it’s worth calling the store to inquire whether it’s possible to issue a new card and all will not be lost.
If the terms and conditions of the contract say that a seller will take it on, you’re relying in their trustworthiness. It’s also dependent on the customer admitting that they’ve lost their money that for some might be more uncomfortable then it’s actually worth.
Providers and retailers can be shut down
The list of high-street stores which have gone out of the market, such as Topshop and Debenhams, may be enough to set off the alarm.
When a company is insolvent it is the company’s administrators who decide which gift cards will be put into that are in circulation. When it comes to the creditors of retailers those who purchase gift cards are considered unsecured creditors, who are treated as a second-class, after secured and preferential creditors. Therefore, you’ll likely receive the total amount you paid back.
When Arcadia was declared bankrupt in November 2020, only 50 percent of a Topshop gift card was able to be redeemed. Additionally, Debenhams was unable to accept gift vouchers in December 2020 following its demise.
If you buy any gift card that has the value of $100 or more with a credit card and it’s honoured by the retailer then you might be able to make a claim under Section 75(1) of the Consumer Credit Act or use the chargeback option in the event that you bought it with a debit card – though, unfortunately, there are no guarantees.
It is still necessary to consider it
If you’re able to share your personal interests and values by giving an offer for a gift card to a sustainable brand, make sure you’re paying attention to the person’s interests rather than your own. And consider that some hobbies like gaming will require a gift card that is specific to the console they use.
It’s not everyone’s idea to attend an outdoor course regardless of the fact that these skills are useful someday. Therefore, unlike when you gift money, you might need to talk with their nearest and dearest, or the recipient themselves to determine what activities they enjoy doing.
The value they’re seeking may not precisely correspond with the value of the card.
When they’ve found what they want, it’s unlikely to fit into neat divisibles that make up the entire. Therefore, it’s possible that there’ll be some squandered dollars and they’ll be required to compensate for the extra.
In the aftermath of one sale, when you have less than five dollars there, the possibility could be to overlook using it, or to find out the balance.
Averagely, UK buyers spend around 35% more than the value on the gift card, According to GCVA. Therefore, in certain respects they can encourage excessive spending or using their own money.
The arguments for cash as an offer
There’s no question that it’s the most simple option. If you’re able to overcome any idea that it’s impersonal or involves less thought, the pros are compelling:
It can be used anywhere, any day of the week.
There’s no deadline to be met and there’s no limit on what they can spend it on. Even though treats might be the intention of the gift-giver but they are also able to save or invest the money depending on what they’d like to do.
What happens if it does end with a helper to pay for other expenses when funds are limited? With cash, the beneficiary has the freedom to decide.
You can eliminate the uncertainty
A generic gift card makes assumptions that they like the place and will discover anything they desire there.
Cash will stop you from second-guessing. Also, this year you won’t have to send that annual text message to your brother asking what your nephew is into these days. Most people don’t have the time have enough quality time spent with their loved ones to learn clues about what they like so the flexibility of cash could be a great option.
For some, the act of giving money can be more straightforward than getting to comprehend what younger members of the family are really seeking.
No transaction, no fuss
If you’re seeing them in person during the holiday season and want to present them with the cash without dealing with the retailer or weighing postage charges. This can be a relief for some gift-givers who, due to a variety of reasons, don’t want to shop online.
You can also use the bank transfer
With fewer people using cash to make transactions What is more efficient for both parties other than a bank transfer of cash in exchange for a specific gift? It’s simple, it’s cheap in the UK and you don’t need to search for an ATM and then hope that it will kick out fresh notes rather than crumpled specimens.
Although there’s a chance that transferring money into their account makes it more likely to go towards bills . And you’re not able just wrap a bank transfer with a festive ribbon there are methods to reserve the amount for something specific.
It is possible to ask them what they’d like from you and transfer the amount you want to put towards that. They can then purchase it from the best supplier and arrange for delivery that is convenient for them. Research conducted by Stanford University suggested that people enjoyed receiving gifts they wanted more than those they didn’t and this is therefore a roundabout way of doing this.
While cheques are waning in usage, they’re still an option, and some banks can process digital images of cheques through their application to make the process quicker and more efficient.
The majority of people prefer receiving cash
A handful of studies show that people generally prefer to receive cash as a gift from family and friends, even if they prefer to provide gift card gifts. The most popular gift choice for 35% in the 2021 US Cardtronics survey was cash and only 66% opting for gift cards.
However, this doesn’t mean that we don’t like the gift card, this could suggest that we’re in search of an easier spending experience without being compelled or constrained. We can not only get what we would like, but there’s no terms and conditions or balance check required.
The argument against cash as an offering
The majority of the time, cash is an excellent option because of the reasons listed previously, however there are a few drawbacks
Cash can seem impersonal
When you buy something with cash, it’s difficult to personalize the present or demonstrate that you understand what they love and want to share in that. But is that really a problem? The process of overcoming this is only part of the challenge and nothing can say that you don’t really know someone more than an item they’ll probably never use.
Additionally, individuals are likely to feel awkward querying the amount on the gift card if the amount isn’t stated.
It’s a challenge to ship
If you need to send this to the receiver instead of using a bank transfer or by hand, Royal Mail advises sending it by Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed mail.
Make sure it can’t be visible through the envelope. Also, don’t send coins, since they can cause issues in sorting machines or damage the envelope.
Be aware that the definition of”money” includes vouchers, coupons , and cards So the same postal process applies to gift cards.
It’s possible to transfer money to another country using international tracking. However, there are some countries, including Italy and Poland which don’t allow you to transfer money to from the UK Make sure to make sure you are aware of this.
There’s no correct or incorrect way to give someone a gift at Christmas. Both gift cards and cash can be a smart choice when you are looking to reduce cost and give the recipient the flexibility to choose the type of gift they would like to purchase, and the time of purchase.
And if you’re a last-minute or uneasy holiday shopper, who’s gift wrapping leaves a lot to be desired, then you can’t do better than either.
However, cash isn’t as risk-free but if it’s not the best option the right choice for you, there’s several gift cards to pick from. Give the person you’re giving it to a nudge to spend it before it expires, or the only present you’re buying will be for the merchant.