Download the Giftcards.com Android App
x

Download our GiftCards.com App from your smartphone to help you send, organize, and share gift cards!

Send gift cards or access your gift card balance right from your Android device.

Get the Giftcards.com App now.

Skip to main content
Shelley Hunter

The Best eGift Cards from Top Stores and Restaurants

A ranking of the personalization features of the best eGift cards from nationwide stores, restaurants and apps in 2017.

Looking for a last-minute gift? Here’s 200.

As egift cards are becoming an increasingly popular choice for last-minute, impromptu and “just because” gifts, I am always looking for features that make egift cards more personal. So a couple of years ago, I reviewed egift cards from top stores and restaurants to see which ones would allow me to personalize the digital delivery with a choice of egift card designs, personal photos or even video messages. I also wanted to know which egift cards would allow me to schedule delivery and choose a custom dollar amount. After launching that first review of the best egift cards available, I discovered that customers had two more basic questions. They want to know what an egift card looks like and where (how) it can be used. So I looked for those things too.

Given that digital delivery is a relatively new gifting style, it makes sense that people want to know how it all works and what the recipient experience will be. For this reason, merchants that offer customers an egift card preview and accept egift cards both in their stores and online rank higher (for me) than those that don’t.

Below is a list of top merchants and how they rank on the digital gift card features that I believe are most important.


eGift Cards for Top Stores and Restaurants

The best places to buy eGift cards, according to the personalization features I value most, are listed below for the following categories:

Apparel
Automotive
Department Stores
Drug Stores
Electronics and Entertainment
Health and Beauty
Hobby and Crafts
Home Goods
Home Improvement
Mass Merchants
Office Supply
Pets
Restaurants
Sporting Goods
Supermarkets
Travel
Value Stores
Bonus: Online Gift Card Merchants
Bonus: Gift Card Apps

Find “Top 20 eGift Cards Overall” and “Best in Category” awards in the 2017 eGift Card Review.


Back to Top

Apparel

Merchant# of
Designs
Add
Images
Flex.
Amount
Schedule
Delivery
Web
Delivery
Options
Print
at
Home
Mobile
Delivery
Options
Use
Online/
In store
eGift
Preview
American Eagle10-25Photo,
Video
$5-500NoEmail,
Text
NoEmail,
Text
BothYes
Gap10-25Photo$10-500YesEmail,
Text
YesEmail,
Text
BothNo
Journeys10-25Photo$5-250YesEmailYesEmailBothYes
Old Navy10-25Photo$10-500YesEmail,
Text
YesEmail,
Text
BothNo
Banana Republic2-9Photo$10-500YesEmail,
Text
YesEmail,
Text
BothNo
Chico’s2-9Yes$10-500YesEmailYesEmailBothYes
Charming Charlie2-9Photo,
Audio
$5-500YesEmailNoEmail,
Text
BothNo
Lands’ End10-25Photo,
Audio
$10-500YesEmailNoEmailBothNo
T.J. Maxx10-25No$10-500YesEmailYesEmailBothYes
Aeropostale2-9Photo$10-300YesEmailYesNoBothNo
DSW26-50Photo$5-500NoEmailNoEmailBothYes
Brooks Brothers10-25No$5-500YesEmailYesEmailBothNo
Coach10-25No$25-1500YesEmailYesEmailBothNo
Marshalls10-25No$10-500YesEmailYesEmailStoreYes
L. L. Bean10-25No$5-500YesEmailNoEmailBothNo
Ralph Lauren2-9No$5-1000NoEmailNoEmailBothYes
Adidas2-9No$10-250YesEmailNoEmailBothNo
Ann Taylor10-25No$10-500YesEmailNoEmailOnlineNo
Burlington Coat Factory10-25NoNoNoEmailNoEmailBothYes
Nike10-25No$25-500NoEmailNoEmailBothNo
Urban Outfitters10-25NoNoYesEmailNoEmailBothNo
Victoria’s Secret10-25NoNoYesEmailNoEmailBothNo
Abercrombie & Fitch2-9NoNoYesEmailNoEmailBothNo
Footlocker2-9No$10-250NoEmailNoEmailBothNo
J.Crew1NoNoYesEmailNoEmailBothYes
Under Armour1No$10-500YesEmailNoNoBothNo
dressbarn1No$10-500NoEmailNoEmailBothNo
Forever 2110-25NoNoNoEmailNoEmailBothNo
Justice1No$10-200NoEmailNoEmailBothNo
Lane Bryant*1No$10-999NoEmailNoNoBothNo
Men’s Wearhouse1NoNoNoEmailNoEmailBothYes
Columbia2-9NoNoNoEmailNoEmailBothNo
Express1NoNoNoEmailNoEmailBothNo
The Limited (ONLINE)1No$10-500NoEmailNoEmailOnlineNo
Claire’s
Cole Haan
H&M
Payless Shoesource
Ross Stores

* Lane Bryant previously had an established eGift card program both on their website and mobile-enabled site. At the time of this review, both say that gift cards are not available for purchase online.


Back to Categories

Automotive

Merchant# of
Designs
Add
Images
Flex.
Amount
Schedule
Delivery
Web
Delivery
Options
Print
at
Home
Mobile
Delivery
Options
Use
Online/
In store
eGift
Preview
Jiffy Lube2-9No$10-300YesEmailYesNoStoreNo
Pep Boys1NoNoYesEmailNoNoStoreNo
Autozone

Back to Categories

Department Stores

Merchant# of
Designs
Add
Images
Flex.
Amount
Schedule
Delivery
Web
Delivery
Options
Print
at
Home
Mobile
Delivery
Options
Use
Online/
In store
eGift
Preview
JCPenney51-70Photo,
Video
$5-500YesEmailYesEmailBothNo
Nordstrom10-25Photo$5-2000YesEmailYesEmailBothNo
Sears51-75No$10-500YesEmailYesNoBothNo
Bon-Ton26-50No$5-250NoEmailYesEmailBothNo
Macy’s26-50No$10-1000NoEmailNoEmailBothYes
Boscov’s10-25No$5-250NoEmailNoEmailBothYes
Kohl’s26-50NoUp to $250NoEmailNoNoBothYes
Bloomingdale’s26-50No$10-1000NoEmailNoEmailBothNo
Dillard’s10-25NoNoYesEmailNoEmailBothNo
Neiman Marcus1NoNoNoEmailNoEmailBothYes
Saks Fifth Avenue1NoNoYesEmailNoNoBothNo
Belk

Back to Categories

Drug Stores

Merchant# of
Designs
Add
Images
Flex.
Amount
Schedule
Delivery
Web
Delivery
Options
Print
at
Home
Mobile
Delivery
Options
Use
Online/
In store
eGift
Preview
CVS2-9Photo$5-150YesEmailYesNoStoreNo
Good Neighbor
Health Mart
Rite Aid
Walgreens

Back to Categories

Electronics and Entertainment

Merchant# of
Designs
Add
Images
Flex.
Amount
Schedule
Delivery
Web
Delivery
Options
Print
at
Home
Mobile
Delivery
Options
Use
Online/
In store
eGift
Preview
Best Buy51-75Photo,
Video
$5-500YesEmailYesEmailBothYes
Amazon.com400-500Photo*$1-2000YesEmail,
Text,
Msg
YesEmailOnlineNo
Toys R Us10-25Yes$10-500YesEmailYesEmailBothYes
QVC26-50Photo$5-500YesEmailYesNoOnlineYes
Regal Cinemas25-50Photo$10-100YesEmailYesNoBothNo
American Girl26-50No$5-500YesEmailYesEmailBothYes
AMC Theatres2-9Yes$5-100YesEmailYesNoBothNo
Fandango10-25Photo,
Audio
NoYesEmailNoEmailOnlineNo
Barnes & Noble10-25No$10-350NoEmailNoEmailBothNo
Apple Store2-9No$25-2000NoEmailNoEmailBothNo
GameStop1No$10-500NoEmailNoEmailBothNo
iTunes**2-9No$10-200YesEmailNoEmailOnlineNo
Steam1NoNoNoGameNoNoOnlineNo
Xbox1NoNoNoEmailNoNoOnlineNo
AT&T
Nintendo
PlayStation
Verizon

* Amazon.com customers can additionally send “suggested gift” eGift cards. When the eGift card is delivered, it contains an image of the suggested product along with a thought bubble that says, “Thought you might like this.” The recipient can redeem the gift card for that product or for another product on the site.

** iTunes eGift cards must be purchased from the iTunes store on a computer or an iOS device.


Back to Categories

Health and Beauty

Merchant# of
Designs
Add
Images
Flex.
Amount
Schedule
Delivery
Web
Delivery
Options
Print
at
Home
Mobile
Delivery
Options
Use
Online/
In store
eGift
Preview
Sephora*26-50Photo,
Video
$10-500YesEmail,
Text
YesEmail,
Text
BothNo
Ulta10-25Photo$10-500YesEmailYesEmail,
Text
BothNo
The Body Shop2-9Photo$5-200YesEmailYesEmailBothNo
Regis Salons2-9Photo,
Audio
$5-250YesEmailNoEmailStoreNo
Bath & Body Works10-25NoNoNoEmailNoNoBothNo
Aveda1NoNoNoEmailNoNoOnlineYes
General Nutrition Center
Great Clips
Sally Beauty

* With a $50 eGift card purchase, Sephora will treat the gift card recipient to a free custom makeover in addition to the $50 in product.


Back to Categories

Hobby and Crafts

Merchant# of
Designs
Add
Images
Flex.
Amount
Schedule
Delivery
Web
Delivery
Options
Print
at
Home
Mobile
Delivery
Options
Use
Online/
In store
eGift
Preview
Michaels10-25Photo,
Audio
$5-500YesEmail,
Text
NoEmail,
Text
BothNo
Jo-Ann1No$10-400NoEmailNoEmailBothNo
A.C. Moore
Hobby Lobby

Back to Categories

Home Goods

Merchant# of
Designs
Add
Images
Flex.
Amount
Schedule
Delivery
Web
Delivery
Options
Print
at
Home
Mobile
Delivery
Options
Use
Online/
In store
eGift
Preview
Bed Bath & Beyond26-50Photo,
Video
$5-300YesEmailYesEmailBothNo
Williams-Sonoma26-50Photo$25-500YesEmailYesEmailBothYes
Yankee Candle2-9Photo$10-250YesEmailYesEmailBothYes
Brookstone10-25Photo$5-500YesEmailYesNoBothNo
HomeGoods*10-25No$10-500YesEmailYesEmailBothYes
The Container Store10-25Photo$10-100YesEmailYesEmailBothNo
Crate and Barrel2-9Photo$25-1000YesEmailYesEmailBothNo
Ikea2-9No$1-1000YesEmailYesNoBothNo
Pier 1 Imports10-25No$5-100YesEmailYesEmailBothNo
Z Gallerie2-9No$5-995YesEmailYesEmailBothNo
Cost Plus1NoNoNoEmailNoNoOnlineNo

Back to Categories

Home Improvement

Merchant# of
Designs
Add
Images
Flex.
Amount
Schedule
Delivery
Web
Delivery
Options
Print
at
Home
Mobile
Delivery
Options
Use
Online/
In store
eGift
Preview
Home Depot26-50Photo,
Video
$25-500YesEmailYesEmailBothNo
Lowe’s26-50Photo$5-500YesEmailNoNoBothNo
True Value26-50No$5-200YesEmailYesEmailBothNo
Ace Hardware
Menard

Back to Categories

Mass Merchants

Merchant# of
Designs
Add
Images
Flex.
Amount
Schedule
Delivery
Web
Delivery
Options
Print
at
Home
Mobile
Delivery
Options
Use
Online/
In store
eGift
Preview
Target*26-50NoNoNoEmail,
Text
NoEmail,
Text
BothNo
Walmart*76-100NoNoNoEmailNoNoBothNo
Costco*
Sam’s Club*

* Walmart and Target both additionally sell eGift cards for select retailers. Sam’s Club and Costco only sell discount eGift cards for select retailers. For all stores, however, these third-party eGift cards are emailed directly to the buyer–not to a gift recipient.


Back to Categories

Office Supply

Merchant# of
Designs
Add
Images
Flex.
Amount
Schedule
Delivery
Web
Delivery
Options
Print
at
Home
Mobile
Delivery
Options
Use
Online/
In store
eGift
Preview
Office Depot2-9Photo$5-2000YesEmailYesEmailBothNo
Staples*2-9NoNoNoEmailNoEmailBothNo

* In addition to selling their own eGift card, Staples sells eGift cards for select retailers. However, these third-party eGift cards appear to be emailed directly to the buyer. In the checkout process there is a place to enter an email address, but the description implies the recipient will receive complete details for your order–including anything else you may have purchased.


Back to Categories

Pets

Merchant# of
Designs
Add
Images
Flex.
Amount
Schedule
Delivery
Web
Delivery
Options
Print
at
Home
Mobile
Delivery
Options
Use
Online/
In store
eGift
Preview
Petco10-25Photo$10-200YesEmailYesEmailBothNo
PetSmart10-25No-$5-500YesEmailNoNoBothNo

Back to Categories

Restaurants

Merchant# of
Designs
Add
Images
Flex.
Amount
Schedule
Delivery
Web
Delivery
Options
Print
at
Home
Mobile
Delivery
Options
Use
Online/
In store
eGift
Preview
Domino’s26-50Photo,
Audio
$5-100YesEmailNoEmailBothNo
Dunkin’ Donuts10-25Photo$5-100YesEmailYesEmailBothNo
Subway2-9Photo$5-500YesEmail,
Text
NoEmail,
Text
BothYes
Buffalo Wild Wings51-75Photo,
Audio
$10-250YesEmailNoEmailStoresNo
TGI Friday’s10-25Photo$5-500YesEmailYesEmailStoresYes
Boston Market10-25Photo,
Audio
$5-250YesEmailNoEmail,
Text
StoresNo
Chili’s26-50Photo,
Audio
$10-100YesEmailNoEmailStoresNo
Cracker Barrel10-25Photo,
Audio
$10-300YesEmailNoEmailBothNo
O’Charleys26-50Photo,
Audio
$10-100YesEmailNoEmailStores“No
Pizza Hut10-25Photo,
Audio
$10-200YesEmailNoNoBothNo
Red Robin26-50Photo,
Audio
$5-150YesEmailNoEmailStoresNo
Seasons 5226-50Photo,
Audio
$25-1000§YesEmailNoEmailStoresNo
Bahama Breeze10-25Photo,
Audio
$10-250§YesEmailNoEmailStoresNo
Carrabba’s2-9Photo$5-250NoEmailNoNoStoresYes
Cheesecake Factory10-25Photo$5-500YesEmailYesEmailStoresNo
IHOP10-25Photo,
Audio
$10-200YesEmailNoEmailStoresNo
Landry’s 10-25Photo$20-499YesEmailYesEmailStoresNo
Longhorn10-25Photo,
Audio
$10-250§YesEmailNoEmail,
Text
StoresNo
Maggiano’s10-25Photo,
Audio
$10-100YesEmailNoNoStoresNo
Olive Garden2-9Photo,
Audio
$10-250§YesEmailNoEmail,
Text
StoresNo
Panera10-25Photo$2-200YesEmailYesEmailStoresNo
Papa John’s10-25No$10-100YesEmailYesEmailBothNo
Starbucks51-75No$5-100YesEmailNoEmail,
Text
BothNo
Buca di Beppo2-9Yes$10-500YesEmailYesEmailStoresYes
Macaroni Grill2-9Photo,
Audio
$10-500YesEmailNoNoStoresNo“`
On The Border10-25Photo,
Audio
$5-100YesEmailNoEmailStoresNo
P.F. Chang’s2-9Photo,
Audio
$5-500YesEmailNoEmailStoresNo
Yard House2-9Photo,
Audio
$10-250§YesEmailNoEmail,
Text
StoresNo
Eddie V’s1Photo,
Audio
$25-1000§YesEmailNoEmailStoresNo
The Capital Grille1Photo,
Audio
$25-1000§YesEmailNoEmailStoresNo
Chipotle26-50No$10-250YesEmailNoEmailStoresNo
Outback10-25Photo$5-250NoEmailNoEmailStoresYes
Applebee’s*2-9No$10-200YesEmailNoEmailStoreNo
Bonefish Grill2-9No$5-250NoEmailNoEmailStoresYes
Burger King2-9Photo$10-500NoEmailNoNoStoresNo
Fleming’s2-9No$5-500NoEmailNoEmailStoresYes
Roy’s2-9No$5-500NoEmailNoEmailStoresNo
Arby’s
Baskin Robbins
Chick-fil-A
KFC
McDonald’s
Sonic
Taco Bell
Wendy’s

* Applebee’s dropped text and Facebook delivery this year.

§ While not completely flexible, these restaurants allow load values in $5 increments within the specified range.


Back to Categories

Sporting Goods

Merchant# of
Designs
Add
Images
Flex.
Amount
Schedule
Delivery
Web
Delivery
Options
Print
at
Home
Mobile
Delivery
Options
Use
Online/
In store
eGift
Preview
DICK’s
Sporting Goods
10-25No$10-500YesEmailYesEmailBothNo
Golf Galaxy2-9No$5-500YesEmailYesEmailBothNo
Cabela’s26-50No$5-2000NoEmailNoEmailBothNo
REI10-25No$10-1000NoEmailNoEmailBothNo
Bass Pro Shops10-25NoNoNoEmailNoEmailBothNo
Hibbett Sports1NoNoNoEmailNoNoBothYes
Modell’s
Sporting Goods
1NoNoNoEmail,
Text
NoNoBothNo
Academy
Big 5
Overton

Back to Categories

Supermarkets

Merchant# of
Designs
Add
Images
Flex.
Amount
Schedule
Delivery
Web
Delivery
Options
Print
at
Home
Mobile
Delivery
Options
Use
Online/
In store
eGift
Preview
Food Lion2-9Photo,
Audio
$5-500YesEmailNoNoStoreNo
Whole Foods10-25No$20-500YesEmail,
Text
YesNoStoresNo
H-E-B1NoNoNoEmailNoNoBothNo
Albertsons
Aldi
BI-LO
Giant Food
Giant Eagle
Kroger
Meijer
Publix
Safeway
ShopRite

Back to Categories

Travel

Merchant# of
Designs
Add
Images
Flex.
Amount
Schedule
Delivery
Web
Delivery
Options
Print
at
Home
Mobile
Delivery
Options
Use
Online/
In store
eGift
Preview
American Airlines76-100No$50-1500NoEmailNoNoBothNo
Hyatt10-75No$10-2000YesEmailYesNoStoresNo
Marriott10-25No$25-2000YesEmailNoNoBothNo
Delta1No$5-1000NoEmailNoNoBothNo
Southwest Airlines1No$10-1000NoEmailNoNoBothNo
Disney World Resorts1NoNoNoEmailNoNoBothNo
Hard Rock
JetBlue
MGM Resorts
Travelocity
United Airlines
Universal

Back to Categories

Value Stores

Merchant# of
Designs
Add
Images
Flex.
Amount
Schedule
Delivery
Web
Delivery
Options
Print
at
Home
Mobile
Delivery
Options
Use
Online/
In store
eGift
Preview
Big Lots
Dollar Tree

Back to Categories

Bonus: Online Gift Card Merchants

Merchant# of
Designs
Add
Images
Flex.
Amount
Schedule
Delivery
Web
Delivery
Options
Print
at
Home
Mobile
Delivery
Options
Use
Online/
In store
eGift
Preview
eGifter.com*100-200Photo,
Video
$5-2000YesEmail,
Text, FB,
Google+
YesEmail,
Text, FB
BothYes
GiftCards.com100-200Photo,
eGreeting
$10-500YesEmailNoEmailBothNo
GiftCardLab.com1NoNoYesEmailNoEmailBothNo
GiftCardMall.com1NoNoYesEmailNoEmailBothNo

* eGifter exclusively sells eGift cards for major retailers. Unique from any other merchant I’ve found, this website allows the user to find contacts on Facebook and Google+. Delivery, however, is via email, text or Facebook.

† GiftCardLab.com and GiftCardMall.com sell eGift cards for select retailers that can be delivered via email or text to a gift recipient.

‡ GiftCards.com sells personalized Visa Gift cards and eGift cards for major retailers that can be emailed to the gift recipient. Animated videos or personal images can be added to the delivery.


Back to Categories

Bonus: Gift Card Apps

Merchant# of
Designs
Add
Images
Flex.
Amount
Schedule
Delivery
Web
Delivery
Options
Print
at
Home
Mobile
Delivery
Options
Use
Online/
In store
eGift
Preview
Gyft*1NoNoYesEmail,
Text
NoEmail,
Text
BothNo
GiftCards.com App1Photo,
eGreeting
$10-500YesEmailNoEmailBothNo
Yiftee1No$10-250YesEmail,
Text, TW
YesEmail,
Text, TW
BothNo
GiftRocket§2-9No$1-1000YesEmailYesEmailBothYes
Giftly**1Photo$1-1000YesEmail,
Text
YesEmail,
Text
BothNo
GiftFly‡‡
Wrapp§§

* Gyft is a mobile gift card app and website that helps you organize your gift cards. You can also send eGift cards for select retailers via email, text or Facebook. The recipient must download the Gyft app to use the gift card or log into the web-based site on a mobile phone or desktop to access it.

† The GiftCards.com mobile app is a complement to the company’s website. Available for both iPhone and Android phones, customers can quickly order eGift cards for Visa and other top retailers and restaurants. The primary design is the gift card logo, but a photo and one of over 100 animated egreetings can be added as well.

‡ Yiftee is a mobile app and website that allows the giver to send a virtual gift card that can be used wherever Mastercard® is accepted. The giver buys a Yiftee for a merchant and specifies whether or not the Yiftee must be used at that store, exchanged for another store or donated to charity. The recipient claims the Yiftee, receives a mobile eGift code (called a “Virtual Gift Voucher”) and has 90 days to use the card at the specified merchant. Unspent credit is returned to the sender. There is a fee for egift delivery.

§ GiftRocket also delivers a gift credit with a suggestion of where to spend it, but the recipient essentially receives money to use wherever. The gifted money can be accepted as a bank transfer, credit card payment, check in the mail or PayPal deposit.

** Giftly is a mobile app and website that delivers a Visa gift credit with a “suggestion” of where to spend it, but the recipient is free to use the credit however he or she wants. To spend a Giftly, the recipient claims the credit and has it deposited into his or her own credit card account, then uses that credit card to buy a product or service.

‡‡ GiftFly seems to have morphed into an eGift card program for small businesses. Last I reviewed, I could send a cash GiftFly which allows the recipient to accept the gift as funds deposited into a Paypal or bank account or they can send a merchant GiftFly that must be redeemed at a participating GiftFly local merchant. It looks like only the latter is true, but I couldn’t find a way to log in and test it out. Guess somebody will to send me one so I can understand the new process.

§§ Wrapp also appears to be going through a transition. The current website explains that Wrapp is now a payback-app that connects directly to your debit card or credit card. You can also receive personalized offers and rewards.


Back to Top

eGift Card Ranking Criteria

Top merchants in each category have been evaluated based on the criteria below, which includes features that make it easy for consumers to send thoughtful eGift cards and feel good about the experience. eGift cards that I think are best are listed first, followed by egift cards with fewer features.
 

Top-Ranked-Icon-03

1. Electronic Delivery

Although many merchants sell plastic gift cards online (and will mail them to you or to the recipient), I’m looking for a digital gift card that can be delivered electronically, such as through email, text message, social media or a smartphone app.

Top-Ranked-Icon-01

2. Choice of Design

One way to personalize an eGift card is to select a design that resonates with both the giver and the receiver. From the company’s iconic logo to seasonal designs that trigger emotions, having a variety of designs available is a must.

Top-Ranked-Icon-02

3. Personal Image

Even better than canned images is the ability to upload your own. I guarantee there will be an uptick in mom’s psychological response to getting a digital gift when she opens an eGift card containing a picture of her grandkids versus someone else’s.

Redeem-Icon-02

4. Video

If you really want mom to open an eGift card and feel loved, then choose to embed a video that she can watch over and over again. Few companies currently offer this feature, but it will become more and more popular as digital gifting takes over.

Top-Ranked-Icon-06

5. Flexible Dollar Amount

Although I expect to see plastic gift cards sometimes only available in predetermined dollar amounts, eGift cards should be completely flexible, allowing the giver to choose any dollar amount (within a realistic range) that fits his or her budget.

Top-Ranked-Icon-05

6. Schedule Delivery

eGifting isn’t just for the forgetful. Sometimes instantaneous delivery is too fast. It’s nice when a merchant allows customers the ability to schedule an eGift card delivery for a later date and time.

Choice-Technology

7. Choice of Technology

Gift cards can be sent quickly through email, social media, text message and mobile apps. Giving customers the choice of which technology to use means they can pick the option that is most convenient for the recipient. (In the matrix below, FB = Facebook, TW = Twitter.)

Redeem-Icon-01

8. Print at Home Option

eGift cards that can be printed at home give customers quick access to gift cards while enabling in-person presentation. (Yes, you can send an eGift card to yourself for printing, but actual “print at home” cards come presentation-ready.)

Redeem-Icon-03

9. Mobile Options

While you can open websites on a smartphone browser, mobile-enabled websites and merchant apps that are customized for egift card delivery and use make the process easy. For this feature, I’m looking for a gifting experience that can be initiated on a smartphone and received just as easily.

Icon-Preview

10. Where Usable

Customers want to know where eGift cards can be used. Although ultimately I believe all gift cards will (and should be) redeemable at every outlet associated with a merchant (online, in stores, in outlet stores and so forth), we aren’t there yet. Merchants should clearly state where their digital gift cards can be used, especially if there are limitations.

Redeem-Icon-03

11. Customer Preview

Consumers want to know what the eGift card looks like. Is it just an email? Does it have a bar code on it? Is the recipient required to log in to your website to see the eGift card? Although most merchants have a product selection type of preview (meaning I could see the egift card design selected), only a few show a true preview of what the receipient will get.

For more information on eGift cards, read Gift Card Girlfriend’s Complete Guide to eGift Cards.


Back to Top

2016 eGift Card Summary

After another year of reviewing the best egift card programs and using egift cards, I have to say that although we are doing better, the transaction still isn’t totally seamless just yet–no matter which merchant you use. In fact, it seems even the merchants are still trying to figure things out. Several removed social connection from their egift card programs and a few removed texting as well, making email the predominant egift card delivery method.

Also, though I wouldn’t accidentally give a plastic gift card to someone I don’t know, I have sent egift cards to the wrong email address. I sent my daughter a quick egift card from Starbucks, but got alarmed when she said she didn’t receive anything. Would you believe I entered her email address incorrectly? I pulled her email address straight from the contact list on my smartphone where I had apparently entered it wrong months earlier. (We typically text and Snapchat each other by phone. Never email. Obviously.) Thankfully, Starbucks was able to recover it and re-route the card, but not all merchants have that capability. So be extra careful when entering details and reach out after you send a gift to be sure the recipient got the surprise.

Despite the pitfalls, this electronic gifting and mobile wallet thing is really happening. So I’m here to help us all get through it. Did I miss a favorite merchant of yours that has a really great egift card? Has your egift card program been updated? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll be happy to take another look.

Happy Gift Carding!

~Shelley Hunter, Gift Card Girlfriend

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe