When it comes to gift cards, how do you pick between DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub and Postmates? Here’s how to pick the best food delivery gift card.
The Beauty of Food Delivery Gift Cards
In the past, if you wanted food that someone else cooked without leaving your home, your choices were limited to pizza or Chinese food. But with the emerging mobile prepared food ordering and delivery marketplace best known as services like Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash and Postmates, you can get fro-yo, hamburgers, Pho, designer cupcakes, fast food or even sushi delivered directly to your door. With the addition of prepared food delivery gift cards, you can help others enjoy this same convenience or provide a much-needed meal without the cost. Here are some examples:
- New Baby. Know someone with a new baby in the family? No time to make a casserole? Send an Uber Eats gift card instead and let the recipients use it to order a favorite meal.
- College Student. Is your college student having a rough day or spending all week studying for finals? Sending a Grubhub gift card is an easy way to get good food sent right to the door, and your budget-cautious college student won’t even have to pay for it.
- Friend in Need. Are you looking for ways to help a friend who is suffering from an extended illness, caring for a loved one or dealing with a loss? Pre-made food delivery is definitely on my list of ways to help someone without being asked. Unlike a homemade meal that has to be delivered in person, kept refrigerated and prepared to meet a variety of dietary needs, a Doordash or Postmates gift card can be used to make dinnertime work for everyone.
- Just Because. When you want to give someone a dining gift card “Just Because” but you’re not sure where the person wants to dine, a restaurant delivery gift card eliminates any worry of picking the wrong restaurant. Since food delivery services partner with a multitude of restaurants, the recipient is sure to find a meal they enjoy.
In short, food delivery service gift cards can be your new go-to gift for anytime you want to give someone the gift of a prepared meal at home without having to make and deliver the food yourself or select a specific restaurant. I’m a fan.
Food Delivery Gift Card Options
At the time of this writing, I know of four main food delivery services that will bring dinner, dessert and more from local restaurants to your doorstep. But are they all the same, and what do you need to know in order to select a food delivery service gift card? Let’s dig in.
1. Uber Eats Gift Cards
Uber Eats delivers food from more than 46,000 restaurants in 71 cities and 24 countries and the list continues to grow. You can browse delivery options based on your favorites if you order often. Or you can search by cuisine, type of meal, the latest deals or even dietary considerations like vegetarian, comfort food or healthy options.
Of course, not every restaurant offers delivery through Uber Eats. Before you purchase an Uber Eats gift card, you’ll want to make sure the recipient’s favorite spots are on the list.
Keep in mind, the recipient can use an Uber Eats gift card to pay for the food plus the delivery fee, but they will need to add a tip using cash or Paypal.
Uber Eats gift cards are available in physical or digital formats. They can be purchased online, in stores or delivered digitally, making it a great last-minute gift if you want to send a meal quickly.
Buy Uber Gift Cards (usable on Uber and Uber Eats apps).
2. Grubhub Gift Cards
Grubhub has over 140,000 restaurant partners in over 2,700 U.S. cities.
Ordering with Grubhub is similar to the Uber Eats experience, although Grubhub seems to offer more categories to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
Individual restaurants set delivery fees for this service; most are in the $4–8 range, although some are higher. Be aware that many restaurants require a minimum dollar amount for your order to be placed.
Redeeming a Grubhub gift card is easy. When checking out from your food order, you’ll have the option to “Add a Gift Card.” The funds registered on the card will be added automatically and remain on your account until you use them all. As with most meal delivery-service gift cards, you can pay for delivery with the gift card, but you can’t include the tip.
Grubhub gift cards come in both physical and digital versions, and those never expire. If you’re sending a digital Grubhub gift card, you can have it delivered immediately (as soon as payment clears) or you can schedule delivery for a future date. Using that feature is a fun way to pick up the tab for an anniversary meal, treat someone to a birthday dinner or have food delivered on a day when the recipient might be housebound–such as the day she gets home from the hospital.
If you live in the NY area, you might also try a Seamless gift card. This gift card is part of the Grubhub family, but note that the gift cards are not interchangeable. Try this app for friends in need of food delivery in NYC.
3. DoorDash Gift Cards
DoorDash has been delivering food to over 1,500 cities for more than five years. With fewer filtering options than either Uber Eats or Grubhub – for example, DoorDash doesn’t have a “dessert” filter – it may take a bit longer to find exactly what you’re looking for, but you’re sure to find something with 200,000+ restaurants to choose from.
Currently DoorDash only sells physical gift cards so you’ll have to buy one in a local grocery store or wait for physical delivery of the gift card from an online retailer.
If you follow DoorDash social media accounts, you’ll find that DoorDash frequently has bonus savings. For example, you might get free delivery from a particular restaurant or a free dessert from another. I found a bunch of deals on the DoorDash Twitter account.
4. Postmates Gift Cards
Unlike the other food delivery options listed above, Postmates connects consumers with food, drinks and groceries. According to a recent Postmates press release, “Postmates is the leader in offering the most choices in on-demand delivery from more than 500,000 restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, as well as traditional retailers.”
If you’re not feeling well, you can have Postmates pick up hot chicken noodle soup from a restaurant, crackers and fruit from the grocery store and a heating pad or cough medicine from the drug store. Postmates even offers a subscription service so customers can get free delivery when they pay a monthly flat rate. If you’re looking for a food delivery gift card that offers variety, then Postmates certainly delivers on that.
When I thank of late-night runs I don’t want to make myself, having someone else deliver poster board for the science project my son forgot to mention, snacks for the school lunches I’ll have to make or 24 cupcakes for the soccer party I forgot about…Postmates does seem like a good option to explore, especially if mobility is limited or you have time constraints.
From what I can find, Postmates gift cards are only available in digital format, delivered directly from the Postmates website or app.
5. Visa Gift Cards for Food Delivery
If you’re not sure which food delivery gift card will be most convenient for the recipient, you could give a Visa gift card instead. The recipient may use the gift card for something else, but I think that is okay. It is a gift, after all. While you may think a hot cooked meal delivery is in order, the person receiving the gift card may need a tank full of gas more than a belly full of pasta. Let it be, and be happy to provide whatever is needed most.
Can You Just Give a Restaurant Gift Card?
Because of the way restaurant delivery services work, you can’t use a restaurant gift card when you order through GrubHub, Uber Eats, Postmates or DoorDash. A restaurant gift card is good at stores and many can be used for curbside pickup, but you can’t use them via these popular food delivery apps.
More Questions about Food Delivery Gift Cards?
Happy Gift Carding!
~Shelley Hunter, Gift Card Girlfriend