Five ways to make gift cards more personal

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When in doubt while holiday shopping, go with a gift card. Gift cards provide a convenient way to ensure people of all ages ultimately get some­thing special.

According to a 2016 survey by the gift card sales tool CardCash, gift cards are a $127 billion market that keeps growing. Physical gift cards have been growing at an annual rate of 6 percent, but digital gift cards are growing at an annual rate of 200 percent. The financial resource The Motley Fool indicates that, during the 2018 holi­day shopping season, people buying gift cards purchased roughly four cards each, with an average value of $45 per card.

Many people enjoy the con­venience of storing digital gift card information on their phones. Even though gift cards are any easy option, like giving cash, they may seem like imper­sonal gifts. However, gift givers can explore these ways to add a personal touch to the gift card.

  • Make your own gift card. Companies including Visa® and Mastercard® enable gift-givers to personalize cards with their own photos. Shoppers also can choose from predesign galler­ies to present a card that has a little more flair. The gift cards can then be tied to specific occa­sions or holidays.
  • Choose a popular store. Rath­er than buying the first gift card you see, iselect a card for a specific store your loved one likes. For example, if the person is an outdoors enthusiast, a gift card to L.L. Bean may be perfect. If he or she wants to be the next top chef, money toward Sur La Table or Williams Sonoma is fit­ting.
  • Wrap it in a unique way. Don’t just give the gift card in an enve­lope; find a unique way to wrap it. After all, that will make the gift card a gift within a gift. Find a small gift box and wrap the gift card as you would any other gift. Or make it even more exciting by designing a scaven­ger hunt with clues on where to find the hidden gift card.
  • Assemble a gift basket. Add a few extra treats to a basket with the gift card that ties into a theme. If the gift card is for a boating or fishing retailer, place tackle, a floating key ring or a dry storage bag in the gift bas­ket.
  • Add a sweet message. Attach a greeting card and share a few sentiments about why the gift card was chosen. This will help make the gift more personal and show that time was taken to se­lect the item.

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