Whether it be online or a store, some people feel that a gift card or certificate is the easy way out when it comes to giving a gift. There is no doubt that they are easy and convenient, and the recipient can get a gift they definitely want. However, if you put a little thought into it and get a card from a store that you know the recipient likes, and/or suggest what they might buy with it then it is appreciated a lot more.
You can get general gift cards everywhere, some of the best ones in terms of flexibility are from MasterCard, Discover etc. They operate the same as cash, they can be used anywhere, and they come with designs for specific occasions such as Christmas, weddings anniversaries etc.
Cards from general retailers such as Amazon.com or Walmart gives the recipient a wide choice of goods, although do suggest what to buy because it shows you have thought about them and what they might need. They don't have to get what you suggest so it's a win-win situation.
If you want to get something more specific there is a wide choice of specialty cards. Here are some suggestions by recipient.
The sports fan has a lot of choices including NFLShop.com, SportsAuthority.com, Nike and Callaway Golf.
For the NASCAR fan, Nascar.com offers electronic gift cards for use on their website. They can be sent via e-mail, and he can choose a t-shirt, mugs, model cars etc. in the comfort of his own home.
If he travels a lot then Magellan's have a huge range of travel goods, or you can go for something like a Marriott or Hyatt Hotels and Resorts card so he can buy things when he's staying at a hotel.
The gadget guy will appreciate a gift card from Brookstone or The Sharper Image.
Another options is a card from their favorite restaurant such as Hard Rock Cafe, Dave and Busters, Tony Romas or Bennigans Grill and Tavern.
One thing to consider is a bundle. This is a collection of cards aimed at a particular type of person. For him, you could consider bundles for the Do-it-Yourselfer, the Workout Enthusiast or a Winter Sports Weekend Gift Card Bundle.
The obvious thing here is to get a spa gift certificate. Spa Finder and SpaWish.com offer certificates that can be redeemed in thousands of spas.
Another great option is to get one for a Department store - she can get clothes, shoes, perfume etc. You can't go wrong with Macys, Bloomingdales or Neiman Marcus to name a few.
For the home, Cooking.com offer a wide chioce of gifts, as do Linens N Things, Bed Bath and Beyond, Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn.
Jewelry is a common gift, and she can choose something she'll love at Zales or Blue Nile.
Gift card bundles for her include A Day Off for Mom, Dinner and a Movie or the Winter Sports Weekend Gift Card Bundle.
A DINE SuperCertificate can be traded for cards from thirty different restaurant chains, so there's bound to be one they'll like.
If they are just setting up home then Walmart or Williams-Sonoma are great choices.
Restaurant Gift Certificates are a popular choice, or the DINE SuperCertificate is great too.
With a bit of thought, whatever you choose will be appreciated, whether it be your spouse, family member, neighbor or co-worker.