In decades past, gift cards and certificates were often chalked up as something to give a person when you couldn’t think of anything else. Most were for restaurants or brick and mortar stores. Times, they are a’changin’, and with many families struggling to stay afloat amid rising costs and inflation, the gift card is poised to become the latest “thoughtful present.”
Gift cards for gas stations and convenience stores can help the recipient offset travel costs or day-to-day driving. A fill-up and a snack can bring a little cheer to anyone’s day. Restaurant gift cards are more popular than ever, since many establishments now offer online ordering and delivery services, so a recipient can enjoy a night out or a cozy night in, no cooking required. Many local “mom and pop” shops now offer gift cards, and even thrift stores, like Goodwill, have gift cards available for purchase! This can be a great way for a gifter to support local commerce or charity too! Craft stores have a great selection of yarn, fabric, paints, beads, wood, and other artsy notions.
If there’s a foodie on your list, grocery delivery services like Instacart and Postmates offer gift cards or provide the option for gift orders right in their respective apps. In the Hub City, discount grocers like Aldi and Save-A-Lot and specialty stores like ethnic grocery, bakeries and meat markets can be shopped through these apps. The gift recipient can choose to pick the items up themselves or have an order delivered to their home after an interactive personal shopper has carefully selected their chosen items. Other services, like GrubHub, UberEats, and DoorDash allow a customer to select items from hundreds of local restaurants for pickup or delivery.
Streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, and Peacock also offer gift cards! This is a great way for people to try these services before purchasing a plan, watch a new movie they’ve been dying to see, purchase or rent programming from an add-on tier or simply enjoy a free month of a service they already love. For movie fans, Fandango gift cards can be used for at-home viewing through streaming services or be used to purchase tickets at a local movie theater. Don’t forget the gamers, most popular gaming platforms offer gift cards, and Google Play and the Apple App Store offer ebooks, music, and movies and television series for purchase too! Music services like Spotify and YouTube Music can be the perfect gift for audiophiles.
A gift certificate for an activity like ax throwing, escape rooms, charter fishing, painting or cooking classes are a great way to support the exploration of new hobbies. Many people would like to try and activity but don’t want to spend money that may be slated for bills or necessities. Gift cards for services like manicures and hair cuts can provide a much needed “pick me up” for a lived one having a rough day. Passes to museums and aquariums are an adventure waiting to be had. Ticket outlets like StubHub and Ticketmaster offer passes to concerts, sporting events, and festivals.
These days, most people are familiar with online shopping, and gift cards allow the giver to provide an extremely thoughtful and personal gift for ANYONE on their list. Even a Visa or MasterCard gift card could help pay a bill or purchase a special item the recipient has been longing for. Perhaps a hotel room for a person who enjoys travel? The holiday season is fast approaching. Let’s normalize practical gift giving!
If you are a local businesses owner that offers gift cards or certificates, let us know! Radio Free Hub City can provide a follow-up so that shoppers can consider buying one for that special person this year!
Article by “BB” Boring, Hagerstown, MD
“With years of experience writing ‘bad news’, I’m pleased to announce I will be writing the important local news about which I’m truly passionate for my beloved local radio station and news outlet, Radio Free Hub City!“
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