What are the best gift cards for college students?

Credit card photo by Pat Z Anthony
@PatZAnthony (12871)
Charlotte, North Carolina
June 7, 2017 4:34pm CST
Several we know are leaving for college shortly, as they will be graduating from high school this month. Wanting to give gifts for these events is common, however, giving gifts for those heading to college can be tricky. Students always need 'stuff' but maybe not what we would buy, so gift cards will be given by us this year. Do you think there are some gift cards that are better than others? We were going to stick with Target, Walmart and maybe Walgreens. These seem to be places that are near most colleges and universities. Also, cards are available, such as Visa, that can be used anywhere. Those gift cards cost an average of $5 to purchase, whereas the other cards don't have a purchase fee. The fact that the Visa gift cards can be used anywhere does make them seem interesting. However, some expire and some have a monthly fee involved, so be careful! Which gift cards do you prefer for students?
20 people like this
20 responses
@Tina30219 (35194)
• Onaway, Michigan
13 Jun 17
Your idea of Target Walgreens and walmart are good idea maybe amazon also incase other places don't have what they need and dollar tree.
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
13 Jun 17
Dollar Tree would be good for most it seems @Tina30219
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@Tina30219 (35194)
• Onaway, Michigan
13 Jun 17
@PatZAnthony Right some like to get their cleaning stuff there
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
14 Jun 17
@Tina30219 Do college students clean? She'd probably be insulted if she saw that comment, but I've seen some dorm rooms-wow!
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@LadyDuck (171373)
• Switzerland
8 Jun 17
The Visa and Mastercard cards here have no monthly fees and you have no charge to buy one. They are surely the most used as a gift.
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
10 Jun 17
Here @LadyDuck those cards are from $3.95 to $4.95 (the ones we looked at) and some don't allow the student to get cash, while others will, but there is a $2 fee! We bought several she suggested herself and just hope all is well!
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@LadyDuck (171373)
• Switzerland
11 Jun 17
@PatZAnthony You can buy a gift MasterCards here from $5, you can add money on the card at any post office or in some supermarkets.
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
12 Jun 17
@LadyDuck Different worlds! It seems easier where you are-
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@moffittjc (44667)
• Gainesville, Florida
11 Jun 17
As soon as I read your headline, the first thing that jumped out at me was Target. College students absolutely love Target! And of course, as I read through the body of your post, I saw that you indeed mentioned Target gift cards. You definitely can't go wrong with Target. Wal-Mart is another popular choice, but there are a lot of people out there that don't like shopping at Wal-Mart.
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
12 Jun 17
College students do love Target! Subway is also huge we have learned. She also suggested Walmart and we are glad we wound up just asking her @moffittjc There were no gift cards when I graduated from high school!
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
12 Jun 17
@moffittjc Whatever was given to me was certainly gone in a week or two!
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@zarlamain (24889)
• United States
7 Jun 17
Money, food, textbooks, gift cards, and clothes are useful gifts for college students. Amazon gift cards are the best for them.
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
8 Jun 17
We have some Amazon gift cards too @zarlamain Thanks for the idea!
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@zarlamain (24889)
• United States
8 Jun 17
@PatZAnthony Your welcome! Amazon is beneficial for college students.
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
10 Jun 17
@zarlamain It really is.
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@valmnz (12754)
• New Zealand
7 Jun 17
I think our gift cards here in New Zealand are quite different from yours - different brands, different conditions. As our country is small we can use them in most parts of the country.
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
8 Jun 17
They probably are different @valmnz There are so many here and it almost silly.
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@valmnz (12754)
• New Zealand
8 Jun 17
@PatZAnthony but they are definitely the best way to go when it comes to gift giving these days.
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
10 Jun 17
@valmnz Agreed. Just giving cash seems insulting. A check gives the person a chore. Gift cards it is!
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@Gabugs (1755)
• United States
12 Jun 17
We generally gift Visa cards as Graduation gifts. But for our granddaughter we gave her a cash gift for her to be able to purchase instantly from wherever she wanted. Besides, we knew she was saving up too; so that was another option.
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
12 Jun 17
We finally ask the young woman what she wanted and went with her idea @Gabugs Probably should have just done that in the first place!
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@Gabugs (1755)
• United States
13 Jun 17
@PatZAnthony That would be a good thing to do if she was close to you.
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@just4him (124348)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
9 Jun 17
I would ask them where they do the most of their shopping or dining as there are also restaurant cards.
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
10 Jun 17
Yes, we did that @just4him At first she seemed a little shy about it, but then agreed she would like certain ones.
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@just4him (124348)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
10 Jun 17
@PatZAnthony It's good you had something to choose from.
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@DianneN (82528)
• United States
9 Jun 17
If you know what University each will attend, the university gift shop or book store would be most welcome. I think Amazon and Visa would be terrific, too. They can get almost anything they may need or want.
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
10 Jun 17
When questioning the student, we learned what she would prefer (glad we asked) so she is all set @DianneN
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@DianneN (82528)
• United States
11 Jun 17
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@cacay1 (33190)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
8 Jun 17
We are not used to give cards to students, like my case, I always have 320 students every term hehehe cannot afford to buy , so numerous.I just greet them in Facebook page created for them and in Yahoo groups page.How nice of you so thoughtful.
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
11 Jun 17
This is for someone we know graduating here and heading to a university this month @cacay1 There will be so many expenses, and it seems a gift card would be good.
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@cacay1 (33190)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
11 Jun 17
@PatZAnthony , That will be nice you will always be remembered through your gift card.Our graduation in the university was done June 6.
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@Courtlynn (55679)
• United States
7 Jun 17
The only giftcards i ever give out are visa. Cause theyre used almost everywhere.
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
11 Jun 17
It seems many like the Visa cards @Courtlynn however when given the choice, we were surprised that she did not pick Visa!
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@Courtlynn (55679)
• United States
11 Jun 17
@PatZAnthony surprising.
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@bunnybon7 (37184)
• Holiday, Florida
12 Jun 17
sounds like the walmart one would be best. since they can buy pretty much anything there including food and snacks
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
15 Jun 17
Walmart was one that she did ask for b/c there is one in the town (of course) where she will be @bunnybon7
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@andriaperry (56590)
• United States
10 Jun 17
I give cash so... I dont know.
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
10 Jun 17
Some find giving cash the best choice @andriaperry
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• United States
9 Jun 17
I have a granddaughter heading off to college and she asked for Walmart or Target since you can get just about anything in both stores
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
10 Jun 17
This student said those cards were good choices too @Marilynda1225
@salonga (27957)
• Philippines
9 Jun 17
I don't normally give gift cards but rather money to my nieces and nephews who graduate so they can spend it the way they want.
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
11 Jun 17
This student preferred not to have cash and wound up telling us which cards she would like @salonga so it all worked out.
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@Freelanzer (9496)
• Canada
8 Jun 17
I don't buy a lot of gift cards but I would think college students would like cards that they can buy food, clothing and essentials with
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
11 Jun 17
That turns out to be what she wanted when we finally asked @Freelanzer There are always expenses that students face that will be a surprise!
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@BettyB (4212)
• Summerville, South Carolina
7 Jun 17
I think Walmart or Target would be good choices. If they are taking a car with them to college, a gas card would work as well.
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
11 Jun 17
Most universities here won't allow a car during the first year as they are required to live on campus. Next year she will deal with that headache @BettyB
@sol_cee (16908)
• Saint Vincent And The Grenadines
7 Jun 17
Old-fashioned me would have chosen a bulky present I'm sure he/she won't bring to college at all. The Snoopy card is cute!
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
11 Jun 17
She heads for a university this summer, so she really needs things we know nothing about @sol_cee She chose gift cards to some local stores.
• United States
7 Jun 17
Visa... They can be used anyplace.
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
8 Jun 17
That does seem like a good choice @AbbyGreenhill
• Ponce De Leon, Florida
7 Jun 17
Honesty, either Target or. amazon
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@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
11 Jun 17
We finally asked her what she would like and bought cards she chose @thislittlepennyearns
@marlina (76761)
• Canada
10 Jul 17
I don't have any students in my life right now, so I don't have to worry about which gift card is better.