Cash or Gift Cards?

@dorannmwin (36659)
United States
November 3, 2009 11:32am CST
With the Christmas season rapidly coming upon us, it is time to start finding the perfect gifts for our friends and family. As for me, this year, everyone is getting a gift and not cash or gift cards because I am able to get more for my dollar by finding gifts that are on sale. However, I know that with a large part of our family, there is a lot of gift cards and cash given as gifts. I would like to know: 1. Would you rather give gift cards or cash? Why? 2. Would you rather receive gift cards or cash? Why? As for me, I'd rather give and receive cash because it never goes bad. It can be used anywhere that I want to use it. It comes in handy on a daily basis. Please share your views.
1 person likes this
21 responses
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
3 Nov 09
I usually buy gifts for everyone except my niece and nephew. I give them gift cards b/c they are so hard to shop for. They are 12 and 14 and their likes change so fast that it's almost impossible to keep up with. b]!!Happy Turkey Day!! ~~AT PEACE WITHIN~~ **STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS**[/b]
@dorannmwin (36659)
• United States
3 Nov 09
It does seem like teenagers are the prime age to give gift cards. They are so hard to satisfy. Our family has never really done gift cards though, it has always been cash for the cousins and I think a big part of the reason for that is because there are so many of us. There are 16 first cousins and now 12 second cousins, I guess it would be too much hassle to get gift cards for places that fit each individuals interests.
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
4 Nov 09
Thankfully I only have the niece and nephew to keep up with. [b]!!Happy Thanksgiving!! ~~AT PEACE WITHIN~~ **STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS**[/b]
@Debs_place (10524)
• United States
8 Nov 09
I really don't like giving cash or gift cards. It makes me feel like I did not bother to think about what the person would want or need. On the other hand, I like to get them. It gives me the freedom to get what I want. Every year my husband gives me an itunes gift card and an ereader gift card-- i spend hours pondering what music to get and what books I want to read. If I get cash..it just ends up being a pepsi I pick up at the gas station or it goes toward bills.
@dorannmwin (36659)
• United States
24 Jan 10
I don't like to give either of the options either because I feel like both of them are a sort of cop out. I like spending the time that is required to ponder over the perfect gift for the people that I love in my family.
4 Nov 09
Hi,I come from china and i get litlle gift in Christmas season,but in China we have Spring Festival.When I am child,I can get a money from my family people ,that called lucky money or yasui money,do you known? With the society development and changes,children can get a lot of money in new year,it is not good for them,because they will spend cash in bad things maybe.so I think people can sent children some gift better than cash.
@dorannmwin (36659)
• United States
4 Nov 09
I'm actually not familiar with the Chinese customs, but I am learning more about it and I really like that. I do agree with you that for children in most situations, a gift is better than cash.
@sender621 (14951)
• United States
4 Nov 09
Normally, i like to purchase gifts for friends and family that I think they will enjoy. I only like to give gift cards if that is a gift wish from someone. Also, if I'm uncertain about a particular person's needs or wants, I will give them a gift card. Gift cards are like cash. They are an easy fix for gift giving, but nothing is more rewarding than a gift you make or buy yourself.
@dorannmwin (36659)
• United States
4 Nov 09
You've mentioned my absolute favorite kind of gift here. I really like to be able to make gifts for people to give at Christmas. We've made a painted sweatshirt for my father in law with my daughter's handprints when she was three years old. Then, a couple years ago I made potpourri lamps for all of my female cousins.
@calai618 (1779)
• Philippines
4 Nov 09
I also prefer cash for the very same reasons as you. Cards are very limited and you are obliged to buy to wherever that card came from. Cash however can be used however you like and can even be saved. cards i think are a waste of money since you tend to buy everything you can from that card instead of just thinking of what's there which needs to be bought. :D
@dorannmwin (36659)
• United States
4 Nov 09
I completely agree with you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
@kush20006 (515)
• India
4 Nov 09
cash better than gift cards as they offer the person receiving d gift to do whatever he or she can in gift cards one is bound nd freedom is all about happiness
@dorannmwin (36659)
• United States
4 Nov 09
"and freedom is all about happiness." I really like this part of your statement. It's not a way that I've ever thought about things, so thank you for giving me a new way to think.
• China
4 Nov 09
i would rather give cards and i would rather receive gift cards,because i just think gift cards could express your sincere greetings for others,and so warm ,the most important thing is it is worthy collecting!
@dorannmwin (36659)
• United States
4 Nov 09
I really like the way that you've said this.
@mkeanel01 (974)
• Philippines
4 Nov 09
As for me i would go to give and receive cash because I think gift cards has expiration rather than a real cash! You can save it when you don't want to buy it! I think its best if you just give cash or personal gifts. Nevertheless anything that you give or receive would never be a problem because its the thought that really counts.
@dorannmwin (36659)
• United States
4 Nov 09
Indeed. I am thankful for everything that I get and I hope that those people that I give gifts to are thankful for those as well. The holiday season for me is really the time of generosity. I even have one uncle that requests he not get a gift at all and instead has money donated to a humane society.
@apples99 (6562)
• United States
4 Nov 09
Well I think that giving a gift cards is one of the best options for gift giving because with a gift card you dont have to worry about buying the wrong kind of gift, and your friend or family member can buy an item there choice. so yes gift cards are nice not just for the holidays but for birthdays and if you just want to do something thoughtful for someone.
@dorannmwin (36659)
• United States
4 Nov 09
I also think that when making the choice between gift cards and cash, you need to keep in mind the situation of the person that you are giving the gift to. Some people, especially in this economy, may be in a very tight situation and the money may be a much more welcome gift to them.
@happy6162 (3009)
• United States
4 Nov 09
I would prefer to get the cash for Christmas. I have given gift cards for a certain store for Christmas but have also given just cash as they can spend it anywhere they want to.
@dorannmwin (36659)
• United States
4 Nov 09
That is the main reason that I prefer cash over gift cards. The other reason is that I have heard that this year there will be some retailers that go out of business that we would never suspect it to happen to and that is one of the things that make me really leary of giving gift cards.
@allknowing (85217)
• India
4 Nov 09
I would prefer cash any day. I received 6 pressure cookers for my wedding as gifts and crockery sets to last a life time, not knowing where to store them although friends told me I could give them away as gifts but the fear that the one who sent me the gift would be the recepient dissuaded me from doing so. May be those close could ask what kind of gift one would want to receive as there is some charm in presenting a well wrapped gift and then the ceremony of opening gifts.
@dorannmwin (36659)
• United States
4 Nov 09
I'll be honest, I have given away a couple of my wedding gifts as Christmas and birthday gifts over the years since we've been married. We had a gift registry, so we actually only ended up with two duplicate gifts, and one of those went back to the store because the person that gave it to us was nice enough to include a gift receipt with it. The other duplicate gift I gave to my brother and sister-in-law last year for Christmas because it was something that they didn't have at all.
@neelimaravi (1794)
• India
4 Nov 09
hi dora, well, i prefer first to give gifts to my family or friends. i like shopping so, i wan't to give gifts only, anything and for the situation also, i choose very well depend on that function or festive. so, secondary is the money. i won't encourge to give cash to anybody, thankyou, have a nice day.
@dorannmwin (36659)
• United States
4 Nov 09
I too try to buy gifts for everyone. I am a shopaholic, so it is not an issue for me at all. However, there are many people that don't take the time to shop and those are the people I was really curious about.
@reichiru (748)
• Canada
4 Nov 09
I think I would prefer to receive and give cash as well, since it's much less of a hassle and you can use it whenever and wherever you want to. For gift cards, they are only usable at certain stores for a period of time before it expires, so you have to use it up before then to get your money's worth. Although if you get a mall gift card that works on almost every single store, that would be a nice gift as well since it will be more useful than a gift card to one store. But overall, cash is still a more useful present. I usually just ask my dad for cash for my birthday if I can't think of anything that I want.
@dorannmwin (36659)
• United States
4 Nov 09
With my mother, I've never felt comfortable asking her for cash, but she did give me cash this past birthday so I could go buy something specific that I'd mentioned I wanted. And, I did use it for the videos that I wanted too.
@jugsjugs (13038)
4 Nov 09
I prefer to give cash as well as recieve as that way you get a choice where to spend it as well as what to spend it on,where as when you get a gift card you have to use it in the shop that it is for and there may not be anything there that you want.
@dorannmwin (36659)
• United States
4 Nov 09
The other thing that I really like about cash is that I don't have to use it right away if there is nothing that I can think of that I need.
@Kaxxper (15)
• Denmark
4 Nov 09
I would personally prefer to get money, because then i can spend them on whatever I want to.. though i prefer to give giftcard, because it in someway shows that you though about what to give them. if you just give money, it looks like, you dont really know much about the person OR that it was a gift you just threw together REALLY fast.
@dorannmwin (36659)
• United States
4 Nov 09
That's basically the way that I feel as well. I very much prefer to receive cash as a gift, but I refuse to give it as a gift. For the past two years my husband has practically insisted that we give his brothers cash for Christmas, but I end up buying something for them anyway.
• Canada
4 Nov 09
Hi I have done both & both have their advantages & disadvantages. As of two years ago or so my all time favorite is something called Ribbons.You purchase the one you want to give (different price ranges)the recipient then goes online browses through the given choices of great quality items & many many choices to chose from, makes their choice & has it shipped to wherever they want to receive it. Nothing to pay just open the ribbon & make your choice.It's awesome!No stress on my part as well (shopping in the crowds)who needs it.
@dorannmwin (36659)
• United States
4 Nov 09
I've never heard of Ribbons, but it sounds very interesting.
@cynthiann (18613)
• Jamaica
3 Nov 09
This is difficult because it depends on a few things. If I did not know what to give some young people then I may go for a gift card. Having said that I am not giving gift cards this year because I am having a happy but frugal Christmas. Keeping to a strict budget but have bought gifts throughout the year for many people and this does help. Children will get modest gifts and even more modest ones for my grown children. I am not buying Christmas cars for anyone except my two sisters who live in another country from me. My preference is to buy the perfect gift rather than giving cash or a gift card.
@dorannmwin (36659)
• United States
3 Nov 09
I agree with you and I love shopping for the perfect gift for people. I know I could have just as easily given out the gift cards that I've earned and called it that, but I had a blast shopping for the gift that would be opened on Christmas through the retailer. What made it even better for me this year is that I was able to do it in the comfort of my own home.
@cutepenguin (6448)
• Canada
3 Nov 09
I think cash is more useful, but in my family, we tend to give gift cards at Christmas time. it seems more fun, I guess. I do receive cash for my birthday though.
@dorannmwin (36659)
• United States
3 Nov 09
Oh, when we were younger, we got really creative with giving the cash. My mother would wrap up bills in all sorts of different boxes and she would give it in all sorts of denominations (including 20 dollars in pennies). We always had fun with that and everyone had a gift to open too.
@much2say (35935)
• United States
3 Nov 09
Like you, I tend to give gifts too. I try to find thoughtful gifts that I find at a bargain throughout the year . . . so I don't have to spend oodles of money at the end the year. Often it seems I spent more than it seems - so I get a kick out of that. But of course with cash or gift cards, the amount is definite - you can seem either generous or cheap - hee hee. We are in CA, and I believe that gift cards here can never expire and they can't subtract fees from it (which I think some states do). The only time I get concerned is if the business goes out. Like I have a few Robinsons-May cards . . .but luckily Macy's accepts them. With my family, I'd rather give gift cards. For instance, my parents give us cash - usually a big amount. It'd almost make no sense to give them cash back, you know what I mean? My parents seem to have everything and don't need much - including cash. So what we do is give them gift cards to restaurants and eateries . . . because as they rarely go out, this gives them an excuse to go out!!! Even a movie gift certificate is good for them. My sister always gives gift cards. She tries to think of stores we would normally go to - say like Target or Babies R Us, Toys R Us. Or she gives those Visa/Mastercard (or American Express) gift cards . . . that way it can be used wherever those credit cards are accepted (which is mostly like cash). But usually there is like a 5 dollar fee when you buy each of those credit card logo gift cards - so you might just stick to cash if you need to buy many of those. Me, I guess I'd rather receive cash. All of the cash we get tends to be stashed away afterwards instead of being spent - and we all know it's hard to save up these days! But if it's a gift card from a store I go to anyway, then I'm fine with . . . it's nice to when I can buy needed things with a gift card - like shampoo or soap! My husband gets grocery store gift cards as part of his bonus - so we love getting those. There is one friend who gives us gift cards each year, but it ends up staying in our wallets. She is more tight on shopping time than money (how nice) - so you can tell her gifts are usually not thought out too well. It's a gift, and I shouldn't complain, but it certainly isn't practical for us.
@dorannmwin (36659)
• United States
3 Nov 09
I know what you mean about the grocery store gift cards. When I worked at the hospital, that was what they gave us every year for Christmas. Some places will send you home with the fixings for a turkey dinner, but the hospital instead sent us home with a 25 dollar gift card. Then I have a cousin that always gives us gift cards to the mall. Sounds like a great idea, but it is the mall in the state where they live which is about 100 miles from our home so not very practical for us.
@Thoroughrob (11750)
• United States
3 Nov 09
I will give gift cards. I am getting alot of them through the survey sites and game sites that I do. My son and daughter love them. I also give my parents some to restaurants, as they eat out alot.
@dorannmwin (36659)
• United States
3 Nov 09
I too have earned a lot of gift cards through some of the sites that I use. However, I immediately use the gift cards that I've earned to buy gifts for my friends and family members. I've earned over three hundred dollars worth of gift cards this year and it has really been a blessing as far as the Christmas presents go. My most recent gift card purchase was Razor Scooters for each of my two kids and a T-Ball set for my son. I'm hoping to have about $75 dollars more of gift cards to redeem before Christmas.