Birthdays are the time of year when you get to show your love and appreciation for those special people in your life. The birthday gift card ideas on this page are a great way to do that.
I created this gift card guide because I felt putting all the information in one place would be a helpful resource. I felt it was helpful to my readers since gift cards are an excellent gift idea in so many ways. It will save you time, because I took the time to gather up scads of info and places to find things. If you’re asking yourself, “What are good gift cards to get?” this is the info you’re looking for. All you have to do is read and click. By all means, grab a coffee!
Need Gift Cards with
Check it out: Are you looking for birthday-themed gift cards? If so, just about any merchant has a happy birthday gift card. If you want to see a targeted list, this list by Giftcardmall.com is helpful. Otherwise, use the links in the section below for gift card hubs that can help you find birthday-themed gift cards. The information below pertains to birthday gift card ideas, so you can find the perfect gift.
In this guide, I’ll cover:
- More on the benefits of using gift cards for birthdays
- The different types of gift cards
- Categories and birthday gift card ideas
- Tips for choosing the perfect gift card
Phew! Wow, this guide has a lot to offer. For your convenience, here’s a handy table of contents to help you navigate the content a little easier. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Where to Buy a Birthday Gift Card Right Now
Some of you are in a hurry, and I get it. This is a list of online hubs that can help you buy a gift card right now and have it mailed or emailed to your recipient. I’ve placed it here as a convenience for folks who are in a hurry:
Target has a great selection of third party (specialty) gift cards in all categories. Plus, they’re the number one seller of Target cards, of course! This is a link to their specialty gift card hub where you can find gift cards to mail and to email.
Walmart also has a search hub for gift cards, available in physical plastic card format, which are then mailed. Or you can find e-mail gift cards, also known as digital gift cards which are sent by email to your recipient. Walmart has a decent selection, and is a well-known, trusted merchant.
This is a link to Amazon’s gift cards search area, which shows a large variety of e-mail and mail gift cards to purchase. Amazon’s selection is fairly large and this source is well-known.
The name says it all! This is another well-known seller of gift cards, which you can purchase in email or mail formats. A great thing about their site is you can very easily search many different categories. Like the other merchants, they also offer money gift cards as well as all types of specialty gift cards.
Another alternative gift card hub, you can find just about every major gift you’ll be looking for this birthday season. A word of note: eGifter’s website states they accept bitcoin. That might interest some readers.
Upload your picture and Gift Card Granny can help you create your own Visa gift card. Just click on the Build a Card link on their website’s nav bar. You’ll find plenty of specialty cards here, too. All available for instant delivery to your birthday person.
If you want to check gift cards at major U.S. retailers, I’ve provided links to those sites below. Those lead to gift cards to the store itself, not specialty gift cards as with the hubs above. Again, hope it helps!
First: A Quick List of Creative
Birthday Gift Card Ideas
I also decided to begin my guide with a quick curated list of cool, unique birthday gift card ideas I’ve gathered up to share with you.
These are unique, creative gift ideas that are perfect for a birthday celebration.
Okay now, here we go. See what you think of these ideas.
Outside the Box Birthday Gift Card Ideas
- Tinggly: This is a very creative birthday gift card idea that allows you to gift your beloved an exciting, relaxing, faraway, remote, secluded, romantic, and/or awe-inspiring experience gift they will never forget! Imagine the thrill of a helicopter flight over an active volcano, or a trip in a hot air balloon. There are even birthday gift card ideas for getaways in world class cities like New York or London available with real-world prices, too. This birthday gift card idea is available by email, so you can find the gift and get it to your birthday person with a few clicks of your mouse. This is a birthday gift card idea you’re going to want to check out.
- Stripe & Stare: If you have a young woman on your gift list, this could be just the thing. Stripe & Stare is all about planet-friendly undies. What, you ask? No, really. These are thoughtful, soft, comfy undies made from plant-based materials. If your girl cares about the environment, this could be a great gift. Available in gobs of denominations. Also! They offer a virtual gift card that your loved one can receive by email.
- TippsySake: If your loved one is a sake lover, this gift card will spike their interest. Get it? Spike their interest. Er, okay. Well, sake is all the rage these days and TippsySake is leading the sake way with its creative offerings of flavors, intensities, and finishes. If your friend or loved one is into Japanese culture or fine food and beverages, the gift of sake tasting would be a real treat.
- Night of Mystery Game: This is a unique birthday gift card idea. It’s a gift that provides your birthday person access to one of their mystery dinner games, escape room games, or adult/teen or kids’ games. Check it out! these games are almost like an orchestrated treasure hunt. What a great idea for a birthday party. Throw together a guest list and each guest becomes a player who receives instructions on how to play the game. Very creative and unique birthday gift idea.
Using Birthday Gift Card Ideas
Thanks for continuing this far! In this section of my guide to birthday gift card ideas, I’ll give you some tips to help you create the perfect birthday card gift.
Gift Card Formats
Gift cards come in a variety of formats. Here are some of the ways gift cards are available to purchase:
- Physical (Plastic) Gift Cards: Traditional gift cards come in a physical, plastic form. They resemble a credit card and come in various denominations. They can be purchased at most retailers in a variety of colors, designs, and styles. These are the plastic gift card displays you see in the checkout aisle. Think Nordstrom, Olive Garden — any plastic gift card you see in the store.
- E-Gift Cards: These are digital gift cards that are sent via email. They are extremely convenient and allow you to send your gift instantaneously. Perfect for parents with college students in the family. Send them a gift with instant delivery. Many online stores provide email gift cards, including Starbucks, Game Pass, or Dunkin.
- Reloadable Gift Cards: These are gift cards that can be reloaded with additional funds. They’re good for those who want a larger denomination card. It’s also great for grandparents, for example, with college students in the family. You can keep them well-funded by reloading from a distance. Usually, this is available as a Visa or MasterCard. However, there are re-loadable, prepaid phone cards, as well.
- Custom Gift Cards: These are gift cards that can be personalized with a message or photo. Custom gift cards include those created by local merchants. They also include cards you can find online at sites like VanillaGift.com where you can create your own Visa card by uploading a photo. Amex has a gift card maker here.
Tips for Giving the Perfect Gift Card Gift
As I mentioned, gift cards are a great way to send loving vibes to someone on their birthday. And I know you want to do it right. Therefore, here are some ideas to help you make the most of your gift card gift:
- Do Your Research: Seek out clues as to what the recipient likes, needs, and would appreciate.
- Personalize It: Try to personalize the card with a message or photo to make it even more special.
- Choose the Right Amount: Choose an amount that’s appropriate for the recipient within your budget.
- Shop Around: Shop around and compare prices to get the best deal.
- Read the Fine Print: Be sure to read the fine print and make sure you understand the terms and conditions. Some cards charge fees and some expire. Know before you go.
- Beware of Scams: You pay with a gift card in place of cash, debit, or credit. Merchants never ask you to pay with a gift card. If someone is requesting that, they could be scamming you. Here’s the 911 from the FTC on how that works.
Checking a Gift Card Balance
If you give or use gift cards, it’s a good idea to learn how to check the balance. First, find out what type of gift card you have. Is it a physical card or an e-gift card? If it’s a physical card, you’ll need to flip it over and look for a website or phone number to call. If it’s an e-gift card, you’ll need to check your email for the gift card information. Easy peasy, right?
Now, once you’ve found the website or phone number, it’s time to put on your detective hat and start sleuthing. If you’re using a website, you’ll need to navigate to the “gift card balance” section. If you’re calling a phone number, you’ll need to follow the automated prompts to get to the gift card balance section. And here’s a pro tip: make sure you have your gift card number and PIN handy. Without those, you won’t be able to check your balance.
Once you’ve entered your gift card information, you’ll be presented with your balance. Congrats! You now know how much money you have to spend. But wait! Remember? There’s more! Some gift cards come with expiration dates or fees, so you’ll want to make sure you read all the terms and conditions carefully. It’s a good time to check since you’ve just checked your balance.
Categories of Birthday Gift Cards
Now let’s take a look at possible categories of birthday gift card ideas so you can match your gift to your birthday person’s preferences and interests.
By the way – I’ve provided suggestions on use and examples of cards to help trigger ideas so you can match ideas to your recipient. Hope it helps!
Popular Birthday Gift Card Ideas
First we’ll look at popular birthday gift card ideas. Not only are all gift cards convenient for the recipient, they offer recipients freedom of choice because they get to pick their own stuff! Here are some all-around popular gift card ideas:
- Restaurant Gift Card: Does your birthday person like seafood? Mexican? Italian? An array of different cuisines? Pick from a variety of places to suit the recipient’s tastes. Restaurant gift cards are a great gift that gives them the freedom to indulge in a delicious meal. These cards are increasingly popular due to their easy availability and wide range of restaurants to choose from.
- Suggested Uses: A great gift idea for anyone – relatives, co-workers, and friends.
- Examples: You can find gift cards to well-known restaurants like Texas Roadhouse, Cheesecake Factory, or Red Robin. Multi-restaurant cards are also available so your recipient has a choice between different restaurants like Longhorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s, and Yard House.
- Movie Gift Card: Movie gift cards are a great way to show your loved ones that you care, as well as to give them the freedom to choose their own movie experience. With a movie gift card, your recipient can pick the movie, the theater, and the time – all without worrying about the cost. Whether they use it to watch the new superhero flick or to rent a classic, they’re sure to be delighted. Who doesn’t love going to the movies?
- Suggested Uses: This is good gift idea for anyone – especially a friend or co-worker.
- Examples: AMC Theaters, Cinemark, Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, Regal Theaters, and more.
- Shopping Gift Card: Do you have an avid shopper on your gift list? Give them the gift of shopping with a shopping gift card. Let the recipient graze for exactly what they need or desire, and provide an exciting experience in doing so. Shopping gift cards are a popular choice for birthdays, as they allow the recipient to pick something they truly want, while still having the convenience of a gift. Use them for everything from clothes, to electronics, to groceries.
- Suggested Uses: This gift may be a better gift for a female, but there are exceptions. You be the judge!
- Examples: Macy’s, JC Penney, Kohl’s, Walmart, Target … any store.
- Travel Gift Card: Travel gift cards are the perfect gift for the travel enthusiasts in your life. They allow the recipient to choose where and when they want to go. Plus, they can choose to use it for flights, hotels, or even activities at their destination. It’s like giving them the gift of adventure and freedom! No more worrying about how much money you have left on your credit card, or whether you can afford that cocktail at the beach bar. Plus, travel gift cards can be a great way to encourage your loved ones to take that much-needed vacation. By giving them a travel gift card, you’re not only giving them a gift, you’re also giving them the opportunity to unwind and recharge.
- Suggest Uses: This would be good for a friend or family member.
- Examples: Amtrak, Southwest Airlines, Hilton, Hotels.com, AirBnB, Princess Cruises, and more.
- Entertainment Gift Card: What does your birthday person like to do? Do they like to play games? Listen to music? Read books? This versatile gift card allows the recipient to choose from a variety of entertainment options, from movies to concerts, ensuring that they have a great time and make the most of their birthday. Whatever they enjoy in their leisure time, you can give a gift to fill that time doing something they love.
- Suggest Uses: This is a good gift for someone you know a little better such as a brother, sister, or friend.
- Examples: Some really cool birthday gift card ideas include these awesome duo cards like dinner and a movie, or a game and a pizza. These cards are very common in retail stores like Walmart and Target.
Birthday Gift Card Ideas for Men
Another way of drilling down to the best birthday gift card ideas is to consider gender and gender-related preferences. Here are some gift card ideas for men:
- Sporting Goods Gift Card: If your guy is an athlete, a sporting goods gift card is a good birthday gift idea. Guys at the office might be golfers. Your brother-in-law is a bowler. A Dick’s Sporting Goods, Bass Pro Shops, Cabelas, or REI might fit the bill for your birthday gift list.
- Gadget Gift Card: If your guy is into technology, this could be a good idea. I’m thinking a Best Buy gift card would be good so he could get some wireless earbuds. Sharper Image, or Brookstone. Give the gift of gadgets with a gadget gift card. You can choose from a variety of electronics stores to suit the recipient’s tastes.
- Car Care Gift Card: This a great gift for any guy who takes pride in his car. It’s also great for restoration enthusiasts and backyard mechanics who spend their free time under a trouble light. Whether they want new seat covers, a fuel filter, or a new battery, this is a versatile gift because it can be practical or frivolous. Leave the fine tuning up to your birthday person and get them an Auto Zone or Advance Auto Parts gift card this year.
- Beer Gift Card: Do they love beer? Seriously, no. What guy doesn’t? If you want to gift your man with the brew he loves, think about giving a beer gift card. Choose from a variety of breweries like Laguanitas, Goose Island, Revolution Brewing and more. Or restaurants like The Yard House or The World of Beer.
- Music Gift Card: For those of you with a musical genius on your gift list, a music gift card could make their birthday chime. They can shop and download tunes from their favorite artists. They can use this gift day or not, if they have the right device. For this birthday gift card idea, think iTunes gift cards, Pandora, or even Spotify.
Birthday Gift Card Ideas for Women
The ladies in your life will covet these yummy birthday gift card ideas. It depends upon their personality. You be the judge. What do you think of these?
- Beauty Gift Card: This is a great idea for a young woman or any woman with persnickety grooming habits. Think Sephora or Ulta for this kind of birthday gift card idea, or even Estee Lauder for a trip to the makeup counter at Macy’s.
- Clothing Gift Card: What woman doesn’t love clothing? The trick with this birthday gift card idea is honing in on the merchant. You could go with JC Penney, or Kohl’s, or Macy’s, or … The selection is nearly endless!
- Jewelry Gift Card: Another popular female trait is the love of bling! And you can give the gift of bling with a jewelry gift card. Often considered a store for the newly engaged, a jewelry gift card is a winner for anyone who loves gems or even birthstones.
- Home Decor Gift Card: I can relate to this one because I enjoy decorating and upgrading my home. If your recipient is a meticulous closet organizer, get her a gift card to The Container Store. If she’s a gourmet, a Williams Sonoma gift card would help her find the latest gadget. My personal favorite is Home Goods. They always have fun decorator items there.
- Crafts Gift Card: Whether she likes to knit, paint, or arrange flowers, abundant craft supplies are a guilty pleasure among creative types. Popular craft store gift cards include Michael’s, JOANN, and Hobby Lobby.
Birthday Gift Card Ideas for Kids
Kids love gift cards because they get to make all the choices. Of course, you can steer them to the store you think is best, where they can roam and shop and pick out just the thing that makes them happy. Here are some gift card ideas for kids:
- Toy Gift Card: Surprise your little one on their special day with a toy gift card! A toy gift card is a great way to give your child the gift of choice. Not only that, it takes the guesswork out of buying the perfect present for a kid who already has it all. Your child is free to pick out whatever toy they want, without you ever having to worry about your gift not being appreciated. Plus, you can easily find a toy gift card to suit any budget. Give your child the best birthday ever with a toy gift card!
- Suggested Uses: Children, up to age 10. (Older, depending up the child.)
- Examples: Build-a-Bear, Toys “R” Us (Macy’s), Disney, Target, Walmart
- Book Gift Card: Not only does a book gift card provide a unique and thoughtful present for the birthday child, it also encourages a love of reading and learning. With a book gift card, you can give your child the opportunity to find the perfect book that speaks directly to them. They can dive into a new world and explore their own interests and passions, while also discovering something new. With a book gift card, you can give the gift of adventure and knowledge – the perfect present for any child on their special day.
- Suggested Uses: Anyone, especially children.
- Examples: Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Book World
- Game Gift Card: Game gift cards offer kids the opportunity to explore a world of gaming and entertainment, with access to a wide selection of digital games and content. These cards can be used to purchase games, in-game items, and other digital content, allowing kids to customize their gaming experience. This birthday gift card idea also makes for a great budget-friendly option as it allows parents to limit the amount of money their children can spend on games. With a game gift card, kids can enjoy hours of fun and entertainment, while parents can rest assured knowing their children are safe.
- Suggested Uses: Junior tech geniuses would love this gift card.
- Examples: Apple, Google Play, Gamestop, Target, Walmart, Fat Brain Toys, Once Upon a Child
- Art Gift Card: An art gift card is the ideal present for the creative kid in your life. Not only is it a thoughtful gift, but it also gives the child the opportunity to explore their creative side, while also having the freedom to choose their own materials. With an art gift card, the child can get all the supplies they need to explore their artistic side, whether they’re into painting, drawing, sculpting, or any of the myriad other art forms. This gift will bring out their creativity and imagination, and is sure to provide hours of fun.
- Suggested Uses: Good for creative kids who like to make things.
- Examples: Michael’s, JOANN, Blick, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Hobby Lobby
- Outdoor Activity Gift Card: An outdoor activity gift card is an ideal present for the young adventurer in your life. The possibilities are endless with a card that can be used for anything from a day at the beach to a camping trip. Not only will your child have a fun and unique gift to open, but they will also have the opportunity to enjoy endless outdoor activities. Whether they are interested in outdoor sports, exploring nature, or simply spending a day in the sun, an outdoor activity gift card gives them the chance to experience it all. With the perfect balance of adventure and excitement, you child will love it.
- Suggested Uses: Perfect for any active child who loves the outdoors.
- Examples: REI, Cabela’s, and theme parks like Disney, Six Flags, Sea World. Also, consider Walmart or Target for outdoor gear.
Birthday Gift Card Ideas for Teens
Gift cards are a great way to gift your teen, your cousins, or your friends! As long as they’re an American teen, there’s a gift card out there they’ll love. Here are a few of my birthday gift card ideas for teens:
- Music Streaming Gift Card: Music streaming gift cards are the perfect choice for any teen’s birthday! With so much great music out there to explore, teens will love having access to unlimited listening. With a music streaming gift card, teens can listen to their favorite artists, explore new genres and discover new songs. It’s different from hand-selecting songs to listen to. Instead, the app keeps you well-supplied with continuous music. Not only will they be able to enjoy the music they already love, but they will also be able to explore and find new music they may never have heard before. Music streaming gift cards also come with a variety of options, allowing the teen to customize their listening experience to fit their interests and preferences. With the ability to listen to any artist or album at any time, a music streaming gift card is sure to make any teen’s birthday a memorable one.
- Suggested Uses: Anyone who likes music.
- Examples: Pandora or Spotify.
- Video Game Gift Card: This birthday gift card idea is an excellent choice for any gaming enthusiast. Not only is it easy to purchase, but it also allows the recipient to choose their own game or accessory. Video game gift cards are the perfect way to show your teen how much you care while giving them the freedom to purchase the items they really want. From the newest releases to classic favorites, a gift card will provide hours of entertainment and fun. In seconds, you give a teen the ultimate birthday surprise.
- Suggested Uses: Gamers and techies.
- Examples: Google Play, Xbox, Nintendo, PlayStation
- Clothing Gift Card: Buying a gift for a teenage birthday can be a tricky endeavor. Teens can be notoriously picky, and it can be hard to find something they will like. A clothing gift card is the perfect solution because what teen isn’t obsessed with their appearance? With this birthday gift card idea, teens can choose the style and items they want in the size they need, ensuring that the gift is something they’ll use and love. A clothing gift card can be used at their favorite store, giving them the freedom to choose the items they love. It’s the perfect way to give a gift that will be appreciated and enjoyed.
- Suggested Uses: Teenage girls would appreciate this.
- Examples: Any clothing store like Old Navy, Forever 21, Abercrombie & Fitch, H & M, Marshall’s, Ross, T.J. Maxx. And many more.
- Electronics Gift Card: Cool kids are the pickiest when it comes to birthday gifts. They’re often too cool for the standard offerings and tend to be particular about what they like. However, one gift that’s sure to please is an electronics gift card. Whether they’re into gaming, music, movies, or the latest tech gadgets, an electronics gift card allows them to pick out something they’ll love without having to worry about finding the right size, color, or style. Plus, they can use the card however they please – they can buy something big and expensive, or they can buy several smaller items. An electronics gift card gives teens the freedom to choose their own gifts, making it the perfect choice for a teen’s birthday.
- Suggested Uses: Teenagers and Cool Kids of All Ages.
- Examples: Best Buy or department stores like Target or Walmart
- Food Delivery Gift Card: Around our house, birthday people get to be king or queen for the day. Everything, including food, is something that they like. A great way to celebrate like this is with a food delivery gift card. It can be used to order meals from their favorite restaurants. Not only will they get to enjoy delicious food, but they’ll also get the convenience of having it delivered right to their door. Gift cards also give teenagers the freedom to choose their own food, so they can try something new or get their favorite dish. With a food delivery gift card, teens can have a special birthday meal with friends or family, or enjoy a night-in with a delicious meal.
- Suggested Uses: Co-workers, siblings, friends, self 🙂 (Oops! Did I say that?)
- Examples: Uber Eats, Doordash, Grubhub, and more.
I’m sure by now, you agree that gift cards are a great way to make someone’s birthday a good one. As I’ve covered, there are many benefits, choices, and denominations to help you find the exact right fit for your loved one. The key to making a good impact is targeting the gift to the birthday person’s needs, wants, and desires. Add a touch of surprise, and you have a winning birthday gift idea! I hope this guide has given you some useful tips and ideas for choosing the perfect gift card for your loved one.