Jaybeau Jones

Jaybeau Jones

Jaybeau Jones

What brand provides the BEST gift cards? It’s NOT who you think it is!

The best invention since Santa has got to be the invention of the plastic wonder. While it’s not the most creative, you can STILL add your personal touch. For example my son Matt LOVES (should I give it away?) LL Bean. My Mom loves shopping at Kohls. So while that may not be the main gift, giving a gift card to your favorite store or restaurant tops off an already great gift.

Last year after Christmas, we counted up the cards. We had left over $250 dollars of Amazon cards. We used them for Prime Day this year!

Wallethub Study

The amazing brainiacs at Wallethub have done a study and found the best.

In the interest of helping you find the best gift cards for any occasion – whether a birthday, holiday, graduation, etc. – we compared the 50 most popular options across five major categories: 1) how popular the cards are; 2) how much of a discount you can buy them for; 3) how much you can sell them for; 4) how much people like the retailer; and 5) shipping fees. Below, you can check out the resulting top picks.

Look for a Discount

You might assume that sales and savings don’t apply to the gift card market, since gift cards are more like currency than retail products with traditional profit margins. That’s not the case, however, as the best cards can usually be purchased for less than face value.

Avoid Card-Network Gift Cards.

Gift cards from Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover might seem like they’re as good as cash, since they can be used anywhere, but they’re actually quite inferior. While retailers make money immediately when one of their cards gets purchased, these card-network cards make money from fees. So if you want the versatility of cash, why not just use cash instead? It will certainly be cheaper.

Don’t Confuse Gift Cards & Prepaid Cards

Gift cards and prepaid cards are very different animals. Gift cards are designed to be used only until the original balance is gone. Prepaid cards, on the other hand, are reloadable and designed to serve the same purpose as a checking account with a debit card.Prepaid cards also have a lot of different fees associated with them, so giving one to someone instead of a gift card could result in the recipient not getting as much value as you intended. In fact, the average prepaid card has 10 separate fees, according to our Prepaid Card Report, and the wrong prepaid card could cost an individual up to $311 per year if used incorrectly.

Watch Out for Loyalty Cards With Different Rules

A loophole in the law allows non-reloadable prepaid cards received through a loyalty, award or promotional program to expire with no restriction. For context, normal gift cards cannot expire until five years from the date of issuance. So it’s important to verify that you are indeed buying/receiving actual gift cards this holiday season and to read any applicable fine print.

So let’s take a look at the TOP 5!

  • 1-Starbucks

    star

    (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

    Coffee is still king. Especially if it’s Starbucks. Will it comes in at #4 for popularity, Starbucks comes in overall at #1.

  • 2-Sephora

    (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Oh, ya. Not surprised as I get this for my daughter EVERY year. Plus with many locations, and the fact you can find this gift card almost everywhere, it’s easy why to see it’s #2.

     

  • 3-Target

    Duff

    (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Target)

    Of course Target is in the TOP 5! The stores have everything we need, and more. Is that Hillary Duff?

     

  • 4-Disney Gift Card

    (Photo by David Roark/Disney Resorts via Getty Images)

    This one can come in handy in the park, or for on line. There are NOT as many brick and mortar Disney stores these days. But if you need an Elsa doll, this gift card could come in handy. The Disney brand still strong, coming in at #5 in popularity.

  • 5-Chick-Fil-A

    Chick

    (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

    If you have never had a Chick-Fil-A sandwich, DON’T REGIFT this card! You’ll thank me later. There’s a reason why the drive-through lines are legendary.

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