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Give Ca$h not a Gift Card for Christmas

There does seem to be a backlash going on against the Gift Card industry this Christmas season, and I ( for one ), like it. Preet B. wrote about it yesterday in the Globe and Mail, however, I have said this all along. Why is there a stigma about giving cash and no stigma giving a gift card?

I asked my Christmas Gifting expert, Mrs. C8j and she said the big thing about cash is it seems like a Lazy Present (i.e. you didn’t feel like spending some time to find a nice present).  While I understand the sentiment about cash, I again say why are Gift Cards being viewed as “just fine” then?

Gift Card, Cash which is more appropriate
This is more personal than Cash? It’s at a Loblaws!

I can buy a gift card at my Loblaws for pretty much any store, in fact, I can do that at most Gas Stations now, why is that more personal than Ca$h?

Cash on the other hand, you usually have to go to a Bank to get. Banks are very exclusive, yes they may be open 7 days a week, but they close a lot more than most stores (and certainly more than most Gas Stations).

If you give Cash, you know it will get used, if you give a Gift Card, do you know how many gift cards never get completely used? I have no idea, but I am sure it is a huge number. Cash is friendly, fits in your wallet just like a gift card, and it has a picture of the Queen on it (or other important Canadians).

Give Ca$h this year, for Christmas.

Feel Free to Comment

  1. I have always felt that giving someone a gift card is punishing them. I would rather give cash. I will tell you a story. My daughter got a gift card for $100 for Lululemon when she was young . She went there and could not find anything for less than $100. She had to put in her own money to use the gift card to buy yoga pants. Another tale. I knew a family who would go to Indigo (Chaoters)) every Sat, sit on the couches they provided( these are gone now) spend the whole day reading their books without buying anything. So , one birthday, I gave the father a $100 gift card for Chapters. This forced them to buy something there. Now that was a good use of the gift card!

  2. Jaqueline Clemenson

    Great Points about gifts. What I think, money as gift much better idea rather than gifting a cards because money must be helpful at some bad crisis . I really enjoy the article. Keep going this way.

  3. I really enjoyed reading this article! I probably have 5 Starbucks gift cards rolling around in my miscellaneous drawer. Too bad I’m not a coffee drinker!

  4. I like using gift cards as gifts. I choose the cards based on their interests and needs. I figure if there is enough thought behind something, then that should be all that matters! Good article!

  5. I really don’t care what I receive during the holidays. It is the thought that counts. I’d be happy receiving a rock, if it was given with meaning and love behind it.

  6. I would definitely want to take cash over a gift card. I usually don’t even get around to using the cards when I receive them. Great post!

  7. Totally with you on this one – cash is king; for me the biggest drawback to getting a giftcard is I have to go to that particular retailer when sometimes the competition has better deals or better products.

  8. Great points about the gift card. I can think of 2 or 3 gift cards in my wallet right now that have 5 or 10 bucks on it that I will probably never get around to using. Cash will definitely get used, plus you won’t be limited to where you can spend it.

  9. Don’t even think about coming home Christmas eve with only an envelope for me, unless of course you won the 649, and then I’d like it in tens and twenties.

    Your loving C8jn Wife.

  10. I prefer cash gifts. I buy each of the kids and one spouse a small gift and then top up with cash to whatever amount I consider appropriate for the year. They know best what they need or want. In the past the money has been used towards their RRSPs. Two have to pay back HBP and one for LLP so its a gift that keeps giving.

  11. And if you find you’re giving someone a gift card and they are giving you a gift card back, it’s time to have “the talk” about shifting down to just a real card and best wishes. It took years to convince a few extended relatives of this but now we are all much happier.

    The exception was one parent asked for movie cards for her kids for a few years because they loved going to the movies but if given cash they wasted it on junk food at school and didn’t have it for movie time. We followed her advice.

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