Let’s face it, even the best gift cards have been met with fake smiles and sing-songy “Oooooh, you shouldn’t have” reactions. But amid a holiday season rife with pandemic-induced delivery delays, gift cards are a no-fail way to ensure your loved ones know you’re thinking about them (and that you definitely haven’t forgotten to buy them a last-minute gift).
Whether it’s a big-box retailer they miss perusing the aisles of or a boutique brand they’ve been DM’ing about on Instagram, so many brands are rolling out email gift card options this year—and they all come with the added bonus of being untethered to the whims of a disastrous supply chain. Plus, they’re a perfect vehicle for giving your hard-to-shop-for friend what they really want for Christmas: to be left alone to shop in peace. Just us?
Of course, if quickly narrowing delivery windows don’t spook you, take a chance on ordering something from our curated gift guides. After December 15 the package may not get there, but you could always send them tracking info in an email. Ah, right back to where we started. Shop 32 of the best gift cards to give virtually in 2021.
Psst…plenty of gift cards get marked down during Black Friday, so savvy shoppers should keep an eye out for slashed prices in the weeks to come.
The Best Beauty Gift Cards
Beauty, makeup, and hair products are surprisingly difficult to give. What do they really want from their cleanser? What blush shade actually works for their skin tone? How complex does their nighttime skin-care routine need to be? Rest easy knowing a gift certificate for their favorite beauty retailer will be redeemed immediately.
The Best Clothing & Accessory Gift Cards
Have a giftee that could use a winter wardrobe refresh? (We’re raising our hands as well.) Lucky for all of us, there are plenty of popular gift cards from big and small brands alike that’ll help them stock up on everything from cozy jackets to everyday jewelry.
The Best Gift Cards for Foodies
Set them up for success in the new year by stocking their pantry, kitchen, and wine rack with these very good gift cards. We’ve sung our praises for Winc’s monthly wine subscription, and this holiday gift card allows them to select their favorite bottles and varietals so you can put your sommelier hat away. Haus and Atlas Coffee Club will help expand their sipping palettes, and meal kit delivery services will be their saving grace if and when their offices start calling them back.
The Best Homebody Gift Cards
Whether they’ll be bingeing holiday movies, reading a new audiobook, playing endless hours of the currently trending video game, or listening to Red (Taylor’s Version) on repeat, there are so many gifts for the homebody, gamer, and streaming aficionado on your list.