Digital gift cards can come in handy. An e-gift card can be useful when you have waited until the last minute to shop for a gift. A digital gift card can be a lifesaver when you are buying a gift for someone who has very particular tastes, but you do know the stores where they find things that suit them. A printable gift card can also come in handy when you have minimalists on your gift list and you want to give them something, but you know they prefer experiences and consumable items to physical gifts that they view as clutter.
Buts let’s face it, finding an e-gift card from a friend in our inbox, although appreciated, lacks the thrill of opening a physical gift. How can you give a digital gift card in a creative way that shows you do care about the person receiving the e-gift card? I have a few ideas that should help answer that question.
Creative Ways To Give A Digital Gift Card As A Gift
(Links in this post are affiliate links. I will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking those links. See my disclosure page for more information)
Don’t Just Email A Digital Gift Card
Take away as much of the digital part of an e-gift card as possible by making it as physical as possible. Instead of emailing it to the recipient, email it to yourself and try the following:
- Print it out on card stock
- Print it out on paper
- If it is just a digital code to use in an app or on a website (digital Amazon gift cards are this way), get creative and create a cool printable using Canva and print that out on cardstock or paper.
Always make sure to save the original emailed digital gift card just in case the recipient either loses the paper copy or it gets ripped in the opening. Should either of these two things happen, you can then forward the e-gift card to them.
Match The Theme Of The Digital Gift Card To A Small Gift
There are lots of inexpensive items out there that will match the theme of your digital e-gift card. Wrap the card around the gift, tape it to it, place it in it, or put both items in a gift bag. Dollar stores are great places to look for gifts that match the theme of your gift card.
- Place a gift card to a coffee shop inside a fun mug or a mug sleeve (I love inspirational mugs from DaySpring, often you can find them in their clearance area for as little as $5).
- Place an iTunes or Google Play e-gift card in a small gift bag with earbuds (I recently bought this inexpensive four-pack of earbuds and our family is pleased with how they work).
- Tie a hardware store digital gift card to a tool that has a hole in its handle (this 6 in 1 screwdriver is an example of what I mean).
- Give a makeup lover an e-gift card inside a small cosmetic kit (here is a cute purse-sized one).
- Hollow out an old hardcover book to create a hidden compartment and place a card for a bookstore inside (don’t want to put all the work into making a book chest? How about taping it inside a book journal like this one).
- Wrap a movie theatre gift card around a movie-sized package of candy.
- Find an empty game case and tape an e-gift card to a game store inside and give to a video game lover.
- Give a gift card to a clothing store inside a pair of socks or gloves or in a hat (printed socks like these are all the rage right now with the younger crowd).
- Tape an e-gift card to a stationary store inside a blank journal (make the gift even more personal with this journal that you can fill in yourself creating a very memorable keepsake).
- Buy a dollar store frame and place the paper gift card to a photo printing website like Shutterfly inside the frame.
- Buy a bag of trail mix and tape the paper gift card to an outdoor store like REI to the back of it. Another idea for outdoor enthusiasts is to buy a water bottle with a handle you can hook to a day pack like this one and roll up the paper gift card and place it inside the bottle.
- Get a tacky knickknack and place it in a bag with a home decor e-gift card and a note that says “Just kidding, get rid of this and pick out something you love.” (not into gag gifts? wrap the card inside a tea towel)
- Buy a runner their favorite electrolyte drink and tape a paper gift card to an athletic store to it. Another idea would be to buy a runner’s belt like this one and place the gift card inside the expandable pocket.
Wrap It Around Or In Something They Love
If you can’t think of something that matches the theme of the gift card, why not print it out on paper and then tape it or wrap it around something small that you know they will love?
- Wrap it around a theatre sized box of their favorite candy.
- Wrap it around a king-sized version of their favorite chocolate bar.
- Tape it to the bottom of a small box of assorted chocolates.
- Put it inside the middle of a canning jar that is full of their favorite candy.
- Put it inside the front cover of a dollar store crossword or word search book.
- Put it inside the front cover of the latest edition of their favorite magazine that you know they rarely buy themselves.
Wrap It With A Bit Of Creativity
- Make felt envelopes that fit the printed gift cards (here is a tutorial on how to make one).
- Get creative and make a card to place the gift card in (here is a really simple way to make a homemade card).
- Purchase printed paper cookie bags and place the printed e-gift card inside. Or you can buy plain ones and stamp them for an even more personal touch. Shut the bags with either a sticker or punch a hole and use a ribbon to close.
- Print the digital card out on paper (not card stock) and roll it up and place it inside a balloon.
- Purchase some plain brown lunch sacks, weight the bottom with a theatre sized box of candy and place the gift card on top. Hole punch the top and tie it shut with a ribbon. To make it extra fancy color or stamp the bag before you place things inside.
- If you are giving digital gift cards to the entire family, download this star template and print some out on yellow card stock, glue gift card information to the back sides, string them on a piece of yarn or cord and place them across your mantel or wrap it around your tree.
Earn The Gift Cards Doing Things You Already Do
Now that you have ideas about how to give a digital gift card creatively, did you know you can earn digital gift cards by doing things you probably do already? Yes, you can. I have been doing this for years now. These programs are simple to use and once you get in the habit of using them the rewards will start adding up to several gift cards a month.
A List Of Ways You Can Earn Gift Cards Doing What You Already Do
In each section, I am just going to list the name of the app or website that will offer you points that you can cash in for gift cards when you do the following actions. For a more detailed description of each program visit this post.
Earn Gift Cards While You Grocery Shop
I have been using Ibotta for several years now and have earned dozens of gift cards. The app keeps getting better and better with each new update. It is good for so much more than saving money on groceries; they work with all types of businesses, both brick and mortar and online. Go here to sign up for Ibotta.
Use my referral code RE9FU at sign-up and receive bonus points when you complete your first receipt.
Fetch Rewards allows you to earn 25 points from each grocery receipt you scan (any store). However, you earn even more points when the receipt has items on it that are a particular brand or part of one of their current promotions. I love that you can cash out at just 3,000 points for a $3 gift card–it doesn’t take long to earn enough points to reach that level.
Open up the CoinOut app, hit scan, and snap a photo of your receipt. CoinOut will then reward you with a random amount of cents. I have earned as high as .08 cents for one receipt. The best part–you can cash out for an Amazon gift card whenever you want, although I would wait until you at least have a few dollars. Go here to sign-up for CoinOut.
Checkout 51 has changed over the years. I used to use the app’s any brand rebates to save money at Aldi, but now it doesn’t offer those. Instead, it offers rebates that tend to be $1 or higher on name-brand items. It still works at any store, though. I might not be able to grab a rebate each week, but I still look because when I can, it is always worth my time and effort. Go here to sign-up for Checkout 51.
Receipt Hog is a slow earner, but it is simple to use and fun! You can upload almost any type of receipt, and when you do, you receive either coins or spins. When you spin and get 3 in a row, you earn coins. Go here to sign up for Receipt Hog and use my referral code YECT1667 during sign up to start your account off with a few spins.
For more ways to put your receipts to work, read this post.
Earn Gift Cards While You Shop Online
If you frequently shop online, get the Rakuten browser tool, which makes it easy to start earning cash back at all qualifying websites. Rakuten does have a $5 cash out threshold and it does only give out payments each quarter, but it is well worth using. I have received as much as $15 in cash back from one order. Go here to sign-up for Rakuten.
Mr. Rebates doesn’t seem to get mentioned by many other bloggers and I am not sure why, as it is a great program. The simplest way to use Mr. Rebates is to download the browser tool so that it will alert you if Mr. Rebates offers a cash back to the website you are about to buy something from. You do need to have a balance of $10 to be able to cash out, but once you do, you can cash out at any time. Go here to sign up for Mr.Rebates.
There are things I like about TopCashBack, such as the fact that there is no cash out threshold, and you get a bonus for cashing out for certain gift cards. However, there are also a few things I don’t like, such as no browser tool, meaning you have to remember to go to the TopCashBack site first and then the site you are shopping at, and it sometimes takes weeks for your cash back to become available. However, I feel like TopCashBacks no cash out threshold makes it an excellent fit for those that don’t shop online often, so I still like mentioning it to my readers. Go here to sign up for TopCashBack.
Learn which cash back company helped me make $75 while still in my pajamas one Black Friday.
Earn Gift Cards While You Search The Web, Buy Daily Deals, Print Coupons, & More!
Two things I like about Swagbucks is that it offers over 20 ways to earn points, which means you will probably find a few ways to earn points doing things you already do online. The other thing I like is that cash outs for gift cards start at just 300 points for a $3 gift card–no waiting forever to earn enough points to get a return for your time spent. Go here to sign-up for Swagbucks.
MyPoints is the first point rewards program I ever joined, and I am still a member today over a decade later. My favorite way to earn points with MyPoints is through their emails, where you can earn 5 points just for clicking through to the website advertised in the email. I earn several $3 gift cards to Amazon each year just by doing this one point earning action–and MyPoints offers many more ways to earn points. Go here to sign-up for MyPoints.
The “insta” in InstaGC stands for what I love most about this point rewards company–you get your gift cards instantly. No waiting days or sometimes weeks for your hard-earned rewards. And cash outs for gift cards start at just 100 points for a $1 gift card for some options. Go here to sign-up for InstaGC.
For a complete list of point reward programs I have tried and liked, read this post.
Spend A Few More Minutes Each Day And Earn Even More Gift Cards
You will earn even more gift cards if you are willing to put in a bit more time and effort into performing point earning actions within a number of the programs mentioned above. I have also listed survey programs below that I have personally used to earn gift cards from with success.
A good goal to shoot for is to spend 30 minutes three evenings a week on doing additional point-earning activities. I used to do this when my children were tiny and there were only a small handful of these types of programs out there. I averaged $50 a month. Now I have readers who spend extra time on these programs and report earnings of up to $100 a month.
Again, I am just listing the names of the various companies that offer these different point earning actions, for more details on these websites and apps, read this blog post.
Fill Out Surveys
What I like about PrizeRebel is that they offer a few other ways to earn points beyond filling out surveys–such as watching videos. I also like the lower cash out options, such as the $2 Amazon gift card available for just 200 points (or 194 if you are at Diamond level). If you reach Gold level or higher most rewards (not all) are delivered instantly! Go here to sign-up for PrizeRebel.
PaidViewpoint is still on my daily “do it” list. Each day I hop over to PaidViewpoint and check and see if they have any surveys for me. I spend the time doing so because the surveys are always short and sweet. Sure they don’t pay much per survey, but I also don’t have to deal with the frustrating and time-consuming survey screening process. Go here to sign up for PaidViewpoint.
I tried out Survey Junkie after a reader recommended it. Yes, there are surveys there with those irritating screening questions, but Survey Junkie usually gives you a few points for your troubles if you should get screened out. When I tried it out, I was able to reach the $10 cash out level within a few short sessions of working at the site. Go here to sign-up for Survey Junkie.
I go to Branded Surveys every day and take the daily poll for 5 points. It takes a while for me to earn a gift card doing just the daily poll, but if you do take the longer surveys, it won’t take you long. When I tried it out to see if it was a good fit for my readers, I liked the fact that they tell you how much time each survey will take so you can skip the long ones if you want.
Not sure why anyone would spend time filling out surveys? Perhaps this post will change your mind.
A Few More Ways To Earn Gift Cards With These Programs
- Watch Videos
- Play Games
- Enter codes for points (found on their social media accounts)
What you can do to earn points differs with each point rewards program which is why I suggest taking 30 minutes to an hour after signing up to familiarize yourself with all the ways to earn points.
How Easy Is It To Cash In And Receive Gift Cards?
How fast you receive your gift cards once you’ve earned enough points depends on the program. Some like InstaGC offer instant rewards, while others like Swagbucks take several days to deliver your reward. Cashing in for the reward is usually a very simple process that requires visiting the programs rewards area, picking out which one you want and ordering it.
Looking For A Specific Type Of Gift Card?
I have written a few e-gift card specific posts for those readers who wish to earn gift cards to specific stores only:
3 Posts Full Of More Great Gift Ideas:
- 10 Family Gifts Under $10
- 10 Last Minute Themed Gift Basket Ideas For Under $10
- How To Give An Act Of Service Gifts People Will Really Use: No More Coupon Books
Available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon–get your copy here!
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