Gift Edit 2023

54 Surprisingly Thoughtful Gift Card Ideas for Birthdays, Special Occasions, and Holidays

updated Dec 12, 2023
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This feature is part of Apartment Therapy's Gift Edit, our editor-curated collection of gift ideas. Need more inspiration? Check out all our guides here.

There’s a misconception that presenting someone with a gift card is the easy way out of gift-giving, that they require little to no thoughtfulness and can be handed off to just anybody on your list — but that notion couldn’t be further from the truth! Gift cards unlock loads of possibilities for your giftees, and taking care to choose just the right one is all part of the fun.

The gift cards below balance thoughtfulness and delight, making them perfect for the December holiday season, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and any other happy occasion worth celebrating. Instead of giving your loved ones a few bucks to cash in somewhere generic, gift them something with intention. We curated the list below to help you find the perfect thing, whether you’re feeding their coffee habit or outfitting their bed with a cozy sheet set. The only tough part? Narrowing down exactly which gift card to buy — they’re all that good.

Credit: Master Class

1. Master Class

You’re never too old to learn — especially when it comes from gleaning knowledge from masters of their craft like Gordon Ramsay, Alicia Keys, Shonda Rhimes, and more. Master Class gives your recipient access to all the greats, with dedicated lessons geared towards upping their knowledge around the things that interest them the most, like songwriting, cooking, and interior design. Gift a membership, and watch their world open up.

Buy: Master Class Gift Card, from $10/month

2. Away Travel

On the subject of travel… the jet-setters on your gift list will be thrilled to receive a gift card from Away, an editor-favorite, go-to brand for stylish, durable luggage. After all, a gift card is a much better approach than trying to guess what you think they’ll want! The recipient can choose the piece (or pieces) that they want, from large checked bags and tech-friendly wheeled carry-ons to totes, pouches, and waterproof duffles.

Buy: Away Travel Gift Card, from $50

Credit: Fellow Products

3. Fellow

Have a friend who can’t get enough coffee, tea, and the like? Trust us, their eyes will light up when they receive your gift card from Fellow. The San Francisco-based company is known for its array of barista-worthy gear for the home, whether that means sumptuous coffee beans, an elegant French press, stylish mugs, or Stagg kettles that look gorgeous on the table, stove, and countertop.

Buy: Fellow Gift Card, from $25

Credit: Greyston Bakery

4. Greyston Bakery

An editor favorite, Greyston Bakery makes the delicious brownies and blondies that Ben & Jerry’s uses in its ice cream — and with a Greyston gift card, your friends and family won’t have to dig through the pint to get to the good stuff. Shoppers can choose from mouth-watering flavors like Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Snickerdoodle Blondie. If your giftee has an altruistic side, they’ll love knowing that the money you spent supports the brand’s mission to create meaningful job opportunities for people in need.

Credit: The Sill

5. The Sill

For the plant parent in your life, a gift card from The Sill opens the gate to a long list of happy, healthy potted plants to choose from. From stylish varieties like monstera and fiddle leaf figs to pet-friendly plants such as majesty palms and air plants, you’ll find options for every personality type. The site also sells sculptural planters and stands for your plant-loving pal who’s full up on greenery but always in the market for accessories.

Buy: The Sill Gift Card, from $25

Credit: Framebridge

6. Framebridge

Help them make the most of their family memories — or at the very least, get their photos off their phone — with a gift certificate to Framebridge. Through the company, they can custom-frame practically anything (including clothing and objects, like matchbooks!) and rely on the pros at Framebridge to help them pull together the perfect gallery wall.

Buy: Framebridge Gift Card, from $25

Credit: Zach & Zoe

7. Zach & Zoe Sweet Bee Farm

The delectable jars of raw honey from Zach & Zoe are nothing short of lovely. Their wildflower honey with raspberry is a particularly sweet addition to a bowl of granola and Greek yogurt. It’s the little things that make a big impact, after all.

Buy: Zach & Zoe Sweet Bee Farm Gift Card, from $25

Credit: Chewy

8. Chewy

Help your favorite pet parent show their fur baby some love with a thoughtful gift card to pet mega-site Chewy. Your contribution will give your giftee the funds to score everything from food and medicine (necessities!) to toys and costumes (arguably also necessities?).

Buy: Chewy Gift Card, from $25

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9. Brooklinen

Giving someone the invitation to splurge on new sheets (or sweats!) is an excellent idea — and Brooklinen’s bedding collection is well-loved by Apartment Therapy editors. The brand’s cozy clothes are also pretty darn nice, so your giftees can treat themselves to something comfy that they’ll practically live in but probably wouldn’t buy for themselves.

Buy: Brooklinen Gift Card, from $50

Credit: Fly By Jing

10. Fly By Jing

We love this gift idea for Fly By Jing fans and for those who have yet to try these Sichuan pantry staples and meal-startersThe gift card comes in a variety of dollar amounts, and it’s good for everything on the website, including the highly craveable chili crisp and Hot Ones’ famous hot sauce.

Buy: Fly By Jing Gift Card, from $25

Credit: Tsetsen Ubushiev/Shutterstock.com

11. A Local Mutual Aid Group

Mutual aid groups are community networks that voluntarily exchange resources and services for the benefit of everyone (think: doing grocery runs for someone in need or raising money for a neighbor who’s behind on rent). Donating to one will take your dollar a bit farther than it would if you donated to a larger charity since your giftee will see firsthand the good work it does for their community.

12. Uncommon Goods

If you’re shopping for a truly unique pal or loved one, sometimes only the quirkiest, most off-the-beaten-path gift will do. That’s where Uncommon Goods comes in. As the name so aptly suggests, the retailer has the market cornered on unique and unusual (but so cool!) gifts you may not find elsewhere, from artisan-crafted jewelry to eye-catching home decor.

Buy: Uncommon Goods Gift Card, from $5

Credit: Tandem Coffee Roasters

13. Tandem Coffee Roasters

Buying the good stuff is a big part of any coffee lover’s wish list, but it’s not always a reality for budget-conscious caffeine fiends. A Tandem Coffee Roasters gift card lets the java fan in your life choose their own roast from the Portland, ME-based roaster that makes a variety of editor-favorite blends.

Buy: Tandem Coffee Roasters Gift Certificate, from $10

Credit: Door Dash

14. Door Dash

Whether your friend or family member just welcomed a little one to the family, loves to curl up for dinner and a movie on the couch, or is just overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, a Door Dash gift card is the gift that keeps on giving. With it, they’ll be able to order delivery from hundreds of restaurants in their area, forever answering the question “What’s for dinner tonight?”

Buy: Door Dash Gift Certificate, from $25

Credit: Zeel

15. Zeel

Just about everyone could use something to ease the tension, right? Here’s how Zeel works: They send a certified, licensed massage therapist straight to your giftee’s home. Rates vary by location, from $117 to $182 for a 60-minute session, including gratuity.

Buy: Zeel Gift Card, from $25

Credit: Uber

16. Uber Eats

Uber Eats puts hundreds of local restaurants within easy reach, so score a gift card for someone who can use a break from cooking… or who never started cooking to begin with! Enter your loved one’s address here to make sure Uber Eats is available where they live.

Buy: Uber Eats Gift Card, from $25

Credit: Wine.com

17. Wine.com

Wine really is one of the best gifts out there, but what if you get a bottle of Chablis for your mom when what she really wanted was chardonnay (gasp!)? Wine.com’s gift cards save you from having to remember what everybody likes to sip — a gift for you and for them.

Buy: Wine.com Gift Card, from $25

Credit: AirBnB

18. Airbnb

Sometimes escaping the walls of one’s own home is the only way to maintain sanity. Gifting your parent or loved one the chance to choose an experience or accommodations from Airbnb is a great bet for anyone who needs a break.

Buy: Airbnb Gift Card, from $100

Credit: Poketo

19. Poketo

You know how you sometimes buy notebooks and cute stationery intending to use them, but then you never do? Well, not with Poketo! They sell lots of super-cute stuff, but Poketo’s stationery is on another level with splashy designs like the Tutti Frutti Postcards and even a holographic notebook. A Poketo gift card gives your friends and family the freedom to pick their own snazzy patterns.

Buy: Poketo Gift Card, from $20

Credit: Havenly

20. Havenly

Working with an interior designer might sound like it’s only for champagne budgets, but companies like Havenly offer relatively affordable decorating services online. Know someone who’s been complaining about not knowing which colors to paint the bedroom or what art to choose for the living room? Try a Havenly gift card, which can be purchased as a merchandise credit or in the form of a personal consultation. (Check out our review here.)

Buy: Havenly Gift Card, from $50

Credit: Fresh Direct

21. FreshDirect

You know you’re an adult when you’re excited about a gift card for groceries. If you have a loved one who lives in New York, New Jersey, or parts of Connecticut (see the whole list here), give them the gift of free food with a FreshDirect gift card. It makes an especially thoughtful gift for new parents or recent college grads who could use some extra help — they can splurge on that specialty Gruyère they wouldn’t have stuck in their cart otherwise.

Buy: FreshDirect Gift Card, from $20

Credit: MNStudio/Shutterstock.com

22. A Local Restaurant

If you’ve heard your loved one raving about the takeout from a Thai place down the street or itching to try the new gastropub in town, grab a gift card that both helps support the local economy and gives your hungry giftee the delicious dishes they crave.

Credit: Maha Alex/Shutterstock.com

23. A Local Chamber of Commerce

So maybe you don’t actually know which restaurant to choose? No matter! Approaching the local chamber of commerce for a gift card to businesses around the neighborhood is a great way to encourage your recipient to shop and eat locally.

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24. Etsy

Apartment Therapy readers are usually inclined to refresh their living spaces as often as possible. If your loved one is a fan of the site and hard at work on a new gallery wall layout, an Etsy gift card is just the ticket for the finishing touches. Because art handcrafted by real people is one of the best gifts of all. Check out our top recommendations for Etsy gifts, too.

Buy: Etsy Gift Card, from $25

Credit: Made In

25. Made In

Made In is a chef-inspired (and sometimes even chef-driven) cookware company with attractive prices. It’s a great choice for hardworking kitchen tools, like nonstick pans that last and super sharp knives. And giving a little Made In love is easier than ever with the convenient digital gift card.

Buy: Made In Gift Card, from $50

Credit: Lowe's

26. Lowe’s

Everyone has a friend or parent who’s obsessed with checking home projects off their list. If that’s the kind of person you’re shopping for, a Lowe’s gift card will do the trick. If you’ve ever gone through a home renovation, you know that you wind up at the store way more often than you think — and a gift card just might ease that pain for someone else.

Buy: Lowe’s Gift Card, from $50

Credit: Global Giving

27. Global Giving

A gift card from Global Giving allows your recipient to give the funds to a project or charity that matters to them. They can choose one or several initiatives to support, from education to human rights, and still get those warm, fuzzy feelings that come from donating.

Buy: Global Giving Gift Card, from $10

Credit: REI

28. REI

With more and more people getting outside each year, there’s a very good chance someone on your gift list can’t get enough of the great outdoors. Whether it’s hiking, camping, biking, or simply going for more walks, outdoor activities call for rad outdoor gear. With an REI gift card, your recipient will be able to select the stuff that’s right for them online or in stores.

Buy: REI Gift Card, from $10

Credit: Target

29. Hulu

If you’re sick of your parents or loved one using your Hulu account, this Hulu gift card might be the perfect way to gently encourage them to spring for their own account. Then you’ll both finally get to enjoy all the “Handmaid’s Tale,” “Only Murders in the Building,” and “The Kardashians” without locking the other one out.

Buy: Hulu Gift Card, from $25 at Target

Credit: P.F. Candle Co.

30. P.F. Candle Co

Every so often, the editors of Apartment Therapy light up one of our Slack channels with their thoughts on candles. One of the most popular? P.F. Candle Co., a chic candle brand with some really unique scents. A gift card will let your wick-burning loved one pick out their own singular scent from a superb selection, though we are partial to this particular fragrance.

Buy: P.F. Candle Co Gift Card, from $25

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31. Origins

Make your giftee look and feel beautiful and refreshed with an Origins gift card. We love their GinZing moisturizer, and the body scrubs are great, too. Bottom line: Your loved one won’t go wrong with whatever self-care products they choose.

Buy: Origins Gift Card, from $25

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32. Thrive Market

If you’ve never used Thrive Market before, it’s like virtually stepping into the biggest organic grocery store you’ve ever seen. The online retailer stocks 6,000 different organic, non-GMO, and nontoxic products from sustainable brands, all with the benefit of wholesale markdowns. So whether your giftee is prone to bouts of Whole30 or just loves artisanal energy bars, a Thrive Market gift card enables a specialty store online shopping experience for pantry staples.

Buy: Thrive Market Gift Card, from $25

Credit: L.L.Bean

33. L.L.Bean

New Englanders know that there are no bad choices when it comes to L.L.Bean, so let an L.L.Bean gift card fill in the gaps in your loved one’s outdoor gear arsenal. They can score everything from wintertime mittens and sweaters to summer essentials like fire pits and s’mores kits.

Buy: L.L.Bean Gift Card, from $25

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34. Bookshop.org

If your giftee is a bookworm and you’re finding it tough to wrangle a gift card from a local shop in their town of residence, might we suggest Bookshop.org? The online store helps support local booksellers across the country by giving 75 percent of its profit margins to independent shops.

Buy: Bookshop.org Gift Card, from $10

Credit: Handy

35. Handy

Is there a more thoughtful gift on earth than that of completed chores? A three-hour house-cleaning package from online handyman service company Handy starts at $99, but you can also gift cleaning bundles or just two hours of general handyman services like furniture assembly and TV mounting.

Buy: Handy Gift Card, from $99

Credit: Disney+

36. Disney+

Perhaps your loved one has been putting off subscribing to Disney+? Let them start sooner rather than later by gifting them a year-long subscription. While this isn’t a gift card in the traditional sense, it’s a present that’ll bring joy all year long.

Buy: Disney+ Gift Card, from $25

Credit: Blue Apron

37. Blue Apron

Deliver a nutritious dinner to your loved one tonight — without lifting a finger. Blue Apron, a meal kit service, offers gift cards that can be used toward their signature meal plan offerings. Give them in any denomination, though we recommend starting off with at least $70, the cost of a one-week delivery.

Buy: Blue Apron Gift Card, from $70

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38. Sugarwish

Putting its own unique spin on the concept of the gift card, Sugarwish is all about presents. You choose the category (cookies, candy, cocktail mixers, cocoa, and even candles, to name a few) and quantity that you want to give. Instead of receiving a gift card for a specific dollar amount, your loved one will get to choose from a slew of items within the category you chose. It’s a great way to show that you care while also guaranteeing that your giftee gets exactly what they want.

Buy: Sugarwish Gift Card, from $25

Credit: Lula's Garden

39. Lula’s Garden

Specializing in gorgeous arrangements of succulents and ornamentals, Lula’s Garden is one of our new favorite sources for botanically inspired gifting. Your recipient can choose the exact right size and style of plant arrangement that’s right for their space. Then the gardening gurus at Lula’s will create an elegant display that’s easy to care for, making it a great choice for loved ones who travel a lot — or whose thumbs are as far from green as it gets.

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40. Goldbelly

Feed their tastebuds and wanderlust in one go with a gift card to Goldbelly. The diverse online food retailer brings the best eateries around the country right to your front door via creative presents from world-renowned spots, like cheesecake from NYC’s Juniors and Trash Can Nachos from Guy Fieri’s. It’s the ideal present for a favorite foodie who loves the story behind their meals almost as much as the food itself.

Buy: Goldbelly Gift Card, from $100

Credit: Spa Finder

41. Spa Finder

Gift some well-deserved rest and relaxation with a Spa Finder gift card. Your recipient can splurge on everything from products to services using the Spa Finder site to search top-rated locations in their area for facials, massages, haircuts, and more.

Buy: Spa Finder Gift Card, from $50

Credit: Aesop

42. Aesop

There’s no better way to say you care about someone than by giving them the gift of self-care — and making your home a comfortable space is key to taking care of yourself. Whether it be in the form of the retailer’s fresh-scented candle, linen spray, or luxe, hotel-favorite hand soap, an Aesop gift card is always a good idea. 

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43. Cozy Earth

A good night’s sleep is invaluable — and Cozy Earth has a range of products your loved one can choose to help them upgrade their bedding. (We love the brand’s Oprah-approved linen sheet set, which we found to be extremely breathable and seriously soft!)

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44. Vego Garden

We all have a gardening pro in our lives — or someone who’s always wanted to try their hand at growing their own food or flowers. You can’t go wrong with a Vego Garden gift card, allowing your loved one to pick from a variety of their metal garden beds. Plus, it can be something that you and your giftee do together, and you can’t put a price tag on quality time.

Buy: Vego Garden eGift Card, from $25

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45. Wayfair

When it comes to home furnishings at Wayfair, the sky’s the limit — and your giftee will certainly appreciate the online mega-retailer’s giant collection. From small upgrades such as lamps, organizers, and kitchen tools, to rugs, furniture, and bedding that can completely spruce up a room, Wayfair has it all. Anyone who is in the market for baby gear or pet products will also make excellent use of this gift card.

Buy: Wayfair Gift Card, from $25

Credit: Article

46. Article

Well-made, long-lasting furniture is also a bit of an investment. A gift card to Article helps someone special in your life get the sofa, chair, or table they really want, and best of all, you know they’re going to invite you over to enjoy it yourself! Article also sells modern storage pieces, outdoor sets, and beds. So whatever kind of furniture upgrade you want to help someone with, they’ll find the perfect thing at Article.

Buy: Article Gift Card, from $25

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47. Sijo

If the person you’re shopping for hasn’t tried eucalyptus bedding, or they haven’t found the right brand yet, get them a gift card to Sijo so they can experience the difference of sleeping on certifiably luxurious bedding. We recommend Sijo’s bed sheets, duvet insert, and comforter to everyone because these products offer a superior blend of coolness, smoothness, and durability. Their mattress protectors and pillows also have the power to enhance anyone’s sleep sanctuary.

Buy: Sijo Gift Card, from $25

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48. Parachute

Parachute has earned a reputation for making fantastic all-season bedding, such as their Cloud Cotton Quilt. So with a gift card to this bed and bath destination, your giftee will have the chance to experience better rest and enjoy a cozier home. Our editors were also thoroughly impressed with Parachute’s mattress, which is made all the more affordable with the right gift card.

Buy: Parachute Gift Card, from $50

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49. Boll & Branch

New blankets, bed sheets, and bath towels are always a welcome gift, but they are one area where people often resist the urge to splurge — and thus miss out on some game-changing home items. A gift card to Boll & Branch gives your giftee permission to treat themselves to bedding and bath essentials that they’re going to enjoy every single day. Our editors have personally tested a number of their products (and are so glad they did).

Credit: West Elm

50. West Elm

A gift card to one of the most coveted home goods and furniture stores is sure to surprise and delight anyone on your list. This present can make West Elm‘s high-end sofas, tables, and outdoor furniture more affordable, which is great news for anyone looking to outfit or refresh their living space. Of course, the bedding and bath essentials, as well as West Elm’s wide selection of kitchenware, would all be smart choices, too.

Buy: West Elm Gift Card, from $25

Credit: Crane & Company

51. Crane & Company

Crane & Company‘s ultra-plush bath towel is so delightful to use, our contributor Jasmine wrote that she wanted to gift it to everyone on her list after trying it herself. Whoever you give this gift card to will be equally excited at the prospect of refreshing their bedroom or bathroom with new linens, bath mats, shower curtains, and more. They could also pick up one of Crane & Company’s exquisitely smooth silk sleep mask and pillowcase sets to enjoy a better night’s sleep every night.

Credit: Coyuchi

52. Coyuchi

Give someone special in your life the chance to pick out a blanket or bedding set that will keep them comfy and cozy all year round. We’re big fans of Coyuchi‘s throw blankets, which come in heavyweight and lightweight options, and their sheets and comforters truly knocked our testers’ socks off. Your giftee could also go for one of their ulta-comfy robes or a set of luxury bath towels to really feel like they’re treating themselves.

Buy: Coyuchi Gift Card, from $50

Credit: Urban Outfitters

53. Urban Outfitters

Our editors routinely find incredibly stylish and practical home goods and decor items at Urban Outfitters, so a gift card for this retailer is an all-access ticket to upgrades for the living room, bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. Their furniture selection is impressive, so this card could go toward the purchase of a new coffee table, sofa, or storage unit. Although new clothes or shoes are good choices, too.

Credit: Ettitude

54. Ettitude

Give the gift of luxe bedding with an Ettitude gift card. The brand is home to some of our favorite pieces of bedding made from luxurious bamboo designed to give your giftee the cooling sleep they deserve.