Gift cards get a lot of slack for being thoughtless gifts, but for those of us who have particular taste, we couldn’t be happier to open a card to find the gift of freedom to shop for what we actually want inside. Nevertheless, it’s still hard to decide what gift cards offer the most excitement and usefulness for each personality type in your life. Fortunately, we’re here to help. Here’s our guide to the best holiday gift cards 2013 for Canadians.
Etsy Gift Cards
For: The artsy friend whose vintage and DIY style is impossible to please.
Why: It’s hard to find a gift for the bohemian in your life, mainly because he or she takes pleasure in scouring the globe to find the cool and unique things that make his or her wardrobe so one-of-a-kind to begin with. An Etsy gift card shows that you understand their love of the hunt (and they start as low as $25 CAD).
Chapters Indigo & Starbucks Electronic Gift Cards
For: The person you had no idea was going to send you a gift but totally did and now you look bad.
Why: Received a beautiful basket from a friend who you had on the “C-list” but who obviously considers you one of his closest pals? An electronic gift card is the way to go. Chapters Indigo’s electronic gift certificate lets you email your gift card to the recipient on whatever date you select. Likewise, the Starbucks eGift lets you send a simple card along with your gift (which can be as minimal as $5). You can buy them both online so Christmas Eve shopping just got even easier.
iTunes Gift Card
For: That relative you don’t know very well but feel obliged to spoil, impress and win over.
Why: Maybe you have no clue what music he likes or if he’s even finished a novel. An iTunes gift card lets him choose whatever he wants for Christmas at either the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store or Mac App Store.
PC Gift Cards
For: The starving artist or broke college kid.
Why: Sure, to anyone else, getting a gift certificate for groceries might seem a little thoughtless, but to anyone who’s tried to survive on Ramen noodles for weeks at a time, food with actual nutritional value is a luxury and a half. This gift rocks the world of anyone who knows what protein deficiency feels like, especially at exam time.
Via Rail Gift Cards & Porter Gift Cards
For: The loved one you miss more than anything else in the world.
Why: How do you tell someone, in the words of Mariah Carey, “all I want for Christmas is you”? With a Via Rail or Porter gift card of course. You can pick one up at a Via Rail station (Longo’s, Pharmasave and Sears also offer $25 and $100 Via Rail gift cards, while Avondale Foods, International News and Home Hardware sell $25 ones). Porter lets you purchase gift cards online for any amount in Canadian or US dollars.
Gap Options Gift Card
For: The shoppoholic/fashionista.
Why: It’s hard to know what to buy for the girl or guy who loves to shop for clothes. If you’re worried about picking out the wrong style of sweater or even buying a gift certificate to a store they no longer like, the Gap Options GiftCard can be redeemed at any Old Navy, Gap brand, Banana Republic or Athleta store, including Outlet and Factory stores.
Visa Gift Cards
For: The proud 20-something year-old who is secretly on a tight budget.
Why: Visa gift cards are the new putting cash inside cards… and you can add more to them throughout the year if you feel like surprising your loved one with a “Happy February 23rd” gift just for the hell of it.