Best Greeting Cards

Updated November 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

52 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best greeting cards

While digital communication is convenient, there’s something special about exchanging greeting cards in the mail.

Greeting cards might be the communication mode of yesteryear, but nonetheless, they’re the foundation of a multibillion-dollar industry. Holiday and special occasion greeting cards are the most widely sent, followed by thank you notes and “just because” cards.

Of course, sentimentality comes with a price. Greeting cards can get expensive when purchased individually, which is why many consumers invest in greeting card value packs that contain anywhere from 6 to 100 greeting cards. Besides getting a real bang for your buck, it’s convenient to have an assortment of cards at your disposal.

Add a personal touch to your next exchange with a greeting card. Here’s our roundup of the ones we’re excited about.

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It’s convenient to have a stash of greeting cards on hand, so make sure you have enough stamps and address labels as well. This means you can simply write the card and put it out for the mail carrier to take.

Key considerations

Size and weight

While there’s no standard size for greeting cards, the vast majority are designed to be mailed with an ordinary postage stamp. As a result, their dimensions are around 4 x 6 inches. When placed in an envelope, most of these cards weigh 1 ounce or less.

With that said, card sizes can vary considerably, and some exceed the dimension and weight limit for regular mail. For these greeting cards, you’d need to affix additional stamps. Either use a home postage scale to determine the necessary postage, or head to a U.S. post office where a worker will weigh it out and charge you accordingly.

Quality

It’s a bit of a gamble when it comes to card and envelope quality in value packs. Generally speaking, the best greeting cards are more expensive per package and come from reputable manufacturers. There are also top-quality handmade greeting card sets, and given the craftsmanship and artistry behind them, they tend to be on the expensive side.

Compare quality by taking into consideration the cardstock as well as the integrity of the envelope. Top-notch cards are rigid with modest weight to them, and they fit well inside their envelopes. Lower-quality cards and envelopes are on the flimsy side. A telltale sign of low quality is the glue on the envelope; if it’s not properly aligned or seems to lack stickiness, consider another package.

Materials

Greeting cards are typically made of paper and cardboard. Embellished styles can have glitter ribbon, poms, or other textile details.

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly set of greeting cards, there are some on the market made from recycled materials. These manufacturers often purchase recycled paper goods or turn to their own factory for discarded materials. Most recycled or eco-friendly greeting cards are marked accordingly on the back.

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Did You Know?
There are greeting card sets geared toward kids. These are great to help little ones practice their handwriting and letter-writing skills at the same time.
Staff
BestReviews

Types of greeting cards

Individual vs. value packs

Greeting cards purchased individually are far more expensive than value packs — this particularly applies to specialty cards with pop-up or musical elements. Value packs, on the other hand, stick to simple designs to keep their prices competitive.

Basic assortment

A basic assortment of greeting cards covers common occasions including birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations, and get well cards. Certain sets include sympathy, blank, or thank you cards as well. They’re ideal if you want a well-rounded collection of cards, but you might end up buying special cards for loved ones anyway.

Blank assortment

A blank assortment package is a versatile option, especially for those who enjoy writing letters and thank you notes. More often than not, they have a central theme as a cohesive stationery set. They’re not the best choice for special occasions like birthdays, so many consumers think of them as a supplemental collection of “just because” cards.

Holiday assortment

Holiday greeting card sets are some of the best-selling value packs. These typically feature holiday-specific inscriptions, and they sometimes come with decorative envelopes. The cards may feature the same art that you see on the cover, which means you simply have a package of identical cards, or they may include an assortment of designs with a central theme.

Thank you notes

Thank you notes are ideal to express your gratitude, especially after receiving gifts. These are usually inscribed with “thank you” on the front or inside of the card. There are also thank you card sets geared toward specific occasions, such as those sent after bridal or baby showers and weddings.

Including a few pages of a letter can add to the total weight of your greeting card, so it might require additional postage.

Staff
BestReviews

Features

Case

Smaller sets of greeting cards are packaged in vacuum-sealed bags, but deluxe assortments are often packaged in durable boxes. Some greeting card sets come with their own hinged case, which can be used to organize other cards and stationery items.

Seals

High-end greeting cards often come with envelope seals for an upscale finishing touch. These are most commonly seen as gold or silver foil medallions, though some sets include embossed seals with intricate scrollwork.

Bonus items

Greeting card sets usually come with cards and envelopes. However, some are packaged with bonus items like extra envelopes, stationery, or stickers. It’s also common to see desktop calendars, mini address books, and picture frames included with cards.

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Did You Know?
Buying holiday greeting cards off-season means big savings. You’ll be able to snag fancy embellished cards for the following year for a fraction of the price — so stock up.
Staff
BestReviews

Greeting card prices

Greeting cards cost between $5 and $50 per package, depending on quality and quantity.

  • Greeting cards in sets of up to 12 cards are usually priced between $5 and $12. These tend to be on the basic side when it comes to design. Those at the top of the bracket have superior card and envelope quality.
  • Larger sets with up to 50 cards cost between $12 and $35. Quality can be hit-or-miss, especially in sets with more cards. These sets often come with well-made storage cases.
  • Greeting cards priced between $35 and $50 include highly embellished cards from top names in the industry. They often have foil-lined envelopes and other stationery items. While these sets only include up to 25 cards, you can feel the quality in each one, making them well worth the investment.

Tips

  • Double-check information. Make sure you have the correct address and spelling of names when sending cards to avoid embarrassing mishaps or lost mail.
  • Buy fun greeting cards. It’s a treat to receive a greeting card, so invest in a fun, colorful set to delight your recipients.
  • Use as wall art. If you love the design of a greeting card, frame it and put it on the wall.
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While greeting card value sets save time and money, some occasions are better suited for individually purchased cards. It’s far more personal, for example, to buy special wedding or sympathy cards.

FAQ

Q. Does it matter what type of pen I use to write greeting cards?

A. You can use any pen you like, provided the ink isn’t susceptible to smears or bleeds. Rollerball pens, for example, use ink that takes time to dry. In this case, you’d need to leave the card open for a minute or two before closing it to minimize ink transfer. The ink in ballpoint pens tends to dry faster, so you can write your card and close it immediately without much, if any, ink transfer.

Q. How will I know whether my greeting cards require additional postage?

A. Some greeting cards, especially those by industry leaders, state on the packaging whether additional postage is required. They won’t stipulate how much is necessary, but it’s a helpful heads-up so you can affix an extra stamp or head to the post office. Not all greeting cards list this information, so when in doubt, weigh it on a postal or kitchen scale.

Q. How can I recycle old greeting cards?

A. You can donate them to art or afterschool programs, nursing homes, or special needs schools. Many people craft handmade greeting cards from old ones, so your donation will give them a wider assortment of materials to use. You can also save them for your own paper crafts or repurpose them as bookmarks or makeshift shopping lists.

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