Our favorite retailers for gift cards since you’re late buying presents

Last Updated January 2020
By Jennifer Blair

Stressed out because the holidays are right around the corner and you haven’t finished shopping yet? 

Gift cards are the safest bet for last-minute gifts — and if you put a little thought into the cards you choose, personal enough, too.

Whether you’re shopping for your co-worker, neighbor, student, sibling, parent, or anyone else, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite retailers for crowd-pleaser gift cards. 

Since you’re out of shopping time and still need to find the perfect gift, check out these last-minute options that will save you from that dreaded awkward empty-handedness. 

Amazon eGift Card: When it’s really late and you haven’t finished your shopping, an Amazon gift card is a real lifesaver. Not only can you get one in any monetary denomination of your choosing, but you can have the card emailed right to the recipient at the very last minute. And since Amazon sells everything under the sun, anyone on your list can find something they love. 


Visa Gift Card: A Visa gift card is another no-brainer for anyone on your list. It can be used anywhere in the U.S. where Visa debit cards are accepted, so your sibling can use it at their favorite clothing store and your neighbor can use it at a restaurant they love. Plus, it can be used at plenty of online retailers for even more convenient shopping. 


Starbucks Gift Card: You’ll score big points with the caffeine junkie on your list with a Starbucks gift card. They can pick up a cup of coffee on their way to work or treat themselves to frappuccino when they need an afternoon pick-me-up. They can even use it to grab a bag of whole bean Starbucks coffee to brew their own pot at home. 


Netflix Gift Card: For that friend or family member who just has to keep up with the latest TV shows and movies, you can’t go wrong with a Netflix gift card. The card can be used to pay the monthly fees for the Netflix streaming service with an active account, so your loved one can binge Stranger Things or Black Mirror on your dime. 


Nordstrom Gift Card: A Nordstrom gift card will be a big hit with the fashionista in your life. They can pick from a wide variety of designer clothing, shoes, and accessories options as well as plenty of high-end beauty products. Nordstrom also offers plenty of home goods, including small appliances, bedding sets, and even some tech gear, so there’s a little something for everyone. 


Nike Gift Card: You’ll make the runner or workout junkie on your list very happy with a Nike gift card. It can be used at any Nike-owned retail stores, including NIKETOWN, Nike Factory Stores, and Nike Clearance Stores and Nike websites, too. That makes it easy to find a great pair of basketball shoes, the perfect track pants, or a Nike hat or visor. 


AMC Theater Gift Card: Gift your loved one a night at the movies with an AMC theater gift card. With over 1,000 locations across the U.S., there’s sure to be an AMC theater nearby, so your film-loving friend can catch the latest blockbuster they’ve been waiting for. The gift cards are also good at the concession stand, which means they can enjoy some popcorn and candy on you, too. 


Whole Foods Market Gift Card: Have a practical-minded friend or relative? They’ll definitely appreciate a Whole Foods gift card to help with their grocery shopping bill. In addition to plenty of healthy foods and pantry basics, you can pick up tasty prepared meals and even natural skincare and body products at the local Whole Foods. 


Ulta Beauty Gift Card: For that friend or relative who loves trying the latest beauty products, an Ulta gift card is a dream come true. They can splurge on a luxury face serum, pick up a fabulous new eyeshadow palette, or stock up on their favorite shampoo and conditioner. The gift cards can be used for beauty services like a hair cut or facial in Ulta salons, too. 


Southwest Airlines Gift Card: For that person who loves to travel, a Southwest Airlines gift card can help get them to their next destination a little sooner. It’s redeemable at Southwest’s website, ticket counters, or by phone, so your loved one can start planning the perfect vacation right away. 


Kohl’s Gift Card: Not sure where your friend or family member likes to shop? You really can’t go wrong with a Kohl’s gift card because the store sells a little bit of everything. From clothes for the whole family to comfy furniture to the latest electronics, there are plenty of options, so everyone can find something they need.


Best Buy Gift Card: If you’re shopping for a tech-savvy friend, a Best Buy gift card offers unlimited possibilities. From TV to laptops to video game consoles, they can buy all of the latest tech innovations either in-store or online. Best Buy also sells smartwatches, cameras, smart home devices, and even major appliances, so there really is no shortage of options.

Brinker Gift Card: Treat your favorite family member to a delicious meal out with a Brinker restaurant gift card. It’s valid across the U.S. at Chili’s Grill & Bar, On the Border, and Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurants, so there’s sure to be a location near your loved one. From ribs to enchiladas to fettuccine alfredo, the restaurants offer a wide variety of options to please any palette.