Best gift cards 2021: from trainers to tech

Brilliant gift cards that will let your loved one choose the present they really want

Best gift cards
(Image credit: Getty)

If you’ve tried and failed to find the perfect present for that lucky person who has everything, never fear, a gift card will come to your rescue in this festive 11th hour.

You might think this is cheating - and it kind of is - but it’s a much better option that resorting to a lacklustre necklace, multipack of socks or (heaven forbid) something that has novelty value that will likely languish in a drawer until at least 2031. 

So, to save your sanity and the possibility of panic buying a truly terrible gift, we recommend getting your partner, mates and family members gift cards.

The key is choosing a card from a shop that matches their style or interests, that way, they get to choose something they’ll actually use and enjoy in the New Year, while you can kick back with a tin or Quality Street and Home Alone without traipsing round 100 shops. Happy Christmas indeed!

Choosing the best gift cards

Choosing a gift card for someone boils down to a few considerations. First and foremost, it’s good to think about what their interests are. If you have a nephew who’s into photography, for example, you could pick a card from a specialist shop, or equally a handy voucher for Currys PC World or Amazon, which both offer everything from film to tripods. 

Choosing a gift card for a fashionable friend is super easy, although you might want to consider how much money you are gifting before choosing a favourite shop. £20 doesn’t go far at Net-a-Porter and other luxury retailers, but will get you a decent jumper at H&M, for example.

It’s worth checking whether you can pick up a physical card or whether e-cards are the norm. Most teenagers will be just as happy with an e-card but older relatives may not be as keen. 

And last but not least there are certain cards you simply can’t go wrong with – John Lewis and Amazon for example, which both sell pretty much everything. Eat your heart out Santa.

Selfridges gift card

(Image credit: Selfridges)

1. Selfridges gift card

Best for luxury

Reasons to buy
+Lots of departments +Top designer labels +Posh card 

If you know someone who likes the finer things in life, a Selfridges gift card will make them very, very happy this Christmas/Birthday/Fathers Day/Valentines. 

Available as an e-card or wrapped in a stylish yellow wallet, cards can be made up to £1,000 in value, which is a good job because Selfridges stocks the most luxurious clothes such as Tom Ford suits and Gucci knits. 

But there’s a lot more choice too, in the form of luxe homeware and cutting-edge tech so there really is something to suit everyone’s (expensive) tastes.

Curry's PC world gift card

(Image credit: Curry's PC World)

2. Currys PC World gift card

Best for gadget addicts

Reasons to buy
+ One stop shop for tech + Great for gamers + Photography kit covered 

Most men would like a new gadget for a special occasion, and a Currys PC World gift card will give them plenty to pick from. 

As well as the usual phones, tablets and laptops, the store offers a large choice of cameras, TVs and gaming stuff. They could even spend it on a new washing machine (if they really wanted). 

Gift cards are available from £10 to £500 and there’s a choice of designs too.

Amazon gift card

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Amazon gift card

Best for anyone

Reasons to buy
+ Everything you can think of +  Includes Kindle and Prime Video 

Some people are fussy and difficult to please, while others have pretty much everything. And this, we think, is there the Amazon gift card comes in. 

Available in amounts ranging from £10 to £1,000 the card can be used to buy pretty much anything. We can think of very few things this massive e-tailer doesn’t sell! 

For minimalists who don’t want more stuff, they can even cash it in for Kindle books, groceries or in exchange for Prime Video.

John Lewis Gift Card

(Image credit: John Lewis )

4. John Lewis Gift Card

Best for the person who has everything

Reasons to buy
+Can be used in JL and Waitrose and Partners+Covers a range of products and brands+Experience gifts also available

What to get someone who has everything? John Lewis is the perfect department store to shop in for a range of household appliances, furniture, electronics, beauty, clothing and more. They will be spoilt for choice, and can even use this gift card in Waitrose and Partners, too. John Lewis also provides experience gift cards including interior design, beauty, nursery and style experiences, which all provide personal and one-one advice on the subjects. 

The cards can be used to purchase products online and in-store, and can be used for the majority of products and services excluding a few listed on their website. If you choose to purchase the John Lewis Experience card, it comes gift wrapped in a box with ribbon and a personal message, however, if you wish to keep it green there is an e-card option also available.

Best gift card

(Image credit: SpaceNK)

5. SpaceNK Gift Card

Best for beauty junkies

Reasons to buy
+Huge variety of brands+Luxurious+Brilliant in-store experience

If you know a beauty buff who knows their Aesop to Zoeva, they would love a SpaceNK gift card. 

While the website stocks tonnes of brands - from those with cult followings to the super luxurious - the stores offer incredible customers service with knowledgeable shop assistants, making this card a perfect pick for beauty newbies as well as those who know their way around a makeup counter.

While gift cards from big department stores also make great presents for people who love to pamper, there’s something special having the change to go on a guilt-free spree in SpaceNK.

Best gift card

(Image credit: National Book Token)

6. Book Tokens

Best for book worms

Reasons to buy
+Accepted in all bookstores+Nostalgic+Educational

In the olden days before the AppStore and Xbox, kids used to get book tokens for Christmas, especially from grandparents. 

The truth is that while there is every subscription and gift care available under the sun, books tokens, or a national book gift card, which can be used in almost any bookstore in the UK, make fantastic gifts for children and adults alike. 

If you’re looking for something a little bit nostalgic, want to give a gift that’s educational, or know someone that simply loves reading, book tokens still make a great present.

Urban Outfitters gift card

(Image credit: Urban Outfitters)

7. Urban Outfitters gift card

Best for high street fashion

Reasons to buy
+ Choice of brands+ Fashion, homeware and grooming covered + Trendy name to please teens  

If you want your gift card to stretch further, Urban Outfitters is one of the trendiest high street shops for men’s fashion, as well as selling everything from grooming products and accessories to music and homeware. 

It stocks its own brand of clothes as well as sportswear and some designers, including Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s and OBEY, so there are plenty of ways to spend a card. 

Cards range in price from £10 to £1,000 (if you’re feeling super generous).

Netflix gift card

(Image credit: Netflix)

8. Netflix gift card

Best for movie buffs

Reasons to buy
+ Available in loads of shops + You can choose length of subscription 

Let's face it, TV isn’t what it used to be, so if you want to give someone the gift of banishing boredom, consider a Netflix subscription gift card. 

You can choose the amount or length of subscription so the receiver can watch jolly shows like The Crown, Sex Education or Stranger Things and a whole host of films, of course.

Netflix cards can be found in heaps of shops, or you can buy an e-card from the company’s website and load it with an amount between £15 and £100, which you can pay for using PayPal if you want.

Footlocker gift card

(Image credit: Footlocker)

9. Footlocker

Best for sneakerheads

Reasons to buy
+ Exclusive items + All your trainer needs covered 

If you’re buying for someone who loves sneakers, you’ll know it’s probably best to let them choose their own as the array of styles and colours on offer are close to infinite. 

Of course, loads of sportswear shops offer gift vouchers, but Footlocker is a good bet as it also has exclusive items so there’s less chance of spotting someone with the same pair of shoes.

Whether the person in your life is after timeless Stan Smiths or trendy Nike 97s, there’s a sneaker to suit everyone.

Thread Gift card

(Image credit: Thread)

10. Thread gift card

Best for fashionable wannabes

Reasons to buy
+ Personalisation service + Range of brands + Fresh customer experience 

If the person in your life could do with a bit of a style overhaul or hates shopping, a Thread gift card could be a great gift for both of you!

The online shop aims to make style simpler by recommending clothes to suit an individual’s preferences and lifestyle, then suggests lots of items to make them look great from a range of brands to suit their budget.

E-cards are available and boxed physical cards are also on offer for £30 to £200.

Net-a-Porter gift card

(Image credit: Neta Porter)

11. Net-a-Porter gift cards

Best for fashionistas

Reasons to buy
+ A luxury option + Lots of brands to choose from + Great customer service 

 Any fashionista knows the excitement of receiving a black box from Net-a-Porter. 

But if you don’t know your McQueen from your McCartney you can let her choose something luxurious with a gift card.

Printed gift cards range from £50 to £1,000 and can arrive in a luxury black box complete with a ribbon. 

Net-a-Porter is one of those shops where £10 wouldn’t go far, although it now has a large beauty department and killer sales, meaning you’ll get something fancy and fabulous for £50. 

There’s also the option to send an e-card straight to a loved one’s inbox. That’s one fashionable email we’d love to open.

H&M gift card

(Image credit: H&M)

12. H&M gift card

Best for budget fashion

Reasons to buy
+ Offers value t-shirts to cashmere + Could be spent on homeware too + Available in store and online 

If your budget is more XS or S, never fear, there are some great fashion gifts on the high street and anyone would be pleased to receive an H&M gift card. 

Beloved for its designer collaborations, H&M’s knitwear and denim offerings are always strong and its Premium range includes luxurious cashmere. There’s even a beauty and home department so there’s something for everyone.

Gift cards start at £10 and go up to £250 and you can buy them in store or online.

Not on the Highstreet gift card

(Image credit: Not on the Highstreet)

13. Not On The High Street gift card

Best for sentimentalists

Reasons to buy
+ Lots of homemade goodies + Personalised options + Huge choice from small retailers 

If you’re shopping for someone who values craftmanship, personalisation and uniqueness buying a gift can be incredibly tricky. 

But the good news is you can get them a gift card for Not On The High Street, which is a site offering everything from personalised jewellery to jumpers from up-and-coming designers. 

There really is something for everyone and it’s simple to buy a gift card online…the only hard bit is choosing what to spend it on.

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