Study Finds the Best and Worst Gift Cards to Buy This Holiday Season

Gift cards have consistently been the No. 1 most-requested gift for eight years in a row. Read on to learn about the best and worst gift cards of the holiday season revealed in a new report from GOBankingRates

Nov 23, 2015, 07:15 ET from GOBankingRates

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Nordstrom, Amazon and Walmart offer the best gift cards for holiday shoppers, according to a new report from leading personal finance website

To come up with its ranking, GOBankingRates surveyed gift card offerings from 30 major retailers and providers on 10 factors that most affect gift card appeal including ease of purchase and redemption as well as avoiding costs.1

Ranking: 10 Retailers Offering the Best Gift Cards of 2015:

  1. Nordstrom
  2. Amazon
  3. Walmart
  4. Starbucks
  5. Lowe's
  6. Macy's
  7. JCPenney
  8. Target
  9. Toys"R"Us
  10. Best Buy

To see the worst gift cards to buy, visit: 

"Gift cards can make it much easier to get through your holiday shopping list, but our study shows that not all gift cards are winners," said Elyssa Kirkham, lead reporter on the GOBankingRates study. "The best gift cards stood out by offering a convenient and cheap way to give with features like free shipping or the option to send a gift card digitally. Some retailers even reward customers who buy and use their gift cards."

Additional Insights:

  • Purchasing Fees & Expiration: None of the 10 best gift cards charge purchasing fees or have an expiration date.
  • Rewards: For registering your gift card and joining My Starbucks Rewards™, Starbucks rewards customers with a $5 off coupon, while 1% of all Nordstrom gift card purchases are donated.
  • Balance Requirements: The Amazon gift card can be purchased for balances as low as $0.50, while the next lowest balance requirements come from Walmart, Starbucks, Lowe's and Target who require just $5.

1 For the full methodology, visit

About GOBankingRates is a leading portal for personal finance and consumer banking information, offering visitors the latest on everything from finding a good interest rate to strategies for saving money, investing for retirement and getting a loan. Its editors are regularly featured on top-tier media outlets, including U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, Business Insider, DailyFinance, Huffington Post and more. It specializes in connecting consumers with the best financial institutions and banking products nationwide.


Connie Lundegard, Media Relations
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SOURCE GOBankingRates