gifts they might actually want

If You Don’t Know What to Get Them, Try an (Actually Useful) E-Gift Card

Photo-Illustration: Courtesy of Getty Images

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It happens to the best of us: Whether you’ve underestimated how long shipping will take, or just put off shopping for a present until the 11th hour, you’ve found yourself without a physical gift. That means it’s time to pull out the Hail Mary that’s guaranteed to delight: the e-gift card.

It’s not our best idea, but an e-gift card will at least let your giftees pick out what they want and have something to open — even if it’s just an email. Plus there are nearly endless options, from nice-to-have gift cards for their favorite clothing store to truly useful ones for services or stores where they do their daily shopping.

To get you started, here are 101 different gift cards to Strat-approved retailers that will delight anyone on your list, from the outdoor adventurer to the gamer to the avid cook to the jet-setter. If you want to earn bonus points for presentation, we recommend taking the extra step of printing out the gift card (even though a code will be emailed to them) and sticking it in a (thoughtful!) card. Or better yet, put the printout in a box and wrap it up. It’s the little things that count.

Food and drink e-gift cards

From $1

For the person who moved away from their favorite bakery or brunch spot, Goldbelly will ship food from certain restaurants and other small food businesses nationwide. Writer Lauren Ro loves Goldbelly and uses it to ship brunch from New York–based Russ & Daughter’s to her parents every year.

From $25

A particularly thoughtful gift for anyone who uses their oven to store shoes.

From $20

Nothing says, “I care” quite like covering their grocery delivery.

From $25

Shipping perishables can be logistically difficult, but a Milk Bar gift card won’t go bad in the mail.

From $25

According to Ghetto Gastro co-founder Jason GraySalt Fat Acid Heat author Samin Nosrat keeps Fly By Jing’s Sichuan Chili Crisp out on her kitchen counter.

As a tinned-fish convert, I certainly wouldn’t mind receiving a gift card to buzzy seafood company Fishwife. (In fact, the brand’s collab with Fly by Jing made the list of my top five tinned fishes.)

From $25

If they need any suggestions of what to buy with a Golde gift card, we’re big fans of the Superwhisk and Turmeric latte blend.

So they can snag a jar of spicy strawberries, a bottle of persimmon vinegar, or one of the brand’s famous tomato candles. (There’s also plenty of garden-inspired bath and body products as well.)

A Starbucks gift card is certainly not the most original gift — and we’ve made fun of them before — but you know it will get used (and definitely appreciated) by a bleary-eyed college studentteacher, or sleep-deprived parent.

So they can indulge in the infamously maximalist menu and order all the chicken-parm pizzas, fried mac-and-cheese balls, and slices of white-chocolate raspberry-truffle cheesecake their heart desires.

Travel and experiential e-gift cards

From $1

Give your workout buddy the chance to try something new with a gift card to ClassPass.

From $25

For the person who loves going to see their favorite artists and teams play live.

From $25

For the movie buff whose idea of a perfect Saturday is sneaking into three screenings in a row.

From $100

57Hours will help your recipient plan everything from ski day trips to a 21-day mountaineering expedition in Argentina.

Away
From $50
From $50

For the person who’s always leaving on a jet plane.

For the person planning an elaborate holiday getaway.

From $25

Or go with an Airbnb gift card if they’ve already accrued enough airline miles to last a lifetime.

From $25

They can use this gift card on rides to the airport or to Uber Eats some late-night munchies to their door.

From $25

Or you could give them credit toward their next Lyft ride, through the app where they can also rent a Citi Bike.

Tech e-gift cards

From $25

An iTunes gift card might be outdated, but an Apple gift card is quite useful. You can put it toward a new laptop, AirPods, or any other electronics or accessories sold by Apple, as well as pay for an Apple Music or Apple TV+ subscription.

From $15

For the person who’s always gotta have the newest tech.

From $15

For anyone who’s been forced to make their own account after Netflix’s password-sharing crackdown.

From $25

Help the cord cutter in your life upgrade to Hulu+, which comes with live TV.

From $30

A gift that everyone from your Billie Eilish superfan niece to your Swiftie cousin to your Deadhead dad will enjoy.

From $15

For the person currently subsidizing five different streamers.

From $25

If you can’t tell the difference between Gods of War and Gears of War, you should probably just give your favorite gamer a gift card.

Fashion and accessories e-gift cards

From $25

Simply — and perfectly — designed T-shirts, casual pants, sweaters, and accessories for men and women.

From $25

A J.Crew gift card would be a welcome present for someone who wants to refresh their basics. The retailer makes several Strat-recommended pieces for both men and women.

From $25

Quince’s cozy loungewear, made from luxe cashmere and French terry, will keep them warm all winter long. A gift card will let them pick their preferred color and size — or choose something else from the retailer’s vast selection of clothing, jewelry, and home goods.

From $25

From its home offerings to clothing for the entire family, anyone will be able to make use of an H&M gift card — and get a lot out of it with the brand’s affordable pricing.

From $25

Get them this gift card, then send them our guide to all the best things to buy at Nike.

From $25
Photo: Retailer

They can get a Strategist-approved puffy laptop case, a chic leather bucket bag, or the classic reusable nylon tote.

From $25
Photo: retailer

For the person who likes their clothing to come with Amazon-fast shipping.

From $25
Photo: Retailer

If they’re anything like Strategist writer Tembe Denton-Hurst, who checks the retailer’s website daily, they’ll be happy to have this ASOS gift card to cover their next haul.

From $50

For those looking to expand their “Bushwick Birkin” collection.

An especially good last-minute gift for the hard-to-shop-for teenager.

Streetwear purveyor End is brimming with affordable designer finds, so a gift card here should go a long way.

From $10

Zappos is a one-stop-shop selling clothes, shoes, and accessories for the entire family, which makes it perfect for nearly any fashion-forward giftee.

From $20

Casetify offers so many custom case designs and collections to keep phones, tablets, and laptops protected that it’s probably best to just let them choose their favorite.

From $25

Whether they want a Super Puff or TikTok-famous vegan-leather pants, this gift card will help get them there.

From $25
Photo: The Strategist; Photo: Retailer

In addition to Anthropologie’s in-house brands, your recipient will be able to shop labels like Mother, Levi’s, Sunday Riley, and more. The brand’s own employees have also said great things about the housewares, which they often buy for themselves — especially the candles and glassware.

From $25

Whether they’re tall, short, or curvy, Madewell has a pair of jeans (and a ton of other Strategist-favorite clothing) that will suit them.

From $15
Photo: The Strategist; Photo: Retailer

According to several teens we’ve spoken to, Lisa Says Gah is the perfect place to get hair clips for a “Phoebe Buffay or any girl who fits the wacky artistic-but-cool archetype.”

From $35
Photo: The Strategist; Photo: Retailer

For the fashionista on your list whom you wouldn’t dare shop for, this Danish fashion brand serving up effortless cool-girl style definitely won’t disappoint.

From $25
Photo: The Strategist; Photo: Retailer

Supply the gift card, and leave it up to the stylish person (or Pookie fan) on your list to decide what they want from Revolve.

From $25
Photo: Retailer

For the person who loves classic leather goods.

From $25

So they can treat themselves to some sculpting shapewear or some cozy loungewear.

From $50

For someone stylish looking to switch up their specs.

From $50

For the person who loves to sleep in, we love Lunya for its machine-washable silk sets and cooling cotton PJs, among other things.

Photo: retailer

From the CloudKnit sweatpants to the MegaFleece to the exercise dress, Outdoor Voices has plenty of Strat-approved apparel to choose from, for both men and women.

Any sporty — and sustainable — giftee will love shopping Girlfriend Collective’s collection of athleisure made from recycled plastic bottles.

From $50
Photo: The Strategist; Photo: Retailer

For that sports bra, yoga mat, or must-have belt bag.

We’ve been recommended Patagonia’s stylish-yet-durable bags, shorts, and windbreakers so many times we’ve lost count.

It’s hard to think of someone who wouldn’t benefit from the chance to add a few more of Uniqlo’s high-quality basics to their wardrobe.

Photo: retailer

Don’t know their size? Don’t worry. Size-inclusive label Universal Standard will have them covered from size 00 to 40.

For the person who’s been carrying around the same wallet since college.

From $25

Whether they’re looking for a new pair of hoops or an engagement ring, Mejuri has it all.

In addition to straightforward gift cards, BaubleBar has gift cards for specific items like custom bracelets, phone cases, hair clips, or necklaces for a more personal touch.

Beauty and grooming e-gift cards

From $25

The makeup-and-scent emporium is a paradise for beauty enthusiasts. (Don’t forget to point them to our lowdown of which products are the best bang for your buck.)

From $15

Our beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton is “psychotically obsessed” with Ulta, and especially with how it offers both drugstore and luxury brands side by side.

From $25

For those with ingredient sensitivities, all the products carried at Credo Beauty are guaranteed to be clean and cruelty-free.

From $10