Purchase fee: $3.95; $4.95-$6.95 for special occasion cards
Monthly fees or expiration date: NoThis wasn't even close. Since American Express dropped the expiration dates and monthly fees on its gift cards earlier this year, the appeal of its plastic presents has only expanded. Considering the cards can be used anywhere in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and at any place that takes American Express (except cruise lines, casinos and ATMs), it's as good as a lump of cash. Even if the card passes the "valid thru" date on the front, American Express will send the holder a new one for the remaining balance if requested.