This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

10 Best Gift Cards For Holiday Shopping

PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- A gift card isn't a cop-out, it's a growing holiday tradition.

According to the National Retail Federation's annual holiday survey conducted by BIGresearch, holiday shoppers planned to spend $28.8 billion on gift cards last year alone. That's an average of $156.86 per shopper, the highest amount in the past decade and up from $155.43 in 2011.

Roughly 81% of all holiday shoppers bought gift cards last year, compared with less than 80% in 2011, and they were planning to spend more with each purchase. The average gift card was worth $43.75, a slight increase from $43.23 the year before.

About 45% who planned to buy gift cards went with the explanation that the cards allow the recipient to choose exactly what he or she wants. That secures just a bit more moral high ground than the nearly 21% choosing gift cards because they were more convenient.

Still, there are a whole lot of holiday shoppers who have their pick of reasons not to buy up some pseudo cash. About 9% say they'd rather buy an item on sale than a gift card with a fixed price, while 16% say they're leery of suddenly subjecting their gift to fees and expiration dates that wouldn't exist if they just doled out cash. A full 24% of those of shoppers just find them impersonal no matter how many uses they have or what they're being bundled with.

Besides, the card is only as good as the retailer or restaurant issuing it. Gift card monitoring site ScripSmart assigns zero-to-100 scores to gift cards from retailers throughout the U.S. and does a great job of shaking out the duds.

With their help, we came up with 10 gift cards that separate a thoughtful gift from a last-minute nightmare:

1 of 6

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,106.70 +29.83 0.17%
S&P 500 2,000.02 +2.10 0.11%
NASDAQ 4,570.6370 +13.29 0.29%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs