GiftCardMall.com Visa ( V)

Like the American Express card, this is just another more subtle way of handing someone cash.

Unlike cash, though, this Visa costs buyers $3.95 just for the purchase and another $1.95 for delivery. That's not great but, also unlike cash, if it gets lost or stolen GiftCardMall.com can ship a new one complete with the remaining funds.

With that peace of mind, the card can be used at any store or online outlet that accepts Visa. It has no further fees, no expiration date and basically no restrictions on how to spend the $20 to $500 on it.

Amazon ( AMZN)

Don't know what to give a person on your list at all? Just give a $5 to $5,000 plastic or e-card version of this card and let their imagination run wild.

Want streaming video and two-day shipping for a year? Just throw them $79 for Amazon Prime. Want to fill a library on the cheap while not putting a single book on the shelf? Hit the Kindle store and go to town. Want to just kick back, watch movies or listen to music? Rent some of Amazon's on demand videos or download some songs.

Out of ideas? No worries. You just sent your gift recipient into a giant marketplace where they can buy just about every product imaginable without leaving their couch. They'll have to create an account to do it, but is that really too much to ask when you just gave a kid money to go play in a candy store?

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