In Defense of Gift Cards

Here’s why the often-maligned gift card is actually the unsung hero of the holiday season. 


We’ve all been there.

You're minding your own business when a well-meaning friend or family member approaches and asks you what you want for a holiday/birthday/gift giving occasion.

You panic. You were not prepared for this question and your mind goes completely blank. Sure, you’ve been steadily building an Amazon wishlist for years and are constantly being served Instagram ads for things you won’t buy yourself (but would love for someone else to buy you).  But at this moment, all you can think to utter is “I don’t know, maybe like a gift card or something?” 

“A GIFT CARD?” they bellow. “No! I want to get you something more personal!” 

Your palms begin to sweat. Your eyes desperately scan the room for someone ‒  or something ‒  to give you an idea. Your gaze fixes on a lamp. 

“Uhhh, maybe a lamp I guess? Wait, no. Sorry. I don’t know!” 

“Ok, I guess I’ll figure something out,” the will-be gift giver grumbles as they walk away. Great. Now you’ve left them to their own devices. Hope you like novelty socks.

Gift cards have long been banished from many family gift exchanges because they “aren’t personal enough.”  But what ardent opponents of the gift card fail to realize is, gift cards are actually the most personal gift you can give. What could be more personal than letting your giftee choose an item that meets their exact specifications? 

If you know an anti gift card giver, urge them to consider the practical questions below. If you, yourself are anti gift card, congrats. You've taken the first step to better gifting simply by clicking on this article. Proud of you. 


Color Preference 
Your giftee likes red, right? Or was it blue? Wait, maybe it was green?
What size does this person wear? Are you sure? How do they like their clothing/equipment to fit? Sizing is the most difficult variable to get exactly right, and also the easiest way to accidentally offend your giftee. Who among us hasn't looked in horror at a tiny (or huge) piece of clothing we've been gifted and secretly taken the sizing very personally? It's been a rough year, already. Let's avoid adding insult to injury. 
Timing of Season 
Thanks to the global pandemic, these are unpredictable times. Will your giftee’s sports season be postponed? Could their size/color preference change by the time their season begins? 
Association Certifications
Many leagues require equipment to hold specific certifications to be legal for play. Are you sure you know all of the requirements your giftee’s gear needs to meet? It would be a bummer to give them sports equipment they can’t use. 

Unless you/your gift-giver definitively know the answer to all of the above, a gift card is probably the safest bet. 

If those practical considerations aren't convincing enough, please consider this: have you ever once been disappointed when you received a gift card as a gift? Doubt it. No one thinks, “Man, I wish I didn’t have this money to spend on something I actually want!” or “I wish they had just decided to wing it and choose something random for me because that always goes well.” If anything, receiving a gift card gives the gift giver an extra cool factor. They ignored the haters and put the gift decision in the giftee’s hands. Pretty cool. 

If your cool factor could use a boost (or you missed the shipping cutoff and need a gift by Christmas), we have you covered with eGift Cards. Wilson's fully customizable digital gift cards let your giftee choose exactly what they want from Wilson’s extensive sports equipment inventory. Gift cards can also be used on any of our Family of Brands sites (,,, and They’re available in any denomination and are sent instantly via email. Or you can print your eGift Card and present it to your giftee in an envelope. Or in a box inside a box inside a box inside a box. You know, whatever suits your personal gifting style.