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Q: My daughter’s birthday is coming up, and I want to get her an American Express gift card. Where is the best place to buy this?
A: American Express gift cards are pre-paid cards that are used just like a credit card and accepted at any retail location that takes regular American Express cards. You can choose from a wide variety of card designs – there is something for every occasion including holidays, thank yous and birthdays.
If you’re in a hurry, you can pick the cards up at a most grocery and drugstores around the country. Use the store locator to find the location nearest you. However, if you have time to plan ahead, ordering online directly from American Express is the way to go.
Online purchasers can personalize the cards with the recipient’s name and the card value or add a photo. Business owners can add their business logo and a custom message. If you are an American Express cardholder, you can pay for the cards using your reward points.
You can use American Express gift cards for the usual gift-giving occasions, but consider some of these not-so-usual options:
Kid’s Allowance. Help your older children learn to use bank cards and allow online purchases without fear of overdrafts. Unlike cash, if your child loses the card, American Express will issue a new one for the remaining balance.
College Students and Travelers. Send your college student a little extra spending money or provide for expenses while traveling with out the risks associated with bank debit cards.
Control Spending. Use American Express gift cards as a budget tool: purchase cards equal to monthly spending for shopping sprees, restaurant dinners or other fun items. When the card is empty, it’s time to stop spending.
Appreciation. Use gift cards in small denominations to show your appreciation to your favorite barista, your hairdresser, mail delivery person or your building manager.
Petty Cash. Buy a gift cards to use at the office for coffee runs, office supplies and other small expenses without the risk of corporate credit cards.