holiday gifts

15 Gift Cards That Make Great Last-Minute Gifts

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Retailers

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Sometimes life gets away from us and we find ourselves empty-handed when we really need a gift. Whether you totally underestimated how long shipping was going to take or you feel bad not being able to give something in person, in those times of last-minute scrambling, a gift card can still be a thoughtful present.

Even though a buying a gift card can feel like an 11th-hour alternative, it can be a great opportunity to give someone a thoughtful experience, such as a night out to their favorite restaurant, or to help subsidize a flight or stay at their favorite hotel. From family members to colleagues and employees to lovers, we have included 15 gift-card options to help spark inspiration for everyone in your life.

For someone who always has a gym bag with them

Sometimes cool lights, loud music, and a coach yelling at you (complimentary) is all you need to get a workout done. If this sounds like someone in your life, get them a gift card for classes, packages, or a membership to the ​​original high-intensity-interval workout class. The only thing is you need to know which local studio they visit.

For someone who’s counting down the days until New York Fashion Week

From $25

If the phrase “old Céline” means something to your friend, get them a gift card to the largest online marketplace for authenticated, consigned luxury goods. They can use this toward a splurge-worthy item they have had their eye on for months or a marked-down hidden gem. Bonus: They can also feel good about buying something secondhand.

For someone with art taped to their wall

From $25

Whether this is for someone who needs a bit of help decorating their new place or this is an incredibly thoughtful gift to help have something sentimental framed, Framebridge makes it easy. They can upload a photo, mail in their piece, or bring it to one of Framebridge’s brick and mortars to get started on their custom framing project. Framebridge also offers the option of digital or physical gift cards in case you are seeing your recipient in person.

For someone who needs some “me time”

From $250

Pamper a loved one who has a big event on the horizon or is just looking to feel a little refreshed and rejuvenated. Ever/Body has physical gift cards available at its locations or service gift cards that are available online for a number of treatments from skin to hair, all administered by medical professionals.

For someone looking to use their PTO

From $25

Give them an experience and help them stay at one of the thousands of homes across the world. From Joshua Tree in California to Split, Croatia, to Buenos Aires, they can live like a local, and maybe if you are lucky, they will ask you to come along.

For someone who’s favorite accessory is their AirPods Max

From $30

Life is too short to have your music interrupted by ads. You can give someone a month, a year, or something in between of Spotify Premium, and now with premium plans, they also get 15 hours per month of audiobook listening time.

For someone who celebrated Glossier’s arrival at Sephora

From $25

Whether they are filming GRWM videos or just looking to replenish their empties, a Sephora gift card is a great option. They can pick out a new fragrance, finally splurge on that hair mask they have been eying, or grab a few of these $15 Sephora Collection matte red liquid lipsticks Jenna Lyons swears by.

For the new pet owner

From $25

Pet owners will rave about Chewy because of its product selection and quick shipping. They are probably spending all their money on their four-legged friend anyway, so you should help them out with a gift card. Whether they need to re-up their pet’s food or treats, or pamper them with a new toy or outfit, they will have no problem finding something on Chewy.

For someone chipping away at One Piece

Some of the streaming giants have been ramping up their anime offerings over the years, but for the person in your life who has always been passionate about this, get them a gift card for a month, three-month, or yearlong subscription to the largest dedicated streaming library.

For someone with an ever-growing TBR pile

From $10

For those unfamiliar, supports independent bookstores with every book purchase, and the avid reader in your life can always use another book or five. This is also a great option if you do not know someone’s favorite local indie or if they do not have one close by but you still want to help them shop small.

For someone who insists vinyl sounds better

From $10

Turntable Lab has been trusted by DJs and music fans for over 20 years. From production equipment to vinyl to merch, the most difficult part will be deciding on what to get.

For someone trying to brush up on a language before traveling

From $7

Whether you know someone who is taking a trip or just wants to revisit a language they learned in school, the Duolingo app offers a paid yearly subscription that includes unlimited mistakes, no ads, and targeted suggestions based on their progress.

For someone who likes a little treat

Yes, you could give a gift card to one of the big coffee chains, but sometimes those feel more like a routine than a treat, and this is a gift after all. With over 100 locations across the U.S. and Asia, the coffee lover in your life can get a cup of their winter pour-over blend or a black cardamom latte to warm up.

For someone who needs to retire their decade-old workout shorts

From $25

Let this be a gentle reminder to a loved one that maybe they should thank their workout clothes for their service and move on. Tracksmith has a cozy selection of winter running leggings and accessories as well as preppy collegiate shorts and tanks for when the warmer months roll around.

For someone riding out of the saddle

From $25

Peloton memberships are not only for cyclists; through their app they offer hours of strength, cardio, Pilates, meditation, outdoor running, and other classes on demand, making this the perfect gym buddy. A gift card can also go toward purchasing Peloton equipment in case they missed the boat on that in 2020.

15 Gift Cards That Make Great Last-Minute Gifts