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Gift cards for teens...


theelfqueen
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This year I am doing Amazon gift cards for my 15 year old nephew and 20 year old niece.

In the past I have given ones for things like dinner and a movie, for like fast food places they like and then one for the movie theater.  I would not do a gas card unless you know that the driver pays for his own gas.  If DD got one it wouldn't be very helpful for her (although it would for for DH and I) since we are still covering her gas.

My kids have gotten gift cards to local stores or coffee shops.

Another thing might be something like an escape room or something like that depending on your budget.

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Both my boys want Starbucks gift card. There are Starbucks near the two libraries we frequent and my kids like to buy a treat (warm sandwiches) for themselves sometimes. We buy them a frappe each per week usually when out on weekends.

ETA:

Whole Foods is another favorite. My kids buy a slice of pizza at the deli there or they buy a slice of cake there as a treat.

Edited by Arcadia
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Do you know what sort of things they are into?  My kids would love gift cards to our local gaming/rpg store or comic book shop, but I am not sure it would be a hit with my nephew.  He is into much different things.  My niece would love a gift card for Ulta or a spa, but I am not sure what is nearby to where she is currently living, so I am going more generic Amazon.

Gift cards for locally owned businesses can be fun such as lazer tag, paint ball, tea or coffee shop, cake shop, etc.

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For DD, stuff within walking distance of campus (for her, that’s mostly fast food), froyo, coffee shops, stuff to do with friends, or geek culture shops (ThinkGeek or Hot Topic or GameStop). I’m also suggesting Disney gift cards for her because her cheer team is going to Nationals there this Spring, and that will give her extra money for food, souvenirs, etc. 

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Unless my kids were saving for something specific (games at Gamestop, bike at the bike shop), they prefered Amazon because there was such a variety of things they could use it for.  They often found that they would end up with gift cards to several different places ($20 to Target, $20 at the bookstore, etc.) that didn't really work out to a value at any one particular store.  It would be frustrating when they wanted a $30 book and had $100 worth of gift cards but nothing they could use in a combination for a $30 book.  

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I've given them to the local (wherever they are) movie theater and pizza parlor.

But, would also consider...

Local hair salon?  Local coffee shop?

My kids have gotten gift cards to our local Walmart (the only "department' store in town) and have enjoyed those.

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Ulta, Sephora, Steam, AC Moore (craft store) are the main ones here.  Also Wawa, which is a regional gas/convenience store that has coffee, hot cocoa, breakfast sandwiches, food made to order, etc. I love a Wawa gift card myself...   In other areas I think similar stores are Sheetz, QuikTrip, and one other whose name escapes me now. I keep thinking Fastlane but I know it's not that.  Speedway?  Anyway, if that kind of place exists and if the kids like it....

Amazon gift cards were not well loved by the kids. We are heavy Amazon users but most of the stuff we buy is utilitarian. And since we all share an account, if only part of the gift card is used, the rest ends up getting used for the next order.  I suppose there is a way around that, but we haven't taken the time to look for it.  When the kids receive an Amz gift card, I buy it from them for either cash or a gift card they want.  

Also, if the recipients are not Amazon prime members, shipping costs may suck up some of the card value.  

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