Top Christmas gifts: vouchers and gift cards

With the holidays only days away, you may be caught desperately trying to think of a few last-minute gift ideas. Let's face it, we've all got that awkward-to-buy-for family member that you barely see more than once a year. Maybe, too, you're looking for an extra stocking-filler or two to brighten up someone's Christmas. 

Whoever you're buying for, you won't go far wrong with one of our top Christmas gift cards. We've collected a selection of the top Christmas gift cards below across a range of different interests. Most of the options below give you the flexibility of choosing between buying digitally or via a local retailer, so you can pick them up wherever you're reading this. 

So whether the intended recipient is an avid reader or a hardcore PC gamer - or both! - you're sure to discover something that will satisfy even the most difficult friends or family members. Read on to discover our favorite gift cards for last-minute gift ideas.

Amazon

Amazon Gift Card

If you're stuck wondering what would make the perfect gift for that cousin you know very little about, an Amazon gift card (UK here and Australia here) may be exactly what you're looking for. Amazon has a huge range of goodies, from everyday essentials to PC parts - and pretty much everything in between.

You can select the amount you wish to spend and Amazon gives you a number of options for delivery; you can send it via email, text, or any messaging service that you have installed on your phone or tablet. If you'd prefer to have something physical to give on Christmas morning, you can print your own or have it delivered.

Microsoft Gift Card

A Microsoft gift card offers a lot of flexibility. The purchased balance can be used to purchase apps or games on Windows, as well as devices and accessories from the Microsoft Store. You can also use it against games, movies, and TV shows on Xbox, making this a really versatile gift option for anyone that spends a significant amount of time at their PC or Xbox console.

The Microsoft gift card is only available digitally and comes in a number of denominations - from $10 to $100 (£10 to £50 in the UK) - so whichever price point you choose, you can be sure you're going to make someone happy on Christmas morning. 

An App Store & iTunes gift card could be the perfect gift for the family member that always has their head buried in their iPad or iPhone. Along with the huge variety of apps that are available, the balance can also be used to purchase goods from other Apple services such as iTunes Store, Apple Books, and Apple Music. This makes an App Store and iTunes gift card a great choice for fans of Apple products.

These gift cards are available to send either by post or digitally via email. There's a little more flexibility with the digital option, allowing you to choose your own amount from anywhere between $10 and $200 (£10 and £200). 

Google Play Store

A Google Play gift card is an excellent choice for an Android-owning friend or family member. You can use your Google Play balance to buy books, movies or music from the Google Play Store or if you've had your eye on one of the best Android apps but have been reluctant to fork out the cash, a Google Play gift card could well be your answer. 

You can pick up a Google Play gift card in brick-and-mortar stores or online retailers (UK is here) and, as with most other gift cards on this list, you'll have a choice of exactly how much you'd like to spend. 

It seems that everyone has a Netflix subscription these days or, at the very least, has access to some sort of entertainment streaming service. But if you know someone who's missing out on binge-watching the new Witcher series or if you want to help someone with the cost of their subscription, a Netflix gift card is a good way to go.

You can choose to buy online or in-store and both choices have the option of picking an amount that you feel comfortable with. Once the code is redeemed, the amount will show up on that account as a balance which will be used against future subscription renewals. If you choose to buy online, you'll be prompted for the recipient's email address but don't worry about ruining any surprises - you can choose the date that the email is sent. 

In today's busy world, you don't always have the time - or inclination - to curl up with your favorite book after a hard day at work, so an Audible gift card is a solid choice for the avid reader in your life. There is a vast library of audiobooks to choose from across every conceivable genre. And the beauty of Audible is that you receive one book per month of membership and you have the freedom to listen on your drive to work or while out on a walk. 

Audible works a little differently to other gift options on this list. You can choose to gift an Audible subscription (here's the link for UK) of anything from 1 month to 12 months or, if the intended recipient already has an active subscription, you can choose to gift them a specific book - or books - instead. 

For the music lovers in your family, the gift of Spotify Premium is a solid choice. While the free Spotify offering is adequate, real music fans will appreciate the features that Premium gives you, such as uninterrupted, ad-free listening as well as allowing you to download songs and playlists and listen to them anywhere.

You can choose between predetermined amounts ($10, $30, $60/£10, £30, £60) which typically net you one, three, and six months premium membership respectively. As with any gift card that is purchased via Paypal, you'll need the recipient's email address though you'll be able to choose the date that the email is actually sent. And if Paypal isn't an option for you, there shouldn't be a problem grabbing a gift card from one of the big retailers where you are. 

Steam

If the gamer in your life favours a good gaming PC over a console, a Steam gift card will allow them to choose from a huge variety of the best Steam games at various price points. Steam has an impressive library which includes the latest releases all the way to older classics - and almost everything in between. If you really want to push the boat out, the balance can be used against Steam's very own VR headset, the Valve Index.

There are a number of predetermined options when it comes to the amount you'd like to spend and you can pick them up from local retailers or digitally through Steam, though the latter requires you to sign up for a (free) Steam account and have the recipient on your friends list. 

Nintendo eShop Gift Card

If you're looking for a gift for someone who enjoys the freedom that handheld gaming provides, you can't go far wrong with a Nintendo eShop gift card. The recipient will be able to choose from a growing library of game titles to enjoy on their Nintendo Switch. And the good news is that you can redeem the card on older Nintendo consoles too, such as the 3DS or even the Wii U.

You can choose from a number of pre-selected values, ranging from $10 to $50 (£15 to £50 in the UK). These can be purchased digitally or via local retailers. 

http://www.techradar.com/news/top-christmas-gift-cards-and-vouchers

Source: TechRadar - All the latest technology news

By: Sarah James

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