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Retail gift cards

Compare Gift Cards » Retail Gift Cards

Whether you're planning on stuffing it in a stocking or tucking it under a tree, the gift card is a go-to idea for many a harried shopper.

But what kind of gift card should you get for Aunt Sally or Cousin Mike? That's where Bankrate comes in. Using data collected from our sister site,, we looked at the terms and features of 62 different gift cards, including general purpose cards, store-branded retail cards, restaurant cards, airline cards and gas station cards.

Using the chart below, you can compare these cards to find out the one that suits your needs based on factors such as the amount you can put on the card to any fees it costs to buy one. This way, everyone comes out a winner this season.

Select card features:
  • Expires
  • Inactivity fee
  • PIN available
  • Reloadable
  • Loss/theft protection
  • eCard offered
  • Free shipping
  • Purchase fees
  • Online balance check

    Loading limits: Denomination availability varies.
    • Loading units: Gift cards with greeting cards, $10-$2,000; Gift cards purchased through email, Facebook, or print-at-home, $0.15-$2,000. Physical cards via resellers, $15, $25, $50, $100. Gift cards in a gift box $50-$500.
    • Free shipping except in Hawaii and Alaska.
  • Banana Republic
    Loading limits: $10-$500 if purchased online.
    • Gift cards may be purchased in other amounts by phone: (888) BR-STYLE.
  • Barnes & Noble
    Loading limits: $10-$350.
    • Standard delivery via USPS ($0.95 per order); Express delivery via UPS ($7.95 per order); Expedited delivery via UPS - Delivery by 5:30 p.m. ($11.95 per order)
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
    Loading limits: Online: $25, $50, $100, $200. In stores, any denomination.
  • Best Buy
    Loading limits: $5-$300; e-cards: $5-$500.
  • Bloomingdale's
    Loading limits: $10-$1,000.
    • Gift cards are assigned a shipping surcharge fee of $5 based on size/weight and/or special shipping requirements
  • Costco
    Loading limits: $25-$1,000.
    • Costco membership is required to buy or reload gift card.
  • CVS
    Loading limits: $5-$150.
  • Dillard's
    Loading limits: $10-$1,000.
    Loading limits: $25-$100; e-card: $5-$500.
    • Slightly more generous policy in 2013: If you have already used a portion of your gift card, the remaining balance is attached to your PayPal account and can be applied to future purchases, even if you lost the card.
  • Home Depot
  • iTunes
    Loading limits: $$15, $25, $50, $100, e-card: $10-100.
  • JCPenney
    Loading limits: Gift card $10-$500; e-gift card $10-$250.
  • Kmart
    Loading limits: $10-$500.
  • Kohl's
    Loading limits: $10-$100; e-cards: up to $250.
  • Kroger
    Loading limits: $10-$250.
    • Gift cards are available for puchase at store.
  • Lowe's
    Loading limits: $5-$500; e-cards: up to $100.
  • Macy's
    Loading limits: $10-$1,000.
  • Marshalls / TJ Maxx
    Loading limits: $25, $50, $75, $100, $200.
  • Meijer
    Loading limits: $10-$500.
  • Nordstrom
    Loading limits: $25-$1,000.
  • Office Depot
    Loading limits: $10-$200.
    Loading limits: $10-$1,000.
    • Free shipping except $4.90 fee to Hawaii and Alaska.
  • Pilot Travel Center
    Loading limits: $1,000 maximume.
    • No inactivity fee except $4.90 fee in Hawaii and Alaska.
    • Gift cards may be purchased in store.
  • Publix
    Loading limits: $5-$500.
  • RadioShack
    Loading limits: $10-$400e.
  • Rite Aid
    Loading limits: $1-$500.
    • Gift cards may be purchase in store.
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
    Loading limits: $25-$500.
  • Sears
    Loading limits: $10-$500.
    Loading limits: $25-$500.
  • Staples
    Loading limits: $25-$100; e-cards: $5-$250.
  • Target
    Loading limits: $5-$1,000.
  • Toys R Us
    Loading limits: $10-$1,000.
  • Walgreens
    Loading limits: $5-$100.
  • Wal-Mart
    Loading limits: $10-$1,000; e-cards $5-$200.
  • Whole Foods Market
    Loading limits: $20-$500.

Source: Survey conducted by in early November 2013.


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