Are you being too cheap with a gift card?

1 min read

Jean: What’s the right amount if you’re going to give a gift on a gift card?


Woman 1: Well, I usually give $18 for chai.

Jean: Oh, that’s very nice, and that means life.

Woman 1: Or multiples of chai.


Girl 1: I’m a college student, so I don’t give anything usually that’s super pricey.

Woman 2: I guess it depends on the situation and the gift.

Jean: What’s the right amount to give on a gift card?

Girl 1: I’d say $50 to $100.

Girl 2: Unless there’s a cutoff, then $50 to $100.

Husband: She does most of the gifting. I just pay for it.

Wife: Earn the money and then I spend it.

Jean: So how much is the right amount? Of course, it varies based on the occasion and based on the recipient, but we put the question to etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore and here’s what she said.

If you’re giving to a co-worker or an acquaintance, $10 to $20 is probably fine. For close friends, family members or other siblings, $35 to $75. And if you’re giving something to your spouse or somebody else where you really want to do it up, go $75 and above.

For more information on gift cards, check out Bankrate’s annual Gift Card Survey.