The ultimate guide to giving a gift card as a corporate gift Shall I give my team gift cards this Christmas Should I give an Amazon gift card Sustainable alternatives to Amazon gift cards. Best gift cards for Christmas 2022

The ultimate guide to giving a gift card as a corporate gift: Shall I give my team gift cards this Christmas? Best gift cards for Christmas 2022

This is the ultimate guide to giving a gift card as a corporate gift. What you give as this year's corporate Christmas gift is an annual conversation that can be led by the founders, HR, marketing teams, and even procurement. Before you spend money on a gift card for your team, there are many considerations. Think about what kind of value the person will get from the card, what values are communicated by giving this gift card and whether is it still possible to build relationships by giving a gift card the same way as by giving corporate gifting hamper for businesses. Even if you do not know the people on your gift list, it is worth asking yourself what they would enjoy having more of or less of. Gift cards can be great because they put the power back into the hands of the receiver but there are also downsides to giving gift cards. Gift cards can even have a negative effect on your company.

Advantages to giving gift cards to employees this Christmas

  • More Flexible - Gift cards are great for gifts for coworkers who are picky when it comes to gifts. Maybe they have specific dietary requirements or tastes and they are therefore hard to buy for. They can use the gift card for whatever they want, choose to their liking
  • No need to collect addresses - Collecting the addresses of employees is a big consideration when it comes to corporate gifting. Collecting addresses of staff members can be done via an email, via a survey, or they can input them onto the website themselves. Having a gift card means you do not have to worry about addresses as the receivers will put them in themselves.
  • No Thought Required - Again, gift cards are great for givers who do not have time to think too much about what to buy. Just grab a gift card and go celebrate with your team.
  • No Waste - Again, gift cards can be used for whatever your coworker wants.
  • Less Risk - If a coworker has preferences, a gift card means they can buy to their liking and save themselves from the risk of not wanting the gift
  • Less Stress - In an office setting, the pressure is always on to find the perfect gift. You have to research what people like and find something that fits their interests while also fitting into their budget. It can be stressful, especially since people put a lot of thought into what they want and do not want.

Disadvantages of gifting gift cards as a corporate Christmas gift

  • Defeats the purpose of gifting - Giving a corporate Christmas gift is all about building valuable relationships. People appreciate a gift being chosen for them and feel treated. If they receive a gift card it feels less personal and less special. Many receivers will spend the gift card on something practical that is needed e.g. stationary instead of something they want. They, therefore, are less likely to feel gratitude for receiving a gift. A way around this is to buy a gift card for a gifting supplier so the recipient will defiantly receive a gift box or Christmas hamper, instead of purchasing from Amazon where they can buy a wider range of practical items.
  • Can feel thoughtless - A gift card, as it is such an easy gift to give, can feel a little thoughtless. The best way to get around this is to select a gift card for an incredible gifting company and your whole team can choose which gift they have. It is better if this gifting supplier has a great story, e.g. every product in Social Stories Club's ethical Christmas hampers supports a different social cause such as teas educating girls in tea-growing regions. This way your gift can still reflect your values by supporting small businesses
  • More effort for the receiver - You can give a gift card to someone, but that means they now have to do the hard work of selecting the gift, and implementing the address, name, and voucher number.
  • The price is known - The gift card has a certain value and your recipient will know the budget you selected for their gift.
  • Bad for the Environment - If someone receives a gift card from Amazon they feel the need to purchase things they may not necessarily want or need to make sure it does not go to waste. Some gift suppliers are often not environmentally friendly and don’t offset their carbon from shipping.

Is an Amazon gift card a good Christmas gift for employees? Why should I avoid Amazon gift cards this Christmas?

Many businesses purchase gift cards from Amazon for their employees. It’s an easy gift to give and there are many different products on Amazon so your team can choose what to purchase. Although the main advantages to purchasing from Amazon are ease of gifting, it may not be in your best interests to do so.

There are many reasons to avoid purchasing a gift card from Amazon.

  • They are not receiving a gift: According to our own research, most people who receive an Amazon gift card do not use it to buy a gift for themselves and instead use the card to get gifts for other people or get something practical e.g. a light bulb. This defeats the purpose of giving a gift to someone and making them feel appreciated and treated. The positive associations with the company that has given the gift will not be there.
  • The gift can feel thoughtless - Amazon is not a small independent business you spent a while researching, and the gift feels like an afterthought.
  • You are missing the opportunity to support small businesses and social enterprises: Amazon is not a small business or social enterprise and does not need your money. You vote with your wallet and your company's budget for gifts can make an enormous difference to a social enterprise. You are missing out on the chance to support getting individuals with barriers to employment into work.
  • Your gift reflects your values as a company - what are you saying you value by purchasing an Amazon gift card? By purchasing a gift card for a sustainable gifting supplier and social enterprise Social Stories Club you are saying you are supporting social enterprises, sustainability, a minority and female ran company, a living wage employer, local communities, and a company that works to reduce its environmental impact.
  • It can be just as easy and simple to choose another gift card, such as Social Stories Club's sustainable gift cards.

According to Social Stories Club’s poll, 78% of people have received an Amazon gift card as a gift. But how do they feel receiving that gift? We asked on LinkedIn how people felt receiving Amazon gift cards.

“It really bothers me when organisations give Amazon vouchers as rewards/prizes/gifts. Especially in the third sector - we should not be using our hard-earned income to subsidise companies that do not pay their fair share. Same for Starbucks, Boots etc ... it is harder to do when you are time-strapped and cash poor, but I think people underestimate the power of their ££.”

“I once received an Amazon voucher as a bonus from catering work I used to do back in the day. I was so short on cash at the time and new to London and I treated myself to a blender which I was really pleased with. If I were to receive one nowadays, I would struggle not to turn my nose up”

How can I give a gift card that reflects my values and builds business relationships?

According to a Social Stories Club survey, if tasked with sourcing corporate gifts 91% of people would have sustainability as a consideration. With this being the case, it is surprising that 78% of people have received an Amazon gift card. If you like the advantages of giving a gift card, e.g. easy gift, hassle-free, then consider a gift card for a small business, sustainable gifting supplier, or social enterprise. Social Stories Club makes ethical Christmas hampers for corporates. By purchasing a gift card you can get your staff to build their gift and choose exactly want is inside the hamper. This means they receive a present from their employer that will not go to waste but will remind them how appreciated they are in the workplace.

How much should I spend on my employee gift cards this Christmas?

Buying corporate Christmas gift cards for your workers is one of the finest HR tactics. The cost of the corporate present you offer is not as important as what you buy or the gifting company you invest in. It is best to head over to the gifting suppliers' website and see what you can get for your money and issue a gift card for that amount. You can give gift cards to the value of a letterbox gift worth £15 to £20 as corporate presents if you have a lower budget. If you want them to select their gift issue a gift card for £25 and upwards. If you want a larger Christmas gift hamper as a fun way to energise your employees about your business, make them feel appreciated, and even build a community then you may want to issue a gift card of £50+. You can include various kinds of corporate Christmas hamper baskets, from smaller letterbox gifts to large jam-packed hamper baskets, but all have one thing in common: They are a terrific method to develop company relationships in a mentally stimulating way that reflects your values. If you want a custom gift card then you can get in touch with us and we will create one to your value.

Can gift cards be sustainable? Where can I find sustainable gift cards for employees?

Gift cards are an excellent way to support a social enterprise you care about. Businesses can make a huge difference by sustainable gifting suppliers instead of large corporations supplying their corporate Christmas gifts this festive season. Sustainable gift cards for employees are about selecting a company that promotes and lives by sustainable values. An example of a sustainable corporate Christmas gifting supplier is Social Stories Club, an Edinburgh-based gifting company. By selecting Social Stories Club you are choosing ethical corporate gifts at the same time as making it easy for yourself by purchasing gift cards. Gift cards are more sustainable if they are created digitally and sent via email. This cuts down on transport emissions, as well as paper that is no longer being wasted.

Do employees want to receive gift cards? Do employees want to receive a Christmas gift at all?

88% of employees want to receive a Christmas gift from their employer. There are many other surveys with varying results discussing whether employees want this gift specifically to be a gift card. Employees only want to receive gift cards to a store which sells something they will want. Not everyone reads books, so a book voucher would not be appropriate for all. Lots of staff wanted to avoid Amazon because it did not reflect their values.

What gift can I buy instead of a gift card? Are sustainable Christmas hampers a good gift for employees?

A sustainable hamper for Christmas is a great way to show someone you care about their well-being. Not only is it a thoughtful gift, but it also helps to support the community and educate on the environment. Plus, it’s always nice to receive a gift that has a fascinating social story! Here are some of the biggest benefits of buying a sustainable hamper: It’s a unique and thoughtful gift. Nothing beats the feeling of being surprised with a thoughtful gift, especially when you know how much effort goes into creating one. Sustainability is important, so why not reflect that in your gifts? It can help you connect with others on an emotional level. The act of giving and receiving something is an important part of building relationships. Plus, it can help you feel more connected to the people around you. It’s a great way to support local businesses. A sustainable hamper has the potential to contribute to local economies by supporting local businesses and social enterprises. Plus, it can make for an easy and convenient shopping experience for those who might be strapped for time. It’s good for the environment. Buying a sustainable hamper helps keep trash out of landfills and oceans by reducing overpackaging. If you select a sustainable Christmas hamper company choose Social Stories Club as they can create you a bespoke corporate gift for Christmas that supports the social causes your company is passionate about. You can even put your brand front and centre with their branded corporate gifts.

If I buy a gift card and still cater to my employees with dietary requirements?

If you select a gift card choose a gifting supplier that caters to various allergies, kosher and halal gifts, and vegan options. Social Stories Club has gifts which support these different dietary requirements with vegan gift boxes, kosher gift boxes, halal gift boxes, and free-from gift boxes.

If I buy a gift card, can my employees pick their own gift?

Absolutely! Your team can spend their gift card in our build your own gift box section of our website. This way your team can choose from lots of different products and flavours, which they want in their gift. This is great if you have vegan employees or a team with dietary requirements and allergies. This also means waste is reduced as your team can pick exactly what they want in their Christmas gift box.

If I buy a gift card, can I still choose which gift my employees get?

Absolutely! Get in touch with our corporate gifting sales team. They will be able to create a special page unique to your employees. Here your team can choose between gifts created especially for you. There could be a vegan option, a sustainable foodie option, a pamper hamper option and a free-from option.

Can I buy a gift card without my employees knowing how much I spent on their gift?

Definitely! To guarantee your staff will not know the price we can instead give them a voucher code. Our corporate gifting sales team can create a custom webpage and a unique link only to be accessed by your team. Your employees can select the gift and input their details without seeing the price. You can select the number of gift options that they can choose from. The gifts will be prepaid and they will all be the same price but your team will not see the price. Get in touch with our team by booking a 1:2:1 call and we can arrange this for you.

What are the best sustainable gift cards for employees?

The best sustainable gift cards for employees are by Social Stories Club. Your team can choose what is inside their sustainable gift box using the build your own gift box feature. If you purchase a gift card from Social Stories Club for your employees, employment will be created for those with barriers to employment, products from social enterprises will be included in each gift and their stories will be shared in a story booklet included. All the carbon from delivery will be offset and you will be making the world a better place by introducing someone to social enterprise.

Is it better to give a gift card, a gift hamper, or a cash bonus?

Some people could argue it is better to give a gift card than a gift basket and cash. This way, the buyer does not have to spend a certain amount of time deciding on a gift. They can just go to the selected store and buy whatever they would like to have. Other people think it is better to give cash as a gift to a person as they can purchase what they like. However, the most effective way for companies to build relationships is to make people feel special and that you have thought of them. A cash bonus given to an employee feels ‘earned’ as supposed to ‘gifted’ and the gratitude for this is likely not to be passed on to the employer. A gift card can be less memorable than a gift and the excitement of receiving the gift may not be associated with the generous employer. With gift cards to Amazon, many people would use their gift cards to buy practical items which are not exciting to receive instead of feeling treated. The best of both worlds is to either give a corporate Christmas hamper to your staff that you know they will enjoy - e.g. by choosing a sustainable Christmas hamper company, or by selecting a gift card to a gifting company such as Social Stories Club so the receiver will have to treat themselves but can choose which gift to select.


When Christmas comes around there are many questions which are asked. Shall I give my team gifts for Christmas? Shall I opt for gift cards instead of a traditional Christmas hamper? Shall I give my team Christmas gifts that are sustainable? Do my team want to receive gift cards or would they prefer a physical gift? This article has answered these questions for you.

On the whole, when it comes to corporate Christmas gifting, many factors need to be considered. Your gift will be perceived as a reflection of your values and will have an impact on the long-term relationship that you build with your staff members. Whether you opt for a gift card is not as important as the company behind the gift card.

Avoiding Amazon and selecting a sustainable gifting supplier or small business is a great place to start. If you are already giving them company gift hampers for Christmas, then this is the most effective way to do gift giving, just make sure you work with a company that chooses ethical products to go inside your sustainable hampers for Christmas. Choosing a Christmas gift for employees can help you to build valuable relationships.

Many people tend to feel overwhelmed by gifting. We know the pressures of working under tight deadlines when you are doing holiday shopping. So look at your team members and see who you really want to buy a gift for. Create a wish list of the people who you think would love to receive something and then start with that. Once you have a list, think about what is important to them. It could be their job, their hobbies, or simply the person they love. Once you have a list of the most important things, you can work out what type of gift card would be best.

For the ultimate guide to giving a sustainable corporate Christmas gift check out our other blog. If you know anyone looking for Christmas gifts for employees, that are sustainable, please refer them to Social Stories Club.

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