I was shocked when I first learned that gift cards are one of the most popular gifts for grandma. Even though I am in my 60s myself, I have to admit that I was influenced by the way that grandparents are portrayed in the movies and on TV.

To judge things by the movies, scented candles, slippers and knitting wool are the only gifts that grandmas need!

Then, I asked the 500,000 grandmas in our community to tell me their favorite presents of all time. Their answers genuinely surprised me!

The women in our community shared a wide variety of gifts – from tea subscriptions to flying lessons – but, by far, the most common gift idea was “gift cards.”

In this article, I want to share 7 of my favorite gift card ideas for grandmas. But, first, let’s have a quick look at why gift cards are so popular among my sisters.

Why Are Gift Cards Among the Best Gifts for Grandma?

Modern grandmas are pulled in many different directions. On the one hand, we want to explore our passions, grow and learn. On the other hand, with our careers winding down – or already over – we are more conscious than ever of how we spend our money.

Another factor to consider is that most women over 50 are downsizing their lives in one way or another. We are sorting, selling and donating our old clothes. We are digitizing our photos and abandoning books for Kindles. The last thing we want is more “stuff” cluttering up our homes.

Gift cards, while not exactly exciting or emotional, fit right into our modern lifestyle. Practical gift cards, like Visa gift cards, gas gift cards or prescription gift cards help us to get more from everyday life. Book, video or entertainment gift cards let us have fun on our own terms.

So, all that said, let’s take a look at some of the best gift cards for grandma.

Visa or MasterCard Gift Cards

Visa and MasterCard gift cards offer the ultimate in flexibility for grandma. Basically, these cards act like prepaid cards. The only big difference is that you can’t reload them.

When you buy grandma a Visa or MasterCard gift card, you open up a world of possibilities. She can use the card to cover everyday expenses like food, gas or clothing. Or, she can spring for something special for herself.

The only downside with giving a Visa or MasterCard gift card is that it feels somewhat “clinical” to do so. Choosing a gift card focused on a specific brand or product category feels more personal. But, if the special grandma in your life is practical, these cards can be great options.

Adventurous Gift Cards for Grandma

When it comes to life after 50, modern grandmas truly are breaking the mold. While traditional gift cards can still be a hit, why not give the special grandma in your life something a bit more adventurous?

One of my favorite experience gift sites is Cloud 9 Living. They offer experiences ranging from racecar driving lessons and skydiving to spa packages and scenic cruises. Check out their gift cards here.

Department Stores

Another flexible option when it comes to gift cards for grandma is department store gift cards. While not quite as versatile as Visa or MasterCard gift cards, this option allows you to show that you understand her style and shopping preferences.

Some of our favorite department stores include Macy’s and Nordstrom. Looking for an even more exclusive option, why not consider a gift card from Barneys New York or a luxury department store in your area.

Drug Store Gift Cards

Did you know that, according to AARP, the average annual cost of branded prescription drugs increased three fold between 2006 and 2015? And, with new drugs being released all the time, this trend is unlikely to reverse in the near future.

While many of us wouldn’t admit it, much of the stress that we experience after 50 comes from health related concerns. It is not just the physical challenges themselves that cause us stress. Many of us also worry how we will even manage to pay for our medications!

As a result, a gift card for Walgreens or CVS could be a welcome addition to our Christmas stocking!

Book Store Gift Cards

One of the most popular pastimes of the women in the Sixty and Me community is reading. Whether we have abandoned our “old” hardbacks in favor or digital editions or still love the smell of paper, a book store gift card will almost always be appreciated.

Of course, Amazon.com is the obvious choice for books. At the same time, if you are looking for something a little more unique, why not check out this list to see if one of America’s top 50 independent book stores is in grandma’s home city.

Movies and Entertainment

One of the best gifts that I ever received was a Netflix subscription. Honestly, every time that I sit down to watch an episode of Stranger Things (I just binge-watched the entire first series in one week!) I think about how kind my kids were to sign me up! Gift cards for Netflix can be purchased through Amazon.com here.

Another option, if the special grandma in your family prefers to go out to the movies, is to purchase a Regal Cinemas gift card. With 561 cinemas in 43 states, there is likely to be a Regal Cinemas near to your grandma’s house.

Grandma’s Favorite Restaurant

There is a big caveat here. While, many grandmas will appreciate a gift card to their favorite restaurant, what they really want is an opportunity to spend time with the people they love – their friends and family!

So, my recommendation is this – if you plan on buying a gift certificate to a restaurant like Applebee’s or the Olive Garden, plan on making it a family occasion. She will appreciate the gift twice as much!

What do you think are the best gifts for grandma? Do you agree that gift cards are often the best way to go? Why or why not? Let’s start a conversation!

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