How to Ask for Gift Cards on a Birthday Invitation

WhatToGetMy Instructional Article

Your birthday is coming up soon. There is no better way to celebrate it than to have all your closest friends and family around you.

But your only problem is that you know that everyone that attends will bring you gifts. Receiving gifts is exciting and surprising. But you feel that you have enough “things”, you don’t need anything else.

You know that your guest will want to give you something for your birthday.

For you, that is gift cards as then you can buy yourself something that you want.

But you are wondering how to ask for gift cards on a birthday invitation?

Most people find it extremely rude and offensive to ask for a specific gift on an invitation. This would also include requesting money and gift cards. People do not like to be told what to do and they generally give what they can afford to. They find that asking for a specific type of gift goes against the true meaning of giving a gift.

So what is the true meaning of gift-giving?

Gift giving may mean different things to different people. But the true meaning of giving someone a gift is to demonstrate your feelings towards that person. It is a way of letting friends or family know that you care about them. 

People give gifts without the expectation of receiving anything in return. They give a gift to make the person feel good, happy and loved. They do this by giving them something unexpected as well as something that they would like.

 Gift-giving is also a way to celebrate a special occasion with a person. They help build stronger relationships between the two people involved.

But here is a question for you.

Have you ever stopped to think?

Why are birthday gifts given to a person on every birthday throughout their lives?

Well, we all understand that giving gifts to children on their birthday is exciting and fun.  With all the new and improved toys that come out every year. Your choice of kid’s toys grows larger every year. Buying a kid’s toy that wasn’t available when you were a kid also tends to make you feel young again. 

But for most children celebrating a birthday, it means a day of excitement. Inviting friends and family over for a birthday party or get together. It means receiving gifts from everyone that attends the celebration. It is a day of eating lots of cake and candy and having a day filled with lots of fun playing party games.

But as we grow older for many adults that excitement tends to fade away. Many adults are not that keen on celebrating a birthday. The main reason for them is because a birthday is a reminder that they are getting older. But all birthdays should be celebrated. 

They should be something that is seen in a positive way.

Birthdays should celebrate the fact that we have made it through yet another year. A year filled with good things, the things that we have managed to do. 

It should also be a time to reflect on the things that weren’t so good and try to figure out a way to make them better.

Even though many adults don’t like to celebrate birthdays, except when it’s a milestone year. Gifts from friends and family are still given on every birthday. All that changes are the type of gifts given. They change from toys to gadgets, which in their true sense are toys disguised for adults. Other gifts could range from clothes, books to big and expensive items. It usually all depends on the relationship that you have with the person that the gift is for.

Let us take a look at some other reasons why gifts are given for every birthday:

➦It’s a Tradition

For many families, it is a tradition to give birthday gifts on someone’s birthday. It is a tradition that has been past down from one generation to the next. Different families have many different reasons and beliefs about why they celebrate birthdays. One of them is that the birthday girl or boy is one year older. They have lived one year longer.

➦It builds a personal bond

People give gifts to show affection for you, they show that they love and appreciate you. Birthday gifts show that they value the relationship that they have with you. They show that they have been paying attention to you and the things that you like. They will go out of their way to make sure that the gift they give you is the perfect gift. They will give you something that you desire or give you a meaningful gift that will make you happy and feel loved.

➦To help you celebrate a Milestone

Gifts are usually given to help you celebrate another year in your life. Or once you have reached an important milestone birthday, for example, Sweet 16, 21, 30, 40, 50 years, 60 years and so on. For the big milestone birthdays, big parties are usually planned. Guests get invited to celebrate with the guest of honor. The type of gifts that are chosen to give often fit perfectly in with the chosen theme or the person’s age.

➦Gifts create memories

Receiving a special gift from someone important creates memories. Every time you use or see the special gift you will think about the person that gave it to you.

So people want to build stronger relationships with you and they go out of their way to find you the perfect gift. Why do they feel offended when you try to request gift cards on a invitation?

The top three reasons are:

Reason one: requesting gift cards or any other type of gifts on a birthday invitation is considered to be poor etiquette. For example, if you say something like, “Only gift cards accepted” or “Please give a gift card”. Many people find it to be off-putting and offensive. Many will not attend your birthday because of it.

Reason two: is that most people hate being told what to do. They want to make decisions for themselves and decide what they want to buy you.

Reason three: Some people buy a gift that they can afford. They might have purchased a gift on a sale a couple of months back and were planning to give it to you for your birthday.

But don’t worry. All hope of getting what you want is not lost. We can help by giving you some ideas to your question of how to ask for gift cards on an invitation?

There are subtle and polite ways that you could use. These clever ways will let your guests know that you would prefer to receive gift cards.

Some ways to ask for gift cards

Some of the more polite and acceptable ways are as follows:

Infographic How to Ask for Gift Cards on a Birthday Invitation-min

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➦ Write “no gifts are necessary” on the invitation

You can write it on your birthday invitation in a small font at the bottom. The way you word it is very important. Use words like,  “no gifts are necessary”, no gifts are required” or “no gifts please”. Keep it short and sweet. 

Most people tend to feel guilty arriving at somebody’s birthday empty-handed. They will often question you or someone close to you and ask for a suggestion of what they can bring with them. This is when you can request gift cards. But subtle in the way you say it. Say something like “If you would like to get me something, you could get me a gift card”. Then tell them which gift card you would like or for which store.

But if some guests ignore the request and bring a gift, remember to be polite and thank them for it. If you don’t like the gift you can later you try to exchange it for something else or donate it.

For Example:

You’re invited to (Your Name)’s Birthday Celebration





No gifts are required

➦ Ask your guests

If you are inviting close family and friends to attend your birthday and you know that they would not mind. Ask them directly. Let them know that you would rather prefer to receive a gift card than a physical gift. If there is a particular store that you prefer, let them know as well.

Remember a good explanation helps people to understand your reasons as to why you would prefer gift cards instead of physical gifts.

➦ Give your guests a choice

If you will be handing out handwritten birthday invitations to each of your guests.  You can insert a separate card in with the actual invitation stating that gift cards are welcome. Remember that it is never a good idea to request a gift card directly on your invitations. It is always better to use an insert card.

Your guests will have a choice to either give you a physical gift or a gift card as you requested

For Example:

(Name of Guest of Honor)

Wish only for your presence

But if you feel inclined

Gift Cards would be preferred

You can mention the name of the place (type) of gift card

➦ Setup a gift card registry

Once you have arranged and set up a birthday gift card registry. Use an insert card with your birthday invitation giving your guests the option. On the insert you can state the name of the birthday gift card registry and that it is available for them if they wish. 

A birthday gift card registry is a perfect idea. Especially, if you know that your friends and family battle every year to come up with gift ideas for you. They can contribute to your birthday gift card registry where the funds will be loaded onto a card for you to use.

For Example:

You’re invited to (Your Name)’s Birthday Celebration





(Your Name) is registered with (Name of the gift card registry)

Choosing the type of gift card

All that is left for you to do now is to choose the type of gift cards that you would like to receive. But before you do, there are a couple of things that you need to think about.

Because there are so many different gift cards available to choose from. Take some time to think about the different stores that you like and go to. The food you like to eat and the type of entertainment that you enjoy.

It is a good idea to choose the type of gift card that you will use. And maybe at a place that holds a variety of items to choose from, for example, Amazon. You don’t want to end up with ten gift cards to a place you don’t go to or there is a limited choice of items that you could buy.

It is best to avoid the type of gift cards that may have an expiry date on them. Then think about the best delivery method for your guests and for you. An option would be to go for a digital card. You will be able to avoid it getting lost as a record of it would be available in your email to use when you are ready to.

Here are some of the most popular gift cards:

  • Amazon Gift Cards
  • American Express Gift Cards
  • Visa Gift Cards
  • Starbucks Gift Cards
  • Target 
  • Walmart Gift Cards
  • iTunes Gift Card
  • Restaurant Gift Cards
  • Supermarket Gift Cards
  • Warehouse Gift Cards like Costco
  • The Gap Gift Card
  • Home Depot or Lowe’s
  • Bed Bath & Beyond Gift Cards
  • Victoria Secret Gift Card

People frown upon seeing a request for a specific gift on an invitation and will not attend because of it. They feel that it is rude but if you still want to know how to ask for gift cards on a birthday invitation? There are ways around it as long as you are subtle about it and you choose your words carefully.





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