I am a fan of gift cards. While I try to unclutter the world of men’s gifts, there have to be guys out there that are just impossible. In this case, a gift card works great, let him get what he wants, whatever that may be today.
I am not, however, a fan of giving gift cards to people that you don’t know too well (i.e. coworkers, new in-laws, etc.). Some may disagree siting that gift cards are perfect for folks you don’t know well. How else could you get a thoughtful gift for someone who’s personality you don’t know? While I see that reasoning, I think this is a real opportunity to make an impression on a future friend. Pick out something that would appeal to a great deal of folks. The problem with a gift card in this situation is that in almost all cases, you have to specify a dollar amount. Even if you are a little off the mark with your choice, a $5 gift is much more thoughtful than a $5 gift card (you may as well just hand them the money!).
A recent post a Guyville prompted this post. Their post cautions the use of generic gift cards (i.e. Visa, Mastercard, Amex.). Often there are fees associated with these. They suggest using cards from a specific store where there aren’t likely fees.