Generic cash gift cards
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They say it's the thought that counts, but a prepaid credit card may seem more like an afterthought. If you're going to give a gift that offers the receiver no direction or expression of your intent – and is as impersonal as and less useful than cash itself – why not just write a check? (Note: Don't do that either.) There are sure to be people in your life who are impossible to shop for, not to mention the niece or nephew whose tastes change by the hour. But being a giver of great gifts means putting in some time and thought, or at least attempting to. Even the people in your life to whom you normally hand cash at the holidays – your doorman, your super, your postman, your garbagemen – will still probably prefer the green to the plastic, not least because of the hidden terms they often have.