Gift cards may have a bad rap, but they really do make perfect gifts sometimes; you can be thoughtful by choosing an appropriate store for the giftee, while still allowing him or her to buy whatever they truly want.
Lucky for its members, Costco is helping avoid the last-minute gift panic by offering up to 30% off select retail, service, and restaurant gift cards. (Most of these are delivered via email, unless noted below; non-members pay a 5% surcharge.)
Not sure which card to pick? Here are 10 popular picks for your giftees. Of note, select items are only available to Costco members.
Best Things to Buy During Costco's Gift Card Sale
For the Ricky Bobby On Your List
NASCAR Ride Along Experience $129.99 eCertificate for $64.99 ($65 off)
Gift someone with their very own Talladega Nights experience with this eCertificate. NASCAR fans will ride shotgun in an actual NASCAR race car for three laps, with top speeds reaching up to 170 mph.
For the Young Ones
Build-A-Bear Workshop $25 eGift Cards 4-Pack for $69.99 ($30 off)
If you've got a few kids on your list, these Build-A-Bear gift cards are perfect. They'll be able to build their own customized stuffed animal, and then personalize it with clothing, sounds, and scents.
For the Beginning Driver
DriversEd.com $50 eGift Card for $34.99 ($15 off)
It might not seem like a very fun gift, but teens getting ready to drive will appreciate the option to practice with an instructor instead of an emotional parent. Aside from in-cart instruction, students can also take practice tests and courses that offer insurance discounts.
For Anyone With a Sweet Tooth
Cold Stone Creamery $25 eGift Cards 4-Pack for $69.99 ($30 off)
It might be hard to think about ice cream right now with the frosty weather outside, but temperatures will be warming up before you know it. And then that Birthday Cake Remix will sound like a really great idea.
For the Movie Buff
MovieTickets.com $25 eGift Cards 4-Pack for $74.99 ($25 off)
These gift cards versatile gift cards can be redeemed at over 150 theater chains across the country.
For Anyone Who Needs a Night Out
Buca di Beppo $50 Gift Cards 2-Pack for $74.99 and $2 s&h ($23 off)
Great for when you just don't want to bother with dinner, this restaurant serves up Italian cuisine in a vintage style setting. Choose from over 90 locations, and opt for dine-in, take-out, or family-style dinners.
For a Taste of Southern Brazil
Texas de Brazil $50 Gift Cards 2-Pack for $78.99 with free shipping ($21 off)
Boasting the cuisine of Southern Brazil with the hospitality of Texas, Texas de Brazil serves a variety of grilled beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and sausage dishes, all prepared over an open-flame, rotisserie style.
For the Social Media Guru
Casetify $25 eGift Cards 2-Pack for $39.99 ($10 off)
Social media enthusiasts will enjoy being able to create custom cases using their Instagram, Facebook, and personal photos. There's also several cases featuring fashionable designs from artists.
For a Personalized Gift
Share a Coke 12 Personalized Glass Bottles $60 eVoucher for $47.99 ($18 off)
These personalized 8-oz. glass bottles of Coke would make excellent party or wedding favors. Each bottle can have a different name or message, so you could even customize them for unique place cards at a dinner party.
For the Adventurous One
Cloud 9 Living $150 WISH eCard for $119.99 ($30 off)
These WISH cards will allow the recipient to do something as simple as take in a golf game or a spa day. Or they can opt for something a little more active, like kayaking lessons. These cards can be applied towards over 800 experiences across the country.
Readers, do any of these cards fit your last-minute shopping needs? Let us know in the comments!