It’s the season of giving and what better way of saying you care for someone by gifting them with a thoughtful present. But picking out a thoughtful present can be a tedious and stressful task. There is always some sort of pressure to find the perfect gift that the recipient would appreciate. That pressure may lead you to buying something that they won’t like. We’ve all been there but we don’t have to go through it all over again this holiday season.
Gift cards are well known as the common Christmas present. They are usually tucked in a greeting card with a short message of season’s greetings. I myself am not a fan of them but I have nothing against them either. However, I find it quite annoying when I get one to a retail store that I hardly or ever shop at. I also don’t like to deal with the remaining balance on these gift cards. And the one main drawbacks is that they are often forgotten about and thus expire while sitting in your wallet.
Now with all that said, I will still gladly accept them for the holidays. But if I don’t like the retail shop they are for I could simply use a service like CardPool to exchange the gift card for money and get up to 92% cash back. It’s not a bad deal if you would never have shopped at the store. But why give out a boring gift card to a clothing store or retail shop when you can mix it up this year and provide them with services all year (or couple of months) around.
Provide them with a gift subscription to online web services such as Hulu Plus, Rdio, Dropbox and Spotify. Buying a subscription to one of these services would make them pretty excited. Below are a list of online services, ranging from TV streaming to music on demand and cloud storage. I will be linking to the official website pages where you can buy gift subscription. Most of these unique gift ideas are targeted towards people who spend most of their time on the Internet.
In this guide you will learn how to buy gift subscriptions to popular web services.
Dropbox: If you’re looking to give someone a subscription to premium online storage then Dropbox is a good place to start. It is by far the most popular and well-known cloud storage service on the web. There are 3 Pro subscription plans you can choose from – 100 GB of space for $99.00 a year or $9.99 a month, 200 GB of space for $199.00 a year or $19.99 a month. Or if you’re feeling very generous you can always give the lucky someone a subscription for 500 GB of space for $499.00 a year or $49.99 a month. I would suggest going with the 100 gigabytes of cloud storage since its cheapest out of the bunch.
Unfortunately, Dropbox does not have specific page were you can purchase a “gift subscription” but what you can do is buy a plan under your email and later change the login details to their email address and a simple password which you can write in the greeting card. I wish they would make it easier for people who would like to buy a subscription for others but for the time being this would be the only solution.
Hulu Plus: This is the perfect gift for TV lovers. With Hulu Plus you can watch the latest episodes of popular TV shows like Modern Family, Homeland, Vampire Diaries, Scandal and many more. Along with TV shows, they also provide instant movie streaming. Assuming that the recipient is a TV buff , a subscription to Hulu Plus would make a great gift for the holidays. To purchase the subscription:
- Go to the official Gift Page.
- Choose the number of months you would like to apply to the subscription. You’ll have the option to choose from 1 to 12 months. One month of Hulu Plus costs $7.99, times that by the number of months you would like to purchase and that would be your total.
- On the same page you will have to choose a design for the card. You will be able to view a preview of the design as you switch from one pattern to another. I would suggest selecting the holiday design.
- Once you have selected the desired design you can add a personal message.
- From this point you will be navigated to the payment section where you can review your purchase.
- And lastly, you will be able to print the card or send it out via email.
Rdio: Thinking about a gift idea for a music junkie? Check out Rdio, the online music streaming service that has over 20 million tracks that can be enjoyed on the web or on the go with your mobile device. There are 4 plans on Rdio: Free, Web, Unlimited and Unlimited Family. The Free plan requires no subscription and will provide you with music streaming on any track, album, playlist or station for 6 months on the web. The Web gets you unlimited music streaming on Windows and Mac desktops for $4.99 a month. The Unlimited plan provides music streaming on both the web and mobile devices, along with Roku and Sonos boxes. This subscription costs $9.99 a month. The Unlimited family plan allows you to add family members to the subscription with the savings of 50% per additional account.
If you haven’t got a sense of the service and want to learn more about Rdio, you can do so here. Or if you are ready to make informed decision to whether or not to get a gift certificate (yes that’s what they call them), then let’s get started.
- Head over to the Gift Certificate Page.
- Click “Sign in and Purchase”.
- On this page you will either have to sign into your existing account or create a new one. You can create a new one by clicking on the sign up button on the upper-right corner of the website.
- Once you have logged in or signed up, you will be on Gift Certificate purchasing page. You will need to enter in your name, email address, the recipients email address, a personal message and the amount you would like to apply to the certificate.
- Afterwards you will need to add a credit card to your account to finalize the purchase and checkout.
- The code to redeem the certificate will be sent to the recipient.
*Before you purchase services from Rdio make sure the receiver of the certificate is located where the music streaming service is available. Find out here.
Spotify: This company is fairly identical to Rdio but has its own special features that makes it stand out as one of the best music streaming services on the web. With Spotify you can stream songs, albums, curated playlists and radio stations from anywhere on most mobile/portable devices. You can build your collections of tunes and share them socially on various networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc).
Spotify has a subscription plan that is VERY similar to Rdio. There are three plans: Free, Unlimited and Premium. With the Free plan users can listen to millions of songs on their computers. However, the music will be accompanied by ads which will be played in-between songs. On the Unlimited plan you can expect a boundless amount of uninterrupted (ad free) music on your desktop or laptop at $4.99 a month. And lastly, the Premium plan gets you unlimited streaming music, track downloads, ad-free song play and access to the service through their mobile app on multiple devices. The Premium plan is accompanied with a 30 day free trial.
You can get e-cards for Spotify for $10, $30 or $60 at your local Walmart, Seven Eleven, Target, Staples, Kroger or CVS. But if you like to buy the e-card online you can do so at https://www.spotify.com/us/gift-card/.
The steps to getting Spotify e-card are straightforward and don’t require further instruction. Please keep in mind that the service is only accessible in limited countries. Make sure your country is one of them.
Now I know there are plenty of other web services that provide gift subscriptions but I feel these four cover a large majority of people are looking for. Also, before going through buying process for these subscription it would probably be in your best interest to NOT send these codes/pins via email. The only reason I say this is because it seems very impersonal. There is something very emotional-less about emailing gifts. However, if you think the recipient would appreciate a digital gesture then go for it!
Lastly I want to mention that these gift subscriptions are perfect for any occasion not just the holidays, whether it be a birthday, anniversary, graduation, back to school, or anything.