When it comes to festive, heartwarming gift-giving, rarely is a check the first thing to spring to mind. In fact, we’d venture a guess that it’s one of the last things to come to mind. And this isn’t because it’s a monetary gift as opposed to one with a lot of thought put into it. Countless Americans gift money for Christmas every year, so it’s not about lack of sentiment.
Quite the contrary, it’s more so to do with the myth about checks as an archaic form of currency. And though that’s what most credit card companies would have you believe, it’s simply not the truth.
Some 61% of Americans want to receive cash for Christmas, but don’t want to gift it. Imagine if we could quash the qualms surrounding monetary gifts by giving them some festive flair?
Here’s why investing in gift checks this holiday season could make for better gift giving all around.
They’re more secure
There’s little accountability with cash. If you usually send cash through the mail to a loved one, consider switching to checks. Should your envelope filled with cash get lost in transit or end up in the wrong hands, there’s no getting it back. And people who send money through the mail don’t usually send $20, they send hefty sums.
Meanwhile, when you mail a check, you have better control over the situation. Should your recipient not receive their check, you can always put a stop payment on it. This ensures that, no matter where the check is, it won’t get cashed by the wrong party.
Even with in-person gifting, a check is the wiser choice. Checks are labeled with the recipient’s name, so that even if they get lost in the shuffle during your family gift-giving session, everyone knows exactly who it belongs to — and nobody ends up accidentally picking up someone else’s check.
They can be more festive
You can always slip your cash into a cheery Christmas card, or you can invest in a holiday check with a festive design instead. When you purchase a gift check that features a holiday scene on it — whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, or New Years — you’re sure to elicit a reaction from the recipient.
You can still place this check in a card for maximum effect, but the point is that it doesn’t have to be plain, monochromatic cash or a drab blue check.
Better yet, a festive check allows the recipient to remember for what occasion the check was gifted. This can be handy if they decide to wait a while to cash the check.
Furthermore, it can carry sentimental value. Perhaps they’ll want to keep the first check they ever received from their loved one as a memento of their generosity — especially if they end up doing great things with that check, like starting a small business.
They’re socially distant
Let’s face it, gift-giving is less than normal during a pandemic year. With round two lockdowns taking place for many of us right at the onset of the holiday season, we’re scrambling for ways to provide our loved ones a meaningful gesture from a distance.
Since checks are inherently safer to mail than cash, as mentioned previously, it makes them a much better gift for those who are socially distancing this year. Especially if the recipient is someone who has lost their job and is struggling to make ends meet, a holiday check could be their saving grace this season.
What’s more, it allows the recipient to stay safe as well. Should they wish to deposit your monetary gift into their bank account, it’s much easier to do so with a check. With mobile deposit capabilities available on most bank apps now with the quick snap of a picture, they can quickly put the funds into their account on their phone.
Meanwhile, with cash, they’d have to make a trip to the ATM to make a deposit — a reality that’s not so attainable for people who may be immunocompromised or elderly.
You can gift beyond your circle
If your generosity expands beyond your inner circle this holiday season, then a gift check is still the ideal form of gift-giving. Ordering some festive checks to donate to your favorite charity or support your local small business (which may be suffering during the pandemic) is a thoughtful gesture.
One of the benefits of making donations via check instead of credit card is that it eliminates transaction fees, which can often burden smaller charities. As for small businesses, many don’t accept credit cards at all.
No matter who you’re gifting to this holiday season, handing over a gift check for the holidays is the best way to go in terms of a monetary present. Find one that features a festive design, place it in an equally festive card, and mail it off to whom you wish to bring joy to this season.