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The best gifts you don’t have to send



Screenshots of the Disney + homepage, Steam Storefront, and Spotify's homepage.
Disney, Steam, Spotify

Shipping items during the holiday season is hardly predictable. If you haven̵

7;t received your orders early, you may be dealing with late shipments or out of stock items. But why would you tackle all that? After all, there are plenty of useful or entertaining gifts you can buy for your friends and family that are completely digital – no shipping or hassle.

A gift card

$ 100 Visa Gift Card
Visa

This is a pretty obvious one, but when it comes to remote gifts, a gift card is one of your best options. Most stores offer these in both digital and physical formats, but sites like Amazon and Walmart are definitely the safer bets because they sell just about anything. There are also Visa gift cards, which can be used wherever Visa cards are accepted.

A streaming service

Disney + ad on blue gradient.
Disney

There is a seemingly endless amount of content available between the different streaming services, and they all want to make it as easy as possible for you to gift subscriptions to people you know. Whether it’s Netflix, Hulu, YouTube Premium, Disney +, Spotify, Audible or CBS All Access, all you have to do is buy one of their digital gift card codes and you’re all set to give whatever you want.

Netflix is ​​the safest bet for most people: there is no one like it in terms of content variety besides original shows and movies. Hulu is also a good choice overall, with Disney + and CBS All Access offering much more focused libraries. YouTube Premium is a good option if you know some frequent YouTube viewers as it removes ads and you can also download videos to watch them offline. It also gives access to YouTube Music Premium.

Spotify and Audible are different from the rest of the package, both focused on audio content. While it’s pretty easy to figure out which one to buy, just ask yourself, “Would the person I’m shopping to prefer tons of audiobooks or tons of music?” If it’s the former, Audible is the way to go, with Spotify making a fantastic gift for music lovers.

Digital games

Steam storefront homepage
Steam

When you buy most modern titles from websites (like Amazon), you should see the option to buy a digital copy of that game. You will receive a code that can then be entered into the storefront of the respective platform to be redeemed, and you’re done. It’s an easy way to gift games without unnecessarily picking up a physical copy.

However, if you’re shopping for someone specifically using an Xbox or Steam, you can gift games through those platforms. All you need to do is add the person you’re shopping to as a friend, buy the game, then choose the “gift” option. Steam even lets you add a short message to your gift.

And the corresponding console plans

Playstation, Nintendo Switch and Xbox logos
Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft

All three major console manufacturers – Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo – have come up with subscription services for their systems. A common agreement among all of these is online play. Without these subscriptions you will not be able to play games over the internet on these consoles. That’s the main thing that pushes people towards these plans, but each has its own unique characteristics.

Both Nintendo’s and Sony’s are pretty straightforward. You can buy gift card codes for both – it’s that simple. And if the person already has an active subscription to the service, these cards simply stack to add more time.

Nintendo Switch Online mainly offers classic NES and SNES games, with online multiplayer as a reward for subscribers, while Sony has monthly titles for free (such as the recently released Bugsnax) and a collection of PS4 games available to PS5 subscribers. But in the end, both are primarily aimed at opening the doors of online gaming to members.

Xbox Live Gold works on a similar system: there is only one tier to purchase, and if you get a gift card for it, the user’s current subscription is simply added. One thing to keep in mind, however, is Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft’s subscription service that gives users access to a library of about 100 games for a monthly fee.

When you purchase Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you give access to Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold at the same time. Game Pass Ultimate is, of course, more expensive than Xbox Live Gold, but it’s a much better deal considering the extensive catalog of included games.

Amazon Prime subscription

Amazon Prime logo on an orange background
Amazon

Amazon Prime is a comprehensive subscription that offers much more than you may know. Its main benefits are definitely the free two-day shipping for different products, access to the Amazon Prime Video streaming service, and the various sales exclusive to Prime members. If the person you’re shopping to does a fair amount of online shopping, the fast shipping is enough to justify the subscription alone – the other things are just a nice bonus to have and make Prime a really useful gift.




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