The Complete Guide to Spa Gift Cards

spa gift cards
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Spa gift certificates are an appreciated and easy gift, especially for the last-minute shopper. They work for birthdays, Valentine's Day, anniversaries, Mother's Day, graduations, baby showers, and as a show of appreciation for people you work with. They're good for people who love spas and people who haven't ever tried one. And as more men get into spas, they work for guys, too. 

Spa gift cards are an easy solution to the "I don't know what to get them" quandary, but there are still a few choices you need to make along the way. Is it the last minute? Do you have a special spa in mind? Do you want to add a few spa-themed gifts in a bag to make it more personal? How much should you give? (The choices range from $25 to the ultimate spa gift: a long stay at the Golden Door that costs big bucks. Here's how to deal with a few different scenarios.

It's the Last Minute

One easy solution when you are short of time is to buy a spa gift card online from a company whose card is accepted by lots of different spas. You can have it mailed it in a pretty gift box for a few dollars extra, or if it's really last-minute, print it out (try to use nice paper, please) or email it. Problem solved. SpaFinder Wellness 365 gift cards are the most widely accepted and a good all-around choice. If you have a specific spa in mind, search by city, state, or ZIP code and look for the "Accepts Spafinder Wellness 365 Gift Cards" icon near the name of the location. That's an important step if you live somewhere without a lot of spas. 

Another choice is Massage Envy, a fast-growing budget spa chain with many locations across the country that offers spa gift cards.

You've Chosen the Spa 

If you know which spa you want your gift card from, you most likely will be able to get one easily. Most spas have their own spa gift card programs, and all you have to do is call to put it into motion. If you want to make the gift a little more personal, you can pick out a wonderful spa product (or two) like a body oil, a robe, or a candle and put it into a gift bag. Or if it's to a spa where you enjoy going, write down the name of your favorite massage therapist or esthetician on the spa's business card for your recipient.

You're Not Sure How Much to Give

The minimum is as low as $25 on SpaFinder Gift Cards, but that won't get you very far. Most people give $100 to $150 to make sure the recipient gets at least one substantial spa treatment like a massage or facial. Larger amounts like $300 to $500 will let the recipient get multiple services. But SpaFinder cards can only be used once, so whatever goes unused has to be issued as a credit from the spa. In that case, get the spa gift cards in smaller denominations, like three to five $100 cards, so the recipient has the maximum flexibility about when and where to use them.

You're a Big Spender

You can give as much as you want for an overnight stay at a destination or resort spa. If you can't spring for a full stay at Golden Door, Canyon Ranch offers beautiful boxed gift cards of $1,000 or more to be used for a stay. If you have a special place in mind, it can help you make it happen. 

What Buys What

Prices on spa treatments vary depending on the spa and where you live, but this is typical of day spas:

  • $50 to $75: spa manicure, pedicure, or waxing
  • $100 to $150: massage, facial, or body treatment
  • $125 to $150: Specialty massage like a hot stone massage
  • $200 to $350: Two or more services at most spas
  • $350 and up: Half- and full-day packages

Resort and wellness spas are more expensive, and luxury urban hotel spas are much more expensive.

Keep in Mind

Besides the basics of costs and where to find spa gift cards, it's good to be aware of these tips:

  • Ask about expiration dates. SpaFinder gift cards don't expire, but some individual spas have a one-year expiration date.
  • Typically tips and tax aren't included in gift cards.
  • Just as with any other gift card, losing it is like losing cash. And if the spa goes out of business, you're out of luck. So encourage the recipient to use it quickly.
  • It's more fun if you go along on the spa day.