The Complete Guide To Spa Gift Cards

Where To Buy Them, What To Get and What You Need To Know

spa gift cards
••• Spa gift cards can translate into a wonderful experience. Robert Daly/Getty Images

Spa gift certificates are a great, easy gift, especially for the last-minute shopper. They work for birthdays, Valentine's Day, anniversaries, Mother's Day, graduations, even 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!" problem, 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 I give? (The choices range from $25 to the ultimate spa gift -- a seven-day stay at Golden Door for $9,053.)  Here are a few different scenarios, and how to deal with them.

I Need A Spa Gift Card Fast!

One easy solution is to buy a spa gift card online from a company where the 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 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. 

Other companies that offers spa gift cards include Spa Week, whose Spa & Wellness Gift Cards are accepted at 8,000 locations in North America.  And Massage Envy, the fast-growing budget spa chain (more than 1,150 locations in 49 states) also offers spa gift cards.


I Have A Special Spa In Mind.

Do you know exactly which spa you want to buy a card from?  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.

How Much Should I Give?

The minimum is as low as $25 on SpaFinder Gift Cards, but that won't get you very far.  Most people give $100-$150 to make sure the recipient gets at least one substantial spa treatment like a massage or facial. Larger amounts like $300-$500 will let the person 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 -- three to five $100 cards so the person has the maximum flexibility about when and where to use them.

I'm 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 towards a stay.

 If you have a special place in mind, they can help you make it happen. 

What Can You Get With a Spa Gift Card?

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

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

Anything Else I Should Know? 

  • 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. 
  • 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 person to use it quickly.
  • It's more fun if you go with them!