Spa gift certificates are a great gift, but there are a few things you should know before you buy, including where to get them, how much to spend and what to watch out for as more spas are go out of business.
Where's the best place to buy a spa gift certificate?
The easiest solution is to buy a spa gift certificate or gift card online, such as the Spa & Wellness gift card from Spa Week, which gives About.com readers an exclusive 15% discount. That's a great deal! SpaFinder gift certificates are another option.
With both companies, you can order ahead and have the card or certificate mailed to the recipient. If you're in a hurry, you can print out a gift certificate from your computer OR send an email that the recipient can print out. Attractive gift boxes for mailing are available for an extra charge.
What if I have a particular spa in mind?
Most spas have their own gift cards and gift certificates, and not all accept outside gift certificates. If you have a special spa in mind, call to find out its policy. If it doesn't accept online gift certificates, you can buy it directly from them. You can even buy something from the gift shop to make it a little more personal.
What if the spa goes out of business?
This is where online spa gift certificates have the advantage. If one spa goes out of business, you can use it somewhere else. If an individual spa goes out of business, the gift certificate is worthless.
What are the most common amounts for spa gift certificates?
The minimum is usually $50. 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, on one day or over time. If you're a big spender, you can give thousands of dollars for an overnight stay at some destination or resort spas. Get them in smaller denominations so the person has more flexibility about when and where to spend the gift certificates.
What spa treatments can you get with a spa gift certificate?
Prices vary depending on the spa, but this is typical:
- $50 - $75: spa manicure, pedicure or waxing.
- $100-$150: massage, facial or body treatment.
- $125 - $175: Specialty massage like a hot stone massage.
- $200-$300 -- Two services at most spas.
- $300 and up -- Half and full-day packages
What are the advantages of spa gift certificates?
They're easy to buy, they have a luxurious pampering image, and you can spend almost any amount, from $50 for a pedicure to thousands of dollars for an overnight stay.
What should I watch out for with spa gift certificates?
Most individual spas have a one-year expiration date on their spa gift certificates. If an individual spa goes out of business or your recipient doesn't use it in time, you may be out of luck. And you can't use it anywhere else. As with gift cards, losing a spa gift certificate is like losing cash.
Should I include a tip on the spa gift certificate?
It's a nice gesture. Oftentimes people assume everything is taken care of and unknowingly "stiff" the therapist.
What if the person I'm giving the spa gift certificate doesn't use the whole amount in one visit?
He or she can use it on another occasion or get a store credit. She won't be able to use it at another spa. That's why the big spender should consider get several $100 certificates instead of one $500 one.