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 on-line. Right now through the holidays you can buy a Spa & Wellness gift card from Spa Week and save 15% with the code "About15" for About.com readers. That means a $100 card will cost you $85. That's the best deal going right now. SpaFinder gift certificates (buy now) are another good choice.
With both options, you can print out a gift certificate or send an email that the recipient can print out. Attractive gift boxes for mailing are available for an extra charge and you can sometimes get deals.
What if I have a particular spa in mind?
Most spas have their own gift cards and gift certificates. Not all spas accept SpaFinder or other Spa & Wellness gift certificates. So if you have a special spa in mind, call to find out its policy or search the list. If they don'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. That's one reason why people should use these quickly and not hold onto them too long.
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.