10 Last Minute Gifts for Friends That Will Make You the BEST Bestie

May 5, 2023
jason wolfe
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Sometimes you have plenty of time to pick out the perfect gift for your friends, but other times you’ve got to move fast. Whether you forgot a birthday (😬 oops) or just want to send a spur of the moment pick-me-up to let them know you care, we’ve put together a list of last minute gifts for friends you can pull off even when two-day shipping won’t save you.

All of the options below can be found on GiftYa – which means you can personalize and send them in just a couple of clicks for same day digital delivery. Check out GiftYa to learn more.

Now, on to the ideas!

1 - Gamestop

For Hardcore Gamers and Casual Cozy Gamers Alike

Buy a Gamestop gift card

This day in age, practically everyone out there is some sort of gamer. They might not all be the headset-wearing, Twitch-streaming competitive gamers, but pretty much all of your friends like to blow off steam with video games every now and then. With everything from pocket versions of popular games you can download right to your smartphone to the latest Playstation/Nintendo/Xbox console to good old fashioned PC games, there’s really something for everyone.

Not sure which type of game your friend prefers? Not to worry. GameStop is your one stop shop for new and used video games, consoles, and merch, so they’re sure to find something they’re excited about, from movie posters to the latest Funko figurine. Plus with more than 2000 stores around the country and an extensive online library, cashing in their gift is a cinch.

Buy a Gamestop gift card

2 - Barnes & Noble

Perfect for All Sorts of Bookworms, DIYers, and Self Improvers

Buy a Barnes & Noble gift card

Friends don’t let friends read boring books. If the bookworm in your life has *gasp* gotten through their TBR or your favorite DIY enthusiast is gearing up for a new project, a Barnes & Noble gift card is sure to put a smile on their face. With over 600 physical stores around the country and an extensive online catalog (not to mention plenty of sales and specials), pretty much everyone in your life can find something worth reading at Barnes & Noble.

Don’t forget – Barnes & Noble is also home of the Kindle e-reader, so for the book lovers in your life who have gone digital, there are plenty of ebook and audiobook options available as well!

Buy a Barnes & Noble gift card

3 - ULTA

The ULTA-mate One-Stop Shop for Hair, Makeup, and Wellness 

Text a last-minute ULTA Beauty gift card

If you’re looking for a gift for a female friend, this one should be at the top of your list. ULTA is one of the most popular beauty brands in the United States for a reason. First of all, it’s your one-stop shop for all things beauty – whether it’s your favorite drugstore shampoo or a high-end hair styling tool. 

With an ULTA gift card, your friend can treat themself however they choose, like:

Plus, ULTA has made commitments to diversity & inclusion as well as sustainability, so it’s a brand you can feel good about supporting.

Text a last-minute ULTA Beauty gift card

4 - Stitch Fix

Keeping Your Friends on Trend Has Never Been So Simple

Text a last-minute Stitch Fix gift card

Who has time to spend a whole day shopping anymore? Between the demands of work or school, maintaining a social life, romantic relationships, keeping in touch with family… there are hardly enough hours in the day. Luckily, staying on the cutting edge of fashion doesn’t have to be time consuming. At least not when Stitch Fix is involved.

Although it started out specializing in women's fashions, Stitch Fix also includes styling options for men and children now, too.

Here’s how it works: when your friend signs up, they’re matched with a personal stylist. They’ll fill out a questionnaire about their style, their budget, and the demands that their day-to-day life puts on their clothes. Then they can just sit back and wait! Their Stitch Fix stylist will send a carefully curated box of outfit options to their door. Anything they love, they keep and pay for. Anything they don’t get sent back free of charge.

Whether your friend is a recent grad in need of an updated wardrobe, a busy stay at home mom, or just has fun trying out the latest trends, a Stitch Fix gift card makes for a great gift.

Text a last-minute Stitch Fix gift card

5 - Cold Stone Creamery

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream

Send a last-minute Cold Stone gift card

Ah yes, ice cream. Since our earliest memories of chasing down an ice cream truck on our suburban street, the sweet sugary treat has gone hand in hand with the idea of friendship. Whether it was a friend from class or one of your own siblings, a special kind of bonding happened over shared Choco Tacos (RIP) and those weird popsicles with the gumball eyes.

Today, you can upgrade that nostalgic celebration of friendship with a gift card to Cold Stone Creamery. The chain is known for mixing up incredible ice cream creations built around a base flavor and plenty of toppings blended right in. Whether they opt for the traditional ice cream cone, take a pint home, try out a sorbet, or even go all out with a handcrafted ice cream cake, your bud’s taste buds (and tummy) are sure to be thanking you for your gift.

Send a last-minute Cold Stone gift card

6 - Cinemark

Get Them Front and Center for the Next Blockbuster Hit

Buy a Cinemark gift card

Do you and your friends watch movies a lot? Whether you throw them on for background noise when you’re hanging out at home or you make a point to head to theaters for the big blockbuster movies every summer, a movie-themed gift can make a great present for a friend. And Cinemark – including Century Theaters, Rave Cinemas, and more – is the place to catch all the new releases.

With comfy seats, tasty snack and drink options (including beer, wine and cocktails for adults), and high definition XD theater systems that deliver an ultra realistic viewing experience, your friend can cash this gift card in on an experience they won’t soon forget.

Buy a Cinemark gift card

7 - Uber Eats

Perfect for Foodie Friends, Night Owls, and Students

Buy an Uber Eats gift card

Everybody’s gotta eat. And some days, deciding what to have is easier than over. After a long day of classes or work, the thought of getting something out to thaw and spending an hour hovering over the stove is just too much sometimes. Not to worry. With a gift card to Uber Eats a la you, your pal can just order up their favorite meal and have it delivered right to their door.

Obviously everyone likes to treat themselves to a takeout meal now and then, but this gift is particularly perfect for friends who are foodies – now they can try all sorts of new cuisine from the comfort of home. Night owls who find themselves fending off the munchies after most restaurants have closed will appreciate being able to call in some late night fast food. And students will also appreciate having study fuel at their fingertips – especially in the run up to finals week.

Buy an Uber Eats gift card

8 - Hey Dude Shoes

Lightweight, Comfortable Shoes for Men, Women, and Kids

Text a Hey Dude Shoes gift card

If you aren’t a footwear fanatic, let me fill you in. Hey Dude shoes have been making waves in casual fashion with their quality, comfortable kicks. If your friend needs to refresh their footwear, they can stock up on slip-ons, sneakers, platforms, sandals, and more. No matter what their favorite style is, they’re sure to find a new go-to shoe.

Plus, Hey Dude knows how great it feels to save some extra cash. That’s why they offer discounts for students, teachers, military, healthcare workers, and more. Not to mention sales for the rest of us average joes. The bottom line? All those savings make a Hey Dudes gift card go even further.

Text a Hey Dude Shoes gift card

9 - Apple

The Latest Tech & Accessories, Music, Movies, and More

Text an Apple gift card

Once the exclusive brand of tech-lovers and creatives, today Apple is all over the place. It’s not just your blue haired, art-school sister’s brand – it’s your mom’s phone brand too. From colorful phone cases to cutting edge tech to stylish wearables, Apple has something for everyone. And that’s why Apple gift cards make such a good gift for your friends.

Sure, your gift card probably won't finance a whole iPhone purchase – but it can help them upgrade some of their accessories, cash in on some digital products (have you seen the lineup on Apple tv?), or offset the price of a big purchase. 

Text an Apple gift card

10 - Visa

The Most Versatile Gift Card for Your Friends is As Good As Cash

Send a Visa gift card 

Nothing else here catch your eye? If none of the digital gift card options are quite the right, consider taking it old school with a physical Visa gift card instead.

I know what you’re thinking – that’s boring. But not when you customize your gift card with a custom message and photo using Gift Card Granny’s build a card option. Add your own design or choose from a pre-set option – they have designs for graduation, birthdays, congratulations, out of the blue, and lots of other occasions that might be the reason behind this last minute gift for your friend.

Plus, Visa gift cards are super versatile. They’re accepted in store and online anywhere that Visa credit cards are accepted, which means your friend can put your gift toward pretty much anything that they could want.

Send a Visa gift card 

That’s it for our list of last-minute gifts for friends!

Choosing a gift that’s as great as your friend is doesn’t have to be hard, even if you’re stuck shopping at the last minute. Any of the gift cards above will show your friend that you’re thinking about them — and when you shop GiftYa, they can easily exchange or regift their balance if something else stands out to them even more.

Still looking for more options? Be sure to check out the rest of our catalog – GiftYa offers thousands of local and national brands, so there’s sure to be something that you and your friend will love. Happy shopping!

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Written by

Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is the shopping expert here at GiftYa. Trae helps people find the best deals and ideas on popular new items to purchase.

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