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<< Back Posted on 6th December 2017

By Emily Cotterill


Back in the day, aka the late 90s, my sister and I were sent gift vouchers from the aunts and uncles we didn’t see at Christmas. In particular I remember bright orange ones we would spend in WH Smith on Goosebumps books and B*Witched cassettes (I was not lying about the 90s). There was no real change given in gift voucher land – you’d get a slip of paper in lieu of £1 if you were lucky but beyond that if you didn’t spend it in one transaction it was gone.

Fast forward a couple of decades and things have moved on, although apparently R L Stein is still knocking out Goosebumps books at an alarming rate. The paper gift voucher has been pretty universally replaced by the debit style gift card which will keep track of every last penny available to you. Pretty much every national chain and large shopping centre has its own gift card scheme but until recently there was certainly a gap in the market for something more destination based. I first talked about city wide gift cards in 2014 back in my previous role at Winchester BID. They were something that a colleague and I wanted to see implemented but didn’t have the know-how, or the budget, to bring to life. Now I’m back over the border and launching A Gift Card FOR Cardiff just in time for Christmas.

Place based gift cards, largely co-ordinated by BIDs, are popping up all over the place at the moment, Cheltenham, Sheffield and Perth for example and recently just next door in Newport. What we think makes our gift card special here in Cardiff though is that it’s focused on the city’s small businesses. A part of the thinking behind these schemes is that they keep money circulating in the local economy and that’s doubly true for money spent in small businesses actually more than doubly true once you do the maths. I’m not going to come out and say that this proves that Cardiff is better than Newport but I am happy to leave the question out there for South Wales to answer.

So far more than 50 of Cardiff’s small businesses have signed up to the card and we’re always happy to take on more. If you take a look at this map of where the card can be redeemed you’ll notice that we’re highlighting one of our lovely city’s key features – the networking of beautiful arcades! So why not make the Christmas gift you give to your fussy friends and family, or even your fussy staff A Gift Card FOR Cardiff – shop now at