Xbox gift cards present the best opportunity for last-minute Christmas gifts - and they're perfect for literally anybody, as anyone can use them, no matter what their age or what they're into. These will also be crucial and particularly useful to those players who have an all-digital Xbox Series S as the internet is the only way for these folks to get games and content and subscriptions.
A key facet of their perfection as last-minute Xbox gifts is the fact that they can be delivered instantly to you or the recipient via email, or codes can be redeemed just as instantly too. Combine this with the fact that credit-based Xbox gift cards can then be spent on anything in the online store, from subscriptions to gaming, and it really is a top gift.
Where to buy Xbox gift cards:
Xbox gift cards can be broadly categorized into formats. First, there's the general Xbox gift card that is store credit; second is the Game Pass Ultimate subscription cards that allow access to a vast library of games and get the player online with friends; and finally, there are Xbox Live Gold gift cards which will enable online play, and also monthly free games. Away from the Xbox console ecosystem, however, there are also Xbox Game Pass for PC gift cards which can be redeemed for those who play their games on computers.
Undoubtedly the most straightforward and 'covers all bases' card is the store credit - it can be spent on or toward the cost of the games or services your recipient really wants, so you can't go wrong. This is easily one of the best gifts for gamers offering versatility, and just being downright useful. Cards start from just $10, go up to a lofty $100, but we think something around the $50 or $60 mark is great value and 'most' useful as it'll likely bag a whole game - and potentially something quite recent and exciting too.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, however, is fast becoming the go-to subscription for all Xbox players as it includes both online play and access to a library of hundreds of free games. Game Pass Ultimate Xbox gift cards come in 1-month and 3-month subscription forms and cost $14.99 and $44.99 respectively.
We'd recommend looking into this all-in-one option first, but you can also buy an Xbox Game Pass gift card as well. This is a slimmed-down offering which still offers the library of games, but removes online play. Xbox Live Gold gift cards are the opposite - just offering online play. $9.99 will get you one month, but you can grab three months for $24.99, and 12 months comes in at $59.99.
Where to buy Xbox gift cards
Given the choice, there's a couple of decision to make here. In terms of value, the straight-up gift card is undeniable as it gives the recipient the power of choice, while the longer subscriptions tend to be better value - but sometimes they don't and it'll just come down to how much you want to spend.
Xbox store gift card | From $10 at Amazon
The quickest and best instance Xbox gift card, store credit allows the recipient to choose what to spend on and get. These Xbox gift cards are also available in a wide range of prices too, giving the gift giver a spread of choice. Also available from Best Buy, which also sells the $100 digital card.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
PlayStation Plus memberships stack, meaning if the recipient already has a subscription active, any more months you buy them will carry over after the last one is set to expire.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate | $14.99 (1 month) at Amazon
A month of Game Pass Ultimate is the perfect gift for the holidays, primarily because it'll open up a whole library of games to play. Also, even if a player has a live subscription, this will still be of use as it'll just stack on top of whatever already exists. Nice.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate | $44.99 (3 months) at Amazon
Getting a whole three months is just a whole three times better than the above, of course. However, to ensure someone is covered for an entire quarter of a year for all their online gaming needs and game choice desires, this is great value.
remember there are good non-Ultimate Game Pass Xbox gift cards, too, starting at $29.99 for three months.
Xbox Live Gold
Xbox Live Gold | 3 months | $24.99 at Best Buy
Get online, and get a few free games a month: simple. Perfect for those who have their own game libraries and are just interested in getting online to play with their pals, Xbox Live Gold gift cards are ideal. One-month passes are available for $9.99, but the three- and twelve-month (below) passes offer better value.
Xbox Live Gold | 12 months | $59.99 at Best Buy
A whole year of Xbox Live Gold for sixty dollars is great value. Considering one month is priced at ten bucks, this represents excellent value in raw dollars but is also just really useful for those that game online with friends regularly. It'll also stack on top of whatever they have already which si great news.
Which Xbox gift card should you buy?
As we've mentioned at points on this page, the right card can depend on the recipient - but there is a safe option always at your disposal. And that is the Xbox Credit gift card. This can be used for anything - including the other gift cards mentioned here - so it really allows the recipient to do with as they wish. Though bear in mind, that a lot of more recent games cost 50-60 dollars so a card of that value really will have the greatest impact.
However, if you're after the greatest value in your Xbox gift card then Game Pass Ultimate could be the card of choice. Particularly if you know the recipient has an Xbox Series S console. This machine is digital-only so goes hand in hand with Game Pass Ultimate by default. The combination is just perfect. However, Game Pass Ultimate also gets folks online to play with friends, and gaining access to the bank of games for free is likely to appeal to anyone.
Meanwhile, the simple Xbox Live Gold is still worthy of consideration. This will appeal to those gamers who prefer to create their own games libraries (digital or physical) - like me - but still play online with their friends - like me - so need that service too. While a lot of folks will say that Live Gold is becoming obsolete with Game Pass Ultimate, we stand by it as the perfect Xbox gift card for those looking to get online and who is not fussed by gaming library extras.
Today's best Xbox gift card deals
For a quick overview of the latest prices across the aforementioned subscription services, see below. Our price comparison tech continually searches for the best prices, no matter where you are.