Better Gift CardsEvery year our insurance agent sends Sam and me a thoughtful birthday gift — a gift card for a free car wash. The only problem is that the designated car wash provider is 23 miles away from our home, in a city we have no other reason to go to. It's convenient to our agent, but not to us.

Gift cards are a quick and convenient way to give. But our car wash situation highlights the biggest problem with such gifts. A good gift card is one that the recipient will want to use and reasonably be able to use. If the service or product can only be redeemed inconveniently, or not at all, then it's not of much worth (other than the thought — which does count for something!) to the recipient. When you choose a particular gift card, you are tying your gift to a specific establishment or product or service. That establishment, product, or service, might not be available or desirable for the person getting the gift card.

FriendGiftr provides an ingenious solution to the biggest gift card problem of all by giving the recipient control. With FriendGift, buyers can choose between over 120 of their favorite retail and restaurant gift cards.They can be purchased in $10, $20, $25, $35, $50, $75, and $100 increments. But, best of all, the recipient can exchange the card for any of the other FriendGiftr merchants — at no additional cost and without the buyer ever knowing. They can even split the card among multiple merchants to get exactly what they want.

FriendGift can be used from an iPhone, Facebook, Blackberry, or Android. Convenient if you forgot an important occasion! What a great way to help newlyweds, a new college graduate, or the person who has everything.

In the past, I have only given gift cards when they were expressly and explicitly requested. Last Christmas, for example, one daughter got a gift card to Justice and another to Aeropostle. We knew both would be well-received, but only because they had specifically requested those cards.

With FriendGift, I'll be glad to give gift cards, confident that the present will be truly valued. And maybe I can slip this info to our insurance agent, as well!