It’s nice to take the time to reach out to people during the holidays or on special occasions. Even a small memento can make a celebration special, or brighten someone’s day if they’re feeling down. But what if you have a really big social circle? It can be costly and time-consuming to hop from store to store, trying to find the perfect card for everyone you want to reach out to. And then you have to personalize them all!
One solution is to use “e-cards,” greeting cards that you can send and receive over the Internet. They’re quick and easy to create, and you can make one about any special occasion you want (even if it isn’t in season right now). Plus, they arrive on time (at least more often), and protect the environment by saving trees. Best of all, in a lot of cases, they’re free!
What this article will cover
Ready to get your greeting on? Great! Let’s start with a little bit more about what e-cards are.
What are online greeting cards, or “e-cards”? How do they work?
E-Cards are Internet-based pictures, animations, or interactive apps that contain stylized greetings or invitations. Usually, they involve the use of web-based apps to personalize a pre-existing design. They can then be sent to recipients through email, or shared on social media via hyperlinks.
Depending on the site you find them on, there are all sorts of different ways you can customize e-cards. You can pick one based on a theme or special occasion, insert recipients’ names (or even faces!), base one off your own photo, write your own message (separately or as part of the card), set one to automatically go out on a specific date, or even attach a gift card to one!
So where do you find free e-cards? The following 7 sites are some of the most popular picks, and we’ll explain why for each one.
Top 7 best free e-cards sites
1. Blue Mountain
Blue Mountain isn’t just an e-card website – it’s a miniature online greeting factory! In addition to e-cards for all occasions – some animated, and some even interactive – Blue Mountain also has printable greeting cards, postcards, and stationery. Some can be accessed with a free account, but a paid account – which you can get a free, weeklong trial for – gets you the full library. But you also get tons of other handy tools, too, like the ability to schedule when your greetings are shared or even attach electronic gift cards to them!
What it’s best for: Someone who wants a unique, all-in-one greeting solution with plenty of extra features and options.
2. 123 Greetings
Started in 1997, 123 Greetings was one of the first Internet-based greeting companies. Since then, they’ve become one of the biggest free e-card repositories on the web. You can personalize a pre-built card from one of their contributing artists, or create a custom one from a photo that you upload. You can also sign up for an account to save contacts, schedule card sharing, or follow events and artists that you like. And it’s all paid for through advertising, so it won’t cost you a dime.
What it’s best for: Free e-cards for any occasion. And when we say “free” and “any,” we mean it.
3. American Greetings
American Greetings has been a brick-and-mortar greeting card and party supply business for over 100 years, and now they’ve made the move to the online world. They offer a limited selection of free online greeting cards (about 300 or so) that you can personalize and send without an account. A paid membership (which you can get a free 7-day trial of) lets you access all cards, including some that you can print out. You also get address book and reminder features, the ability to attach e-gift cards to your greetings, and more. The website also sells other products for celebrations, should you need them.
What it’s best for: If you’re looking for an e-card based on a specific pop culture theme, or are planning an event beyond just the greeting, consider American Greetings.
4. Some E-Cards
Since its launch in 2006, Some E-Cards has become one of the most popular websites for getting free funny e-cards. Though each card has a simple design, it also comes with a hilarious caption – sometimes provided by a staff writer, and other times by one of the site’s many dedicated users. You can also browse the website for general articles with humorous takes on world events.
What it’s best for: Anyone with an adult sense of humor. The mature subject matter and sarcastic, satirical tone on Some E-Cards aren’t really meant for kids.
JibJab is probably best known for their short animations that poke fun at American politics, especially their parody of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land” – concerning the 2004 presidential election – that became a viral hit. However, they now offer an e-card service called “Starring You” that allows you to insert the faces of you and your friends into animated greeting cards! Some cards can be created with only a free membership, while others require a paid subscription to make.
What it’s best for: Free JibJab e-cards are a good choice if you like your greetings funny, animated, and able to be personalized with more than just words.
Punchbowl has a selection of standard e-cards for various occasions. But its specialty is custom invitations to events, such as birthday parties, weddings, baby showers, retirements… whatever you want to celebrate with friends and family! Some have designs from familiar characters and brands, while others are uniquely handcrafted.
Punchbowl also lets you track who responds to your invitations, so you can plan a party AND create the stylish invites for it all in the same place! A paid account gets you even more designs, the ability to add your own photos to e-cards, and a host of other cool features.
What it’s best for: Turn to Punchbowl when you want your greetings to get people together, not just say “hello.”
Smilebox is for people who believe that, if you want something done right, you do it yourself. It’s a free and easy-to-use digital publishing program that lets you create all sorts of online greetings, including e-cards, invitations, slideshows, and collages. Simply choose a design template, and then let your creativity run wild! Select the title, font, and color scheme; move design elements around, swap your photos and videos in or out, and more!
When you’re done, you can share your creation over email or post it on your social media accounts. If you have a paid membership, in addition to getting more templates to choose from, you can even add music to your e-card, print it out, or save it on your computer or a DVD disc!
What it’s best for: Someone who’s a little more comfortable with how to work digital technology, and who wants greater control over how their e-cards look in order to make them supremely unique and personal.
We’ll leave you with one very important tip for using e-cards.
The most important tip for sending out free online cards
Make sure that you give your e-cards creative, personalized titles and/or descriptive sharing text! This helps to differentiate them from fake e-cards, which often have generic titles such as “You’ve received a postcard from a family member!” These fake online greetings will often trick people into downloading malware programs – either directly or by visiting a malware-infected website – that can damage or steal computer data.
Make sure your friends and family know how to avoid these threats, and also take care that your own e-cards stand out enough that they’re not mistaken for phonies and thrown in the trash!
Well, that wraps up our list of the best places on the Internet to get free e-cards! No matter the occasion you’re celebrating with them, be sure to stay safe and speak from the heart! And browse the rest of our online fun & games section for more ways to entertain yourself and others on the Internet!