Best Holiday Cards iMore 2021
Sending out the best holiday cards is a small thing you can do to put a positive spin on a crazy year. Get back to what matters: your friends and family. Send them a holiday greeting that lets them know you care. I tested out some of the best online photo printing services, and picked my favorites for creating your holiday cards. I think Mixbook has something for everyone, with all of the features I look for in a holiday card printing service.
- Best Overall: Mixbook
- Best Prices: Walmart
- Best Options: Snapfish
- Best Envelopes: Printique
- Best Newsletter Option: Nations Photo Lab
- Best Bulk Prices: Costco
Best Overall: Mixbook
You can't go wrong with Mixbook. Choose from thousands of design options. The cards aren't made on photo paper. Rather, you choose from six different high-quality card stocks: satin finish, signature matte, premium matte, pearl finish, cotton texture, and luxe board. There is no minimum card order, meaning you can order just a single card. There is no logo on the back of the card, and in fact, you can place photos or text on the back of your holiday cards. You can have Mixbook print both the return address and the recipient's address on the envelope for you, saving you the hassle of addressing them yourself.
Not everyone sends out dozens of holiday cards each year. Mixbook is fantastic for making individual cards, and it works out cheaper than buying an ordinary card at the card store. A single custom card can be purchased for less than $2 and if you order a larger quantity, you can easily find cards under a dollar each. Read more about Mixbook in my review.
- Can order a single card for less than $2
- All photocards are printed on card stock
- Six different kinds of card stock available
- Back of card has no logo; can put photos and/or text there
- Thousands of designs
- Printed envelopes available
- Not the cheapest if ordering a large quantity
Best Prices: Walmart
It's no surprise that Walmart has some of the best prices, particularly if you want smaller quantities. What I did find surprising is that there is no minimum. That's right; you can purchase just a single card very inexpensively. The quality is very good; you can order a single card printed on photo paper for as low as $.30 or card stock starting at $.40.
Once you start ordering in quantity, the per card price drops as low as $.22 apiece. You can print on the back of card stock cards. Return address printing is available for the envelopes. In a hurry? You can pick up certain card styles from your local Walmart in as little as one hour. However, I noticed that Walmart doesn't give you quite as much flexibility as some of the other services in terms of adjusting the size of the text box or altering the number of photos on the card. Read more about my adventures with Walmart in my review.
- Low prices
- No minimum
- Great selection
- Pick up photo cards in as little as one hour
- Photo paper or card stock
- Return address printing available
- Card design not as flexible as some
Best Options: Snapfish
Snapfish offers an incredibly wide array of holiday photo card options. You can have them printed inexpensively (as low as $.45 apiece) on photo paper, or pay a bit more for premium card stock. You can get extras like gold, silver, or rose gold foil printing. You can have your return address printed on the envelope, but not the recipient's address.
The minimum order you can place is 20 cards. The Snapfish logo is on the back of each card, but it's not overly intrusive. For certain kinds of cards, you can even pick them up at your local Walgreens and avoid shipping charges. Get the whole scoop on Snapfish in my review.
- Huge selection
- Good prices and frequent coupons
- Pickup at Walgreens for certain cards
- Photo paper or card stock options
- Return address printing available
- Can print photos/text on back of card
- Minimum 20 cards per order
- Logo on the back of the cards
Best Envelopes: Printique
Envelopes might not seem like the most important thing, but they do set the tone for what's inside. Where most photo cards come with simple white envelopes, Printique (formerly known as AdoramaPix) makes amazing quality card stock cards that come with a fancy textured paper envelope. However, Printique does not print the envelopes for you, so you'll need to address them yourself. Choose your photo card paper: matte, felt, linen, or pearl.
Choose from tons of designs and add custom touches or upload your own design. There is no minimum order size so you can order a single card. While a single card is pretty pricey at about $5, prices go below $2 apiece if you order 12 or more photo cards. I loved Printique as an overall photo printing service, as you can read in my review of Printique (when it was known as AdoramaPix.)
- Matte, felt, linen, or pearl photo card options
- Print photos and/or text on the back
- No logo
- Plenty of design options
- No minimum order
- Upscale envelopes
- Single card is pricey
- No option to have envelope printed
Best Newletter Option: Nations Photo Lab
Nations Photo Lab has some very cool options you can get printed right on the back of your card. Choose photos, text, a combination of both, or a detailed newspaper-style template that makes writing a newsletter easy and classy. This is the one to get if you like to put together a yearly newsletter. You don't need to print a letter separately and enclose it.
All of the cards are printed on card stock, and you get six different paper options: semi-gloss, premium matte, linen, pearl, felt, and bamboo. Standard white envelopes are the default, but you can upgrade to fancier pearl, craft, or merlot envelopes if you wish. Getting the envelopes printed is not an option.
At just about $1 each, you're getting gorgeous card stock cards printed on both sides with no logo on the back. The minimum order is 25 cards. The website has a premium feel to it, and the selection of photo cards you can order is enormous. There are lots of sizes and shapes including an ornament card you can literally hang on your tree. You can read more about my experience with Nations Photo Lab in my review.
- Gorgeous card stock photo cards
- Printed on both sides with no logo on the back
- Newsletter template option
- Reasonable prices
- Huge selection
- Minimum order of 25 cards
- No envelope printing
Best Bulk Prices: Costco
If you're already a Costco member and you're buying cards in bulk, you can get a real bargain buying your holiday cards at Costco. Your card design options are fairly limited, but that makes ordering easy. You can choose cards printed on photo paper for $13.99 for 50 cards, which works out to $.28 per card. Or, choose card stock, which runs $16.49 for 25 cards ($.66 each.) All of the cards are 5-by-7-inch flat cards. The card stock cards can be printed on the back, but you're quite limited in terms of how much text you can put there.
The more expensive cards come with foil-lined envelopes, and you can have both your return address and the recipient's address printed on the envelopes at no extra charge. You can pick up the photo paper cards in-store, but you'll have to have card stock cards shipped. You can read more about Costco's photo printing services in my review.
- Well-priced cards if buying a lot
- Nice quality
- Can pick up some photo card orders at your local Costco
- Return and recipient address on foil-lined envelopes included with premium card stock cards
- Can have some text printed on the back of card stock cards
- Not a huge selection of options
- Must have a Costco membership
When choosing where to get my holiday cards printed, there are a number of features I consider. First and foremost is quality, of course. You want a good-looking card! Most cards are printed on photo paper, which is certainly fine, but cards printed on card stock are even nicer. Particularly because you can print on the back of card stock, which allows you to include more photos, or include a paragraph or so of text to catch everyone up on your year.
Another thing to consider is whether the service can print the envelopes for you. If that's something you're interested in, it can save you a step. Also, consider the minimum order quantity. That may not matter if you order a huge number of cards, but it does if you want a smaller quantity. Other important features to consider, of course, are price and selection.
I like the Mixbook really has all of the options you might want. All of the cards are high-quality card stock. You can put more photos and/or text on the back of the card, maximizing the use of space. The selection is enormous, prices are decent, and you can have the envelopes printed if you like. There is no minimum quantity, which is great if you're sending out just a few cards; you can easily make a different personalized card for each person.
Choose any of the services on this list and send out the best holiday cards this year. And as long as you're gathering up family memories and the best photos of the year, consider making a photo book. A beautiful photo book full of treasured memories makes a great gift!
Credits — The person that wrote this guide
Karen S. Freeman is a teacher, writer, and family woman. She loves to travel, play with tech stuff, drink coffee, discover amazing new restaurants, and experience new things.
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