Do You Write a Thank You Note for a Card?

You have received a birthday, for congratulations, a sympathy card, a holiday, your wedding, or other occasions. Should you send a thank you note for the card?

Receiving a card usually does not require a thank you note in return. Most people do not write thank you notes for cards but that doesn’t mean you can’t.

if you feel like you should or just want to, go ahead and send a thank you note card. Not sending a thank you note for a card is only a general guideline.

Cards available on Amazon. This is an affiliate link.

You might want to send a thank you for a card when:

♦ You are touched or otherwise impressed by the card. This could happen if you’ve received a birthday card for the first time as an adult.

Perhaps your own immediate family does not send birthday cards. Then you get married or start dating someone. There may be people in the significant other’s family that start sending you a birthday card each year.

If you are moved by this, by all means, send a thank you note card. This will also let the sender know that the card was appreciated and impacted you.

♦ You were surprised that you received the card from this particular person. Perhaps it is a new friend or business contact. Send a card to keep the relationship going.

♦ Someone sent you congratulations note when you started a new job. A follow-up thank-you note could be used a networking opportunity.

$$$ If there was money or a gift card with the card you DO need to send a thank-you note for the monetary gift. I’ve written a guide on how to write a thank you note for money with some examples which can help you get started.

♦ Someone came to your wedding and give you a card only – no other gift. You should still thank them for coming to your wedding. Even if a gift was not in their budget they still choose to spend their time at your wedding.

♦ Because you want to! If you really like sending cards, by all means, send a thank you for the card. But do not expect a thank you for your thank you note (that could turn into a never-ending cycle!).

♦ Another idea is to send a letter in return. You can mention the card in your letter, and then go on to write a letter.

♦ If you are in a situation where many people are giving you gifts and cards at the same time who have regular contact with each other, such as students, you might want to write a thank-you note to those that only give a card as well as to those that give a gift. This way if people talk to each other everyone will be able to say they got a thank-you note from you.

♦ If the card you received was handmade, you could recognize it with a note or an in-person thank-you. Hand made cards can take lots of time and the person may have made a card design that was with you in mind. For example, I love cats and would feel very touched if someone made me a handmade cat-themed card and then mailed it to me!

How to write a thank-you note:

Check out these guides:


About The Author
Heidi has been writing thank you notes for more than 30 years and is the author of A Modern Guide to Writing Thank-You Notes. Her goal is to help people write better thank-you notes by providing tips and examples.

11 thoughts on “Do You Write a Thank You Note for a Card?”

  1. Ahh I admit I have gotten slack about thank you notes in general since the kids have been born. :( I need to get on this …
    Sort of unrelated to THIS post but on the lines of thank you’s: I am wondering…sometimes it seems redundant when it’s just family members giving gifts to my kids and my kids say thank you right then and there to them… to send a card… which *I* am writing out at the moment b/c my kids are 4 and 2… seems unnecessary? I think when my kids are older they should definitely write out their own thank you cards….What do you think?

    • I think you could still write the thank you on their behalf until they are old enough to write their own. Perhaps talk it over with the family who is giving the gifts. Some people are fine with a “thank you” in person and no thank you note.

  2. I’ve never sent one for a card, unless it’s particularly special (or has a monetary gift enclosed… which becomes a thank you for other reasons).

    I do send letters on occasion, since many cards that I receive are from penpals – but I wouldn’t call them thank yous, per se.

    • Hi Melissa,

      How neat that you have penpals! I haven’t had one since I was a kid.

      The only letters have I have written recently have been to my grandma. My mom writes still writes several letters each week!


  3. I don’t do a thank you for every card I receive but I do for some spiecial cards. Of course, if there was money in the card I would. Some cards are from friends I write to regularly so in next letter I will comment on the meaningful card they sent me. I NEVER do a thank you in an email.
    A prompt hand written note from me is more appropiate.

  4. I felt bad recently because I was handing out thank you cards to kids who brought me boxes of chocolates or flowers and not to the kids that only brought me a tiny paper card with a lollipop attached like they brought everyone else (or just a card). Was I wrong? I had to explain to one student why she didn’t get a thank you card, but I told her how much I appreciated her thinking of me and giving me a card and I gave her a hug.

    • I had not thought of this situation where you might be getting cards only from some people and gifts from others, and they all know each other and might notice if someone received a thank you note in others didn’t. In this case, you might want to write a thank-you note to everyone to spare any hard feelings. Explaining to the student was the right thing to do.

  5. I found it interesting how you mentioned how you do need to write a thank you card if there is money involved with your card. My wife and I recently received a gift with money for our 40th anniversary. I will be sure to write a thank-you as we move forward with our lives!

  6. If a card is hand made by an individual, by all means thank / acknowledge the next time you talk to them or at least send a text or email. If the card includes a gift, thank them for the card and the gift. I have made cards only to get a “thumbs up” emoji when I asked if they received the card in time along with sending a Happy Birthday greetings text /message. That someone took the time to think of you, please acknowledge it. No need to send a thank you note to a thank you note. Some may have the attitude that they didn’t ask for it, so why thank the sender? Guess I am old school and brought up to write thank you notes or thank the person verbally.

Comments are closed.