A holiday card is a thoughtful way to show loved ones you're thinking of them, even if you can't be together to celebrate.
The number of options online can be overwhelming, but etiquette expert Karen Thomas reminds us of the real reason behind the sentiment. "The myriad of options of where to buy cards are endless," says Thomas. "Some may choose cards based on personalized style or religious content. No matter what you choose, your handwritten good wishes are sure to delight your recipients."
We researched the best places to buy holiday cards online, considering the price, customization, and messaging options. Our favorites include Minted, which supports independent artists, Paper Culture for an eco-friendly option, and Quilling Cards, which features handmade textured designs that take an hour to complete.
Here are the best places to buy your holiday cards online.
Photo cards available
Many customization options
Can organize by sentiment
Some features require extra cost
Want a completely different selection than what was available last holiday season? Minted is the go-to site for fresh and unique designs. It runs contests to crowdsource top picks from independent artists worldwide. In addition to a wide selection of traditional printed cards, Minted also offers various photo cards where you can share five or more photos.
Whatever holiday card you pick, you’ll have the option of choosing the background color, the finish, the color or design print on the back of the card, free recipient addressing, return address, envelope color and liner, and more. However, some of these features come at an additional cost.
Minted also just released a collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art that includes gorgeous new designs inspired by famous artwork. While the sheer amount of card options on Minted can be overwhelming, it offers various filtering methods for easier navigation, including organizing by sentiment and style.
Shipping Time: 2-7 days | Personalization Available?: Yes | Addressing Available?: Yes, for free
Fewer customization options
Papier's selection of holiday cards covers all the bases. Whether you want a custom photo card, something with a bit of humor, or a classic design, Papier's wide range promises to let your loved ones know you're thinking of them this holiday season and in the cutest, most sentimental way.
Papier is also a good choice for the environmentally keen as it uses plastic-free packaging and sustainably sourced papers from Forest Steward Council (FSC) certified forests. While you can't customize every part of the design like other sites, Papier makes it easy to know your total cost upfront with their price calculator.
Shipping Time: 3-5 days | Personalization Available?: Yes | Addressing Available?: Yes, for an additional cost
Easy to browse
Simplistic, yet elegant designs
Printed on recycled paper
Fewer whimsical options
Browsing through the seemingly endless options on other sites can be time-consuming, which is why minimalists will appreciate Artifact Uprising. It keeps its choices to about 150 simple, stylish designs printed on recycled paper, each with a choice of one of five foil colors for printing and three color options for envelopes. It offers return addresses and recipient addresses for an additional charge.
If you're looking for inspiration for holiday cards, the site offers many ideas, none of which will require you to decorate for the holidays to get the perfect photo. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, it also gives the option of a DIY card. The designs tend to skew more elegant and sophisticated, so this may not be the place for whimsical or colorful cards.
Shipping Time: 5-12 days | Personalization Available?: Yes | Addressing Available?: Yes, for $0.40 per envelope
Nails Inc. Plant Power Vegan Polish
All holidays and occasions
Digital downloads available
Lots of search options
Longer wait times
You can find just about any card under the sun on Etsy—from Kwanzaa greetings to custom-illustrated holiday cards where your crew (or just you) are hand-drawn to printable templates that you print out at home. The biggest challenge will likely be narrowing down all the choices.
In addition to searching by card category, you can sort by price—and since individual marketplaces make up Etsy, you’ll find a wide range from budget to luxury (don’t forget to factor in shipping costs, too). As your card will be hand-designed, the earlier you place your order, the better. But, by browsing Etsy and small shops, you support small artists and creators, which is worth a bit of extra wait time.
Shipping Time: Varies by shop | Personalization Available?: Oftentimes, yes | Addressing Available?: Often, no, but varies by shop
Rifle Paper Co.
Bright, colorful designs
Can order single cards or sets of six
Free ground shipping over $70
No messaging options
No photo designs
Rifle Paper Co. is known for its bright colors, eye-catching florals, and chic hand-painted designs—and the brand's holiday cards are no different. It offers a variety of holiday-themed options, and each card is truly one of a kind, thanks to the brand's unique signature style. While it doesn't offer photo options, you are sure to find a card pretty enough for loved ones to keep around the house way after the holidays have passed.
The brand offers free domestic shipping on orders over $70, and you can order a single card or box set of eight cards. While you can't add messaging online, these cards make the perfect excuse to write a handwritten sentiment to a loved one.
Shipping Time: 1-7 days | Personalization Available?: No | Addressing Available?: No
Free design assistant
Option to upload your own design
Limited non-photo options
There’s no need to feel guilty about the size of your holiday cards’ environmental footprint when you order from Paper Culture. Not only does the company plant a tree for every order and use carbon credits to offset its carbon footprint, but it also uses recycled paper and sustainable materials. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized Paper Culture as a Top 10 Climate Leader, and it claims certification as a Green Business.
In addition to being one of the greenest card options out there, its design staff is available to help you navigate the choices to find and design the perfect card, including layout and color. Be aware that Paper Culture offers limited non-photo options, so this is definitely the place to show off family photos. Another plus is each card highlights the designer with a small bio and link to other designs.
Shipping Time: 3-10 days | Personalization Available?: Yes | Addressing Available?: Yes, for $0.69-$0.89 per envelope
Can print on a magnet
Overwhelming amount of options
Zola is a premier online destination for all things wedding-related. It also sells holiday cards as stunning as their wedding invites. From photo options to elegant designs, there's a holiday card for every preference and style.
The brand's cards are incredibly customizable: You can cater all the fine details to your liking, right down to the paper type, type of fold, and foil color. Cards also come in standard card format or as a magnet. Zola's options come at unbeatable prices from $0.99 each, plus free shipping. Designing your perfect card can be overwhelming with different paper, color, addressing, folding, and foil options. Luckily, you can order a free proof to ensure that all of your small customizations come out perfectly.
Shipping Time: 6+ days | Personalization Available?: Yes | Addressing Available?: Yes, for free
Nearly unlimited options
Can print your card on other items
Multiple trim options
Looking for a holiday photo card that doubles as a “we moved” announcement, features your furbaby, or prints your annual newsletter in a cute and colorful way? Beyond the message, Shutterfly offers options for everything from flat, business-envelope-sized matte prints to foil print fold-out cards in pearl shimmer cardstock with room for four or more photos. Pre-printed addressing is available on some envelopes.
You can also have your card and image printed on an ornament, mug, or pillow, which makes for a fun keepsake. Keep an eye out for sales and promo codes to save on your order. The price per card may be a bit higher than other sites, but the results are worth it.
Shipping Time: 1-10 days | Personalization Available?: Yes | Addressing Available?: Yes, $0.29-$0.39 per envelope
All cards come with handmade chocolate
Multiple everyday options
Options from this brand might look like chocolate bars at first glance, but Sweeter Cards marries greeting cards and holiday confections in one. When recipients open a Sweeter Card, they'll see your special holiday greeting first. Then, they'll flip open to a handmade, gourmet chocolate bar made from vanilla caramel, fresh whipping cream, butter, Madagascar vanilla, and Mediterranean sea salt.
Perfect for everyday gifting, Sweeter Cards offers multiple designs ideal for showing someone you care despite the occasion. This site may not be the best destination for Christmas-themed art or allergy-friendly presents, but it's a wonderful option for inspirational messages and adorable designs for every day of the year.
Shipping Time: 3-4 days | Personalization Available?: Yes | Addressing Available?: No
Custom envelopes available
Constant promo codes and sales
Expensive when not on sale
Tiny Prints is Shutterfly’s more sophisticated sibling. Like on Shutterfly, you’ll find options for various life stages along with a selection of themes such as “snowflakes” and “peace & joy.” It also offers cards with foil-raised print in a selection of shimmering gold, copper, or silver. You can choose the trim of your card (square or with rounded corners), the envelope, and the liner color. When you select a custom envelope, Tiny Prints includes recipient addressing.
Keep in mind the more cards you order, the lower your price per card will be. However, like with Shutterfly, Tiny Prints has frequent promo codes and sales—historically, the best deals are in November and on Cyber Monday—which helps justify the otherwise higher prices.
Shipping Time: 1-10 days | Personalization Available?: Yes | Addressing Available?: Yes, $0.29 per envelope
Messages appear like handwriting
Mails the cards for you
Various holidays included
Can't view cards before mailing
It doesn’t get any easier than Postable, a one-stop shop for holiday cards. You simply pick your card and type your message, which Postable will transform into a handwriting-like font for you. Then the company prints, stamps, and mails the cards for you to any country in the world. Though you can't view them in person beforehand, you provide the addresses via the site, or you can upload an Excel spreadsheet of addresses.
The hardest part is selecting your card from all the brand's adorable options. It has selections for Christmas, Hanukkah, general holiday themes, and Spanish-language choices. You can pick between mailing a postcard or an envelope. Even better, Postable prints all the cards and envelopes on recycled paper and there are no hidden costs, so you can figure out your budget right at the beginning of the process.
Shipping Time: 2-6 days | Personalization Available?: Yes | Addressing Available?: Yes, just pay for the stamp
African American Expressions
Black-owned and family-operated
Beautiful inclusive designs
Part of the proceeds go to charity
Shipping isn't included
Founded in 1991, African American Expressions bills itself as the largest Black-owned greeting card company in the world. While you won’t find options for photo cards, you will find beautifully illustrated options that celebrate African American history and culture, including families, children, community leaders, and historical figures.
This site has options for Christmas or Kwanzaa, including assortments of 15 cards. Though this company doesn't cover shipping costs, your purchase contributes to the company's mission to give back. The company donates a portion of its earnings to one of four charities that support Black communities.
Shipping Time: 1+ days | Personalization Available?: No | Addressing Available?: No
Handmade by local artisans
Woman and AAPI-owned
Unique, textured designs
Pricey mailing costs
Vietnam native Huong Nguyen Wolf took her passion for the art of quilling and turned it into Quilling Cards, a brand that features handcrafted cards by over 300 local artisans in Ho Chi Minh City. A member of the Fair Trade Federation, Quilling Cards offers gorgeous, textured cards for the holiday season and beyond.
While more expensive than other options, each card takes one hour to complete by hand. Once they arrive, you can add a handwritten message and send the piece of art to a loved one. The brand also recently launched Create-a-Quill kits, where you have a part in every part of the construction of your card for a completely homemade feel.
Shipping Time: 1+ days | Personalization Available?: No | Addressing Available?: No
Can buy up to 400 cards at a time
Express shipping options
Sesarch by number of photos included
Can be overwhelming at first
As the name suggests, Personalization Mall is your one-stop destination for all things customization. Aside from personalized pillows, ornaments, sweaters, and more, the site also offers a huge array of holiday cards to create and customize.
We love that you don't need a family photo to customize many of the cards available. Add your family's surname for the perfect touch at the end of a holiday greeting message. While the options can seem overwhelming, there are plenty of ways to narrow your search, including filtering by card size, orientation, or even number of photos.
Shipping Time: 1-10 days | Personalization Available?: Yes | Addressing Available?: Yes, for $0.19 per envelope
Female-owned and operated
Cohesive designs on various items
Provides information on all artisans
Limited print options
Named after the founder's hometown, Dogwood Hill offers a comforting and homey approach to shopping for holiday cards online while supporting female professionals. This woman-founded company consists of a collective team of over 30 artists and in-house designers that bring gorgeous holiday designs to life.
The website also highlights all of the artists and their designs and includes links to photographer portfolios from images featured in the sample cards. Though the prints are not as extensive as other retailers, we love that you can purchase invitations, gift tags, a notepad, and a holiday card all in the same cohesive print.
Shipping Time: 1+ days | Personalization Available?: Yes | Addressing Available?: Yes, for $0.75 per envelope
Can add links and videos
Mimics opening a card
Pricey for digital service
For those looking to go fully green with their holiday cards this year, we recommend the e-card website Greenvelope.com. This sustainable digital card platform has saved 990,000 pounds of paper and counting, and you can be a part of that this holiday season. The completely online platform mimics the feelings of opening a Christmas card virtually with the same customizations possible, which helps justify the price for a non-tangible item.
While this service is pricier than alternatives, the site offers hundreds of designs to choose from and the opportunity to add special messages and family photos. Choose your design based on the color, holiday, shape, designer, and more, then customize it to your liking.
Shipping Time: 10+ days | Personalization Available?: Yes | Addressing Available?: N/A
What to Look For in a Holiday Card
Some families enjoy fully customizing their holiday cards to feature photos of children, pets, and more, while others prefer simpler options. We have included choices that will appeal to individuals in either of these categories. Those who do not have as many up-to-date family photos on hand may prefer illustrated cards, while shutterbugs may wish to upload favorite snaps to one of the websites offering customization.
The number of cards you will need to purchase depends on the length of your recipient list, but generally, customizable cards will run cheaper than pre-made greeting cards, which come in smaller box sets. If you are sending holiday cards to your large extended family, neighbors, coworkers, and more, you may need to purchase a set of 100 or more.
Those who enjoy sending long, handwritten notes to friends and family during the holiday season may appreciate illustrated card sets, but others who seek to quickly and efficiently tackle a lengthy list of recipients will prefer ordering pre-made cards. Note that you can always add a brief handwritten message on the back of these cards, too.
How much should Christmas cards cost?
Personalized cards — with a greeting or photo — typically cost between $2.00 and $2.50 per card, depending on quantity. Most companies offer discounts and promotions to encourage you to order early. These discounts can save you as much as 20% on your order.
When should you buy Christmas cards?
The best time to buy Christmas cards is right after Christmas during the after-holiday sales. If you’re purchasing custom photo cards, place your order in October so you’ll receive your cards with plenty of time to mail them before the holidays.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Julia Fields a lifestyle writer for The Spruce covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, and the holidays since October 2021. Before that, she covered similar topics including toy reviews, product round-ups, expert-focused articles, and more. Fields consulted etiquette expert Karen Thomas who provided expert advice about holiday card messaging and the best time to send them.