With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to pull out the holiday card list and get writing. However, how would you like to save some money this year and also help save the environment?
We’ve assembled a list of websites that allow you to create electronic cards (eCards) you can send (using email, Facebook, or other electronic delivery methods) to friends and family for the holidays, or for any other occasion. Each site listed provides free eCards you can send or has a free option, as well as a paid option.
Punchbowl allows you to send free eCards that have the look and feel of traditional paper greeting cards. They provide hundreds of free eCard designs you can personalize with custom greetings and accents such as envelope liners, custom postage, and rubber stamps.
NOTE: When you send free eCards using Punchbowl, there are advertisements on the cards. To remove the advertisements, you need to sign up for the Platinum membership plan ($99/year). There are also two other levels of membership: Plus ($19/year) and Premium ($59/year). Each level offers additional features and benefits.
123Greetings.com allows you to easily create and send free eCards that you can customize with your personal messages using an advanced text editor. Your eCards can be sent immediately or scheduled up to 60 days in the future. Each eCard can also have as many as 100 recipients.
You do not have to register to send an eCard using 123Greetings.com. However you can register for their 123Greetings Connect service for free to have access to additional features. With 123Greetings Connect, you can get reminders for birthdays, upcoming events, and holidays, import, store, and access an unlimited number of contacts in an online address book, track, edit, and delete eCards you have sent in the last 30 days, and keep track of eCards you have received in the last 30 days.
Egreetings.com offers thousands of free eCards for you to send using rich graphics, animations, and music. They also provide apps for iPhone and Android devices that remind you of birthdays from your Facebook account and allow you to create and send eCards to your friends’ Facebook walls.
Care2 allows you to make a difference in the world while sending eCards to your friends and family. They donate 5 percent of advertising revenues in cash and services to leading non-profit organizations. Just visiting their site to create and send your holiday eCards, helps generate funds for global environmental programs.
All eCards at Care2 support environmental causes, such as saving the rainforest. Choose from a large selection of eCards for many different occasions, and even add your own photo to some.
Someecards.com allows you to send free, funny eCards for every occasion. New cards, categories, and features will be added frequently. You can subscribe to their newsletter to get updates on new cards, categories, site features, and upcoming holidays.
eCardica.com is a free service that allows you to send and receive greetings cards and invitations electronically for all occasions. Some eCards are Flash-based while others are simply photos with a message attached. All eCards sent using eCardica.com are advertisement-free. Their Holiday categories cover all kinds of holidays including Cheese Day (June 4) and Love Your Pet Day (February 20).
For cards that are a bit different, visit Hipster Cards. They allow you to create and send eCards in many categories that are simple to view, are full of attitude and wit and a bit cheeky at times. They add new designs each month.
Rattlebox allows you to create free “video eCards that don’t suck” for many different occasions. You do not have to register, but it’s free to do so. They offer over 1,000 fully customizable free online, video eCards. You can send Rattlebox cards easily via email or IM, post them on blogs, or circulate them on social networking sites.
HDgreetings allows you to create high quality, high definition, online video eCards. Each eCard can be personalized and can include a photo that appears with your custom message at the end of the video. You can use your webcam to create your own video to send to loved ones and add fun effects to your photos.
Some eCards on HDgreetings are free and some are not. The ones that are not free are indicated with a green star.
eCardster is a simple site that allows you to create eCards from your own photos or from images available in their eCard Gallery. Type a custom message, select the font and color for the text, and pick a border from over 100 available. You can send your eCard to up to five recipients.
If you upload your own photo to create your eCard, you have the option to add it to the eCard Gallery, where it’s reviewed and added upon approval within 72 hours.
Imaginaryecards offers over 900 free eCards containing nature-inspired designs. Select cards from any of the many categories available, and have your eCard ready to send in just a few minutes. You can also choose from the Most Popular designs or display a Random Ecard.
Hallmark offers many premium eCards that you have to pay to send, but there are also plenty of eCards that are free. Simply pick an occasion, holiday, or other category on the left and select any of the eCards that say “FREE” underneath them. You can email free eCards or post them to Facebook.
If you want to be able to select from any of the eCards on the Hallmark site, you can sign up for an annual eCard subscription for $12 per year. This allows you to send eCards with over 600 popular characters and songs, send unlimited premium eCards and mini eCards, and schedule premium eCards an entire year in advance.
Doozycards allows you to create and send eCards to friends and loved ones. No account is required to send eCards marked “FREE” or to send eCards from the Free Card page. However, you can open a free account to use their Reminders system for free Birthday, Anniversary, and Holiday reminders and a personal address book.
They also offer a Premier Account ($19.95/year) which allows you to send any eCard on their website as often as you want for a year. To sign up for the Premier Account, you must first sign up for a 10-day free trial.
NOTE: Be aware that you must provide a credit card to sign up for the free trial. If you don’t cancel your membership before the 10 days are up, your credit card is charged $19.95 and your membership is automatically converted to a Premier Account.
Regards.com offers a free service that allows you to create eCards for any occasion. Each eCard you create is stored on their system as a unique and private web page with its own address that can only be accessed by you and the recipient of your eCard. No long downloads or email attachments required. Your recipient receives a short email notification directing them to the private web page where they can view the eCard.
Regards.com offers another eCard service, called RegardsBox, that provides funny eCards that are different and a “little insane.” RegardsBox also allows you to pass around an eCard, for several people to sign, before it’s sent to the recipient.
E-Cards.com allows you to send online greetings and gifts to friends and family that also support wildlife and the environment. Every card you send using E-Cards.com helps generate a donation for wildlife and nature.
If you want access to additional eCards and features, sign up for My E-Cards for $12 per year. Your membership allows you to access more cards, save cards, upload your own images, add effects to cards, use a birthday reminder calendar and an email address book, schedule cards to be sent on future dates, an avoid advertisements, as well as many other features. A portion of your membership fee helps protect wildlife, nature, and the environment.
World Wildlife Fund
You can show your support for wildlife and the planet by sending free eCards to your friends and family from the World Wildlife Fund. Choose from many occasions and add your own personal message.
The Nature Conservancy eCards
Another way of showing your love of nature is to send free eCards from The Nature Conservancy. They have many beautiful pictures you can send to your friends and family as eCards. You can also set up your eCard to arrive on any day you want.
If you’ve found any other useful sites for creating and sending free eCards, let us know.
Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.
- Published 11/24/12