3 of the Best eCard and Online Greeting Card Websites Compared

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Ecards and custom card websites may never totally replace mass produced paper cards, but they certainly offer many wonderful and fun alternatives to the traditional store bought greeting card

In the past 15 years as home computers became a part of every household, our methods of communication have adapted with the digital age. eCards (electronic cards) are greeting cards, post cards, and invitations that can be created or ordered on many Internet sites and sent via e-mail.  A digital eCard can be personalized, interactive, include music and video and are environmentally friendly as they use no paper.

Other websites offer custom designed greeting cards and other paper goods where you can select a design, add your own photos and create one of a kind greeting cards, birth announcements, party invitations, stationery, and calendars.

Blue Mountain

Blue Mountain was one of the first web sites to offer eCards or online greeting cards. For the first few years, Blue Mountain was associated with Microsoft which advertised the ecards on its free Hotmail Service. But as eCards became more popular and web sites expanded, Blue Mountain offered paid memberships, went through many changes and eventually was bought by American Greetings.

In 1998, when I got my first home computer, I was so impressed when my cousin sent me a “Hello Newbie” eCard from Blue Mountain. It was animated and played a cute tune as I read a personal message of congratulations on my first computer. I sent her a thank you eCard - and it was free! Today, Blue Mountain has a few free eCards but the majority of cards be sent only by purchasing a membership:

Pricing:

Blue Mountain E-card membership prices:

  • 1 Month - $4.99
  • 1 Year - $19.99
  • 2 Years - $29.99

Blue Mountain memberships are a good value for people who buy a lot of greeting cards. Think about how many cards you mail and give to people every year: Most single cards cost around $3 - $4. If you buy only 10 cards a year, it will cost $35- $40. 

Blue Mountain members can take advantage of these features:

  • Printed Cards with personalized message, custom design and matching envelope
  • Top quality eCards, Add-a-Photo eCards, Singing & Musical cards for every holiday, occasion or reason – no matter how eclectic or obscure (Pets & Animals, Vegetarianism, International holidays, etc)
  • Address book with birthday and special date reminders.

Pros:

  • Huge selection of eCards
  • Free 7 day and 14 Day Trial memberships
  • Artist Gallery: This section offers unique collections of eCards by independent artists

Cons:

  • Free eCards available but the quality does not compare them to detailed, lush artwork and clever designs of membership cards.
  • Customer service complaints: Blue Mountain seems to receive more than the usual amount of online gripes about automatic credit card payments:

I am currently disputing THREE payments to Blue Mountain. They charged me $19.99 twice, and $9.99 today. I am disputing this with my bank as they are unresponsive. Complaint Board.

This is the second year that I have been charged for BlueMountain Cards and I have not requested this. I DO NOT SEND E-CARDS. Last year I tried to contact them with no success. This year I am going to call my bank and tell them that the charge was not for me and will not pay it. Complaints Board.

Minted

Minted sells a variety of paper goods with hundreds of unique artistic designs. They don’t offer eCards but for those who appreciate hand written notes and paper greeting cards, Minted has a large selection of stylish eCards, stationery, invitations, etc. that can be personalized with sentiments, details and photographs. Minted was founded in 2007 by Marian Naficy who created a community of designers from around the world. By holding regular design competitions, Marian gave unknown graphic designers an opportunity to gain exposure and make money with their creative expressions.

Since 2007, Minted has received thousands of design entries and the best ones are selected by the Minted community to be used for the following products:

  • Greeting Cards, Stationery, Thank You Cards
  • Party Invitations
  • Wedding Invitations, Save the Date Cards, Menu Cards, etc
  • Baby Shower & Birth Announcements
  • Holiday Cards
  • Photo Cards and Calendars

The Minted “community” is comprised of many different types of people, some professional designers, parents and others with a passion for creativity. Anyone can submit a design; all designs are treated equally and given the same assessment whether they are submitted by a professional artist or a stay at home mom.

Sample Pricing:

  • Wedding invitations as low as $1.50 per invitation.
  • Save the Date cards: 100 cards for $228 with free custom envelopes and free guest addressing.
  • Prices for all cards vary depending on the customer's choices, and they offer many choices.

Pros:

A large collection of unique paper products in variety of designs, everything from shabby chic to modern/hip designed by artists around the world

  • Competitive prices with other online stationery companies
  • Website is gorgeous and easy to navigate
  • Design Challenges give artists and others the change to submit, critique and vote on designs. Winning designers are awarded cash prizes and paid commissions when an item with their design sells.

Cons:

Minted paper goods are lovely, ethereal, dignified and thoughtful…but you won’t find too many novelty or funny cards on their web site. If you have a wicked sense of humor, you may find these designs a little tame.

American Greetings

American Greetings is the largest eCard provider on the Internet. It was founded in 1906 by a Polish immigrant Joseph Saperstein who sold cards from his horse drawn cart. Still family owned, American Greetings is one of the world’s largest greeting card companies. In addition to selling cards in retail stores, AmericanGreetings.com offers eCards, evites (invitations) and cards you can customize and print. 

Pricing:

American Greetings has a limited selection of free eCards, but their inventory of membership cards is amazing. There are cards for every type of personality: sentimental, goofy, romantic, serious. You may purchase and e-mail single eCards for $1.99 or buy a membership after your no obligation Free Trial:

  • 1 Month - $4.99
  • 1 Year - $19.99
  • 2 Years - $29.99

Pros:

  • Membership costs same as Blue Mountain (which is owned by American Greetings) but they also have 1 month memberships that can be cancelled at any time.
  • Single eCards can be emailed for $1.99 – cheaper than most store bought cards     
  • Special card collections (talking cards, celebrity themes, religious, pets, etc)
  • Printable Cards: Design, personalize, print and save greeting cards. It helps to print on a high quality printer
  • Invitations – e-mail customized “evites” for any occasion or event

 Cons:

  • Free Trial requires a credit card to sign up. If you don’t cancel within the 30 days free trial period, your credit card will be charged. The only way to cancel is by calling and staying on hold for a long time. 

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MD Sam
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Posted on Nov 2, 2012