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Woman called out for using multiple gift cards on first date. AITA?

Woman called out for using multiple gift cards on first date. AITA?


"AITA for using gift cards to pay for dinner on my date"


I (21F) went on a date with someone we’ll just call Eve (22F)

We met online and seemed to hit it off. I doubt you need the details.

She’s in school, I’m not, so over the weekend we went out to eat. There’s nowhere super fancy here cause it’s a small town, but there is a place that serves steak, so I took her there.

I told her to order whatever, and I’d pay for it. Drinks, food, appetizers, anything. The date went well and when the check came, I grabbed some gift cards I got from my job. I’d been saving them for over a year for whenever I’d have an excuse to eat at this steak place, so they covered the entire meal.

Eve was sort of quiet when I gave the gift cards to the waitress, and I asked her if everything was okay. She kinda looked at me funny and asked if I only chose this place cause I had gift cards. I told her the truth that no, I picked it cause she said she likes steak, and that the gift cards were a nice bonus.

Then she told me it was weird to pay with gift cards instead of credit or debit on a date. Like it was devaluing her, or something, cause she ‘wasn’t worth my actual money’ (Not a direct quote but you know what I mean.)

I’m not broke, but I’m not rich. I could’ve afforded the dinner on my own, yeah. I clarified that when she asked. I just don’t see the big deal. She got a free meal, I (technically) got a free meal too.

Everything else about the date was fine. Should I have just paid and saved my gift cards for another time??? I haven’t been on a date since high school so I wasn’t aware this was a big deal. I’m worried I look cheap. I’m careful with my money, but I don’t think I’m cheap.

Edit: The gift cards were something I got from work for being a top performer, they were NOT gifts from any family or friend. Also it was NOT a fancy establishment. Very casual place that just also serves really good steaks in our town. There aren’t any fancy places around here and she wasn’t expecting anything lavish.

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


NTA. You earned those gift cards at your job, so they're no different from money that you earn at your job.

"asked if I only chose this place cause I had gift cards"

Even if you did, so what? She can't afford to pay for herself, so you are still providing for her. The nerve of some people!

"Should I have just paid and saved my gift cards for another time?"

Hell no! Taking her to this fancy steak place on what sounds like a first date was obviously a mistake. People you meet online aren't worth this extravagance, as you have learned from this terrible experience.

I personally would never do a first date with someone I met online at a restaurant or anywhere I am expected to lavish money on them. Coffee shops or meet at the park or walk at the beach only.

Let this be the lesson you take away from this. They need to earn your provision. Many of them are simply looking for someone to provide free meals and you are being a fool to fall for it.

The OP responded here:


It’s FAR from fancy, don’t get me wrong. Very casual place, just a little pricier and happens to serve steak. It’s half a bar.


"It’s FAR from fancy, don’t get me wrong"

It was a free steak dinner from her starving student perspective. So she should have kept her mouth shut and be grateful.

This story just sends a shiver down my spine because of thousands of dollars I have wasted on countless dates I've had with "Eve" type of women many years ago after my divorce before I wised up and started doing coffee shops and walks at the beach only.


I honestly don't know the etiquette when it comes to this. Personally, I wouldn't be upset with it. It's either NAH or NTA.


Nah, not to me, you took someone to dinner, you paid for it, how you paid for it should only bother them if your bank balance is a factor in you dating them...a nice lack of appreciation from someone.


NTA - Some people might see this as tacky. I'd respond that these are the type of people I wouldn't want to date, because they are ungrateful and judgmental. You guys are young. Steak dinners aren't cheap. You treated her, and what does it matter how it was paid as long as it was legal and you tipped?

I'd say good riddance and look to date someone more understanding of your financial situation. Someone who can roll with it and not be tacky and rude in response (because yes, her response was quite tacky and entitled).


NTA - her reaction was pretty weird considering you still treated her to a nice meal. You're never TA for being smart with money.


This is why we go on dates - to find out if the other person is a good match, or possibly an asshole. You found out you went on a date with an ahole. She didn't appreciate that you didn't pay with cash, as if that was some sort of reflection on how you appreciated her.

Strange moral code, but whatever. Me, being thrifty, would have appreciated that you used something you got for free and exchanged it for something with value. NTA.


NAH, I think. There is nothing wrong with using gift cards to pay for a date. But doing so on a first date can come across as a little tacky. I don't blame you for ignoring the taboo because it is kind of stupid. But I also don't blame your date for feeling the way she did, give the taboo's existence.

The OP again responded here:


I wasn’t aware it was a taboo. I’ll keep that in mind for the future though!


NTA. When me and my husband were dating we both used gift cards to pay for dinner. If you chose somewhere both like and you had a nice experience befire it got to the bill then what's the problem. You don't go out with someone to see what they will spend on you, you ho out with them to spend time together and get to know each other.


I'm torn here. You were technically NTA, I mean, you took your date to a nice place! But if I were on a date, and the other person took out gift cards, I think I'd think the exact same thing your date thought. "This will be my life with this man, if we get involved--gift cards, restaurant coupons, all-you-can-eat places, two-for-one specials".

I admit that makes me shallow and judgmental. But that would be my knee-jerk reaction. However, if during the date I discovered other things about him that I really liked, I might say yes if he asked me for another date.

I think you should have gone to a more modest place first, and if you hit it off, then bring out the gift cards. (Or alternatively, go to the steak house, but discreetly excuse yourself, go up to the cashier to redeem the gift cards privately, and then go back to your table and leave the tip, so your date doesn't know you used gift cards.)

So, what do you think? Was the OP in the wrong here?

Sources: Reddit
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