Are Gift Cards the best gift?

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Are Gift Cards the best gift?

By: Stuart Simpson

January's retail sales strength is reflected in people redeeming their Christmas gift cards. The average adult received 3.) 2 gift cards this holiday season, up from 2.) 5 gift cards last year. Gift cards are more popular and this also moves spending into January. Consumers are also interested in receiving gift cards at other times that just at Christmas.

A survey by Deloitte & Touche USA found:

  • 80% of adults received at least one gift card to an apparel or food store
  • 33% received at least one gift card to a restaurant
  • 14% received one gift card to a mall or shopping center
  • 10% received a gift card that could be used at a variety of stores (e.g., an American Express gift card)
  • 5% received at least one for a personal service such as a manicure or massage
  • 5% received at least one gift card for an Internet site (e.g., ebay, Amazon)

Price ranges for gift cards ranged from $78 for an American Express card, while the lowest was for a $32 restaurant card. Bank gift cards are more likely to be used in January. Nearly 74% of these gift cards have been redeemed or partially redeemed by the end of January.

People were more likely to buy full price retail items with their gift cards. Many analysts believe the "gift" aspect allows consumers to treat themselves to new full-priced merchandise.

Retailers also benefit when consumers redeem a gift card, nearly 62% spend more than the face value of the card. This is an opportunity for retailers to increase sales, as sales cannot be reported until the gift card is redeemed.

Consumers also expressed an interest in receiving gift cards for other holidays. For example, a gift card for an "experience" is widely received as a result of people being time-pressed. Getting a gift card for a trip to a restaurant or massage or even a weekend getaway seems to be a trend people are enjoying.

Teens enjoy gift cards because they are more eager to shop with their friends and are more apt to redeem their cards quicker than adults. The survey showed teens redeemed 76% of their gift cards vs. 61% of adults.

Gift cards keep on giving, after the holidays, especially for retailers. Gift cards are here to stay. Consumers enjoy using them and retailers enjoy getting them. Gift cards are an appropriate gift for all occasions.

About The Author

Stuart Simpson is the author and runs a web site to promote and gather information about gift cards at


xgrioux 13.05.2013. 17:03

What is the difference between gift certificate laws and gift card laws in Colorado, refund/ experation etc? A couple years ago I purchased a gift certificate from Mile High Skydiving for $175 (which is aprox $25 discount) This gift certificate has expired and the couple times I tried to use it the weather didn't permit. I was told about the laws for gift cards/ gift certificates and that they never expire and should be redemable if never used. I looked up the statues on and the rules seemed to be straight forward. However, when I brought this up to the owner of Mile High, she said there is alot more to it then that, and that it requires a lot more research. I wasn't being rude just asking a question, but she seemed annoyed. She said that gift certificates can expire and gift cards cannot, also, saying that they cannot be refundable after experation date. She then told be that she can refund the amount but would have to charge a cancelation fee of $50. I said that would be fine, she said I would have to mail the gift certificate back in order for this to take place. So, my question is where can I find more information on gift cards/ gift certificates and their laws? Or what are they? Because from my research on they aren't that different, neither can expire and both can be refunded.....


Admin 13.05.2013. 17:03

What you have is a gift certificate and not a gift card. And you are right, the laws are very straight froward.

Under Colorado law, a gift certificate is valid at the price you paid for five years, however any promotional value can expire on the date specified at the time of sale. In your case, if you paid $175 and got a $200 gift certificate, when it expires, it is still worth $175 for up to five years from the date you purchased it. However, it is not refundable, or redeemable for cash. You can only use it as a $175 credit with Mile High, and they must honor it.


Tiffany 23.07.2012. 19:51

Is a gift card from 2008 for Regal Cinemas still good to use? I recently found 2 gift cards (and gift receipts) for Regal Cinemas when I was unpacking from a move. I can't check my balance online or over the phone cuz it says invalid number...but it's got the 19 digit number they require? Seems a waste for my 2 gift cards to be no good after only 4 years of no use. Thanks in advance.


Admin 23.07.2012. 19:51

Yes, probably but you should call the theater just to check


Zafrina Somani 04.01.2012. 20:01

Can I use my iTunes gift card credit to gift music? I don't have a credit card associated with my iTunes account, but I want to gift a song to my friend. To buy music, I just use iTunes gift cards. Can I use my iTunes gift card to gift the song? Is there a special way to do this or do I need a credit card?

Zafrina Somani

Admin 04.01.2012. 20:01

For me, the best thing you can do is to give him/her an iTunes gift card code. You don't need a credit card in this way. Check this Youtube video on how to get 2 free iTunes gift card codes.


True Religion 16.03.2010. 16:49

Is it possible to buy gift cards with gift cards? I have a $300 gift card to Saks, and I would like to purchase three $100 gift cards to Saks so that I can give them out as gifts. Will the store allow me to purchase gift cards with a gift card?

True Religion

Admin 16.03.2010. 16:49

Yes, you can do this. It will cost a little bit of money to do this. Sak's is always helpful.

Just take your card to customer service and they will help you.


The 22.11.2010. 23:04

Can I use a Canadian gift card in the United States? I live in Canada. I am planning to go to New York after Christmas to get some good deals. If I got some gift cards for gifts at Christmas, would I be able to use them in New York?
Please help!


Admin 22.11.2010. 23:04



miller 13.08.2011. 21:22

How does this guy get his gift cards? In my local classifieds, there is a guy that recently posted an ad for two Walmart gift cards. These gift cards are worth $750 total. The guy is selling them for $500 for both. The fishy thing is that this guy has been posting Walmart gift cards for the past several month, around one gift card per month, and we are talking big amounts in the hundreds. I have bought from him in the past, and the cards are legit and works fine. Amazingly, the guy lives on welfare and lives in one of the poorest sections of our town.

How does he get these gift cards??


Admin 13.08.2011. 21:22

Semi-used Gift cards can be bought online at a discount.


Ryu Tea 15.02.2012. 05:48

If I use a itunes gift card on my iphone and gift someone a app the gift card will be charged right? Ima get $15 gift cards and gift apps so, itll charge the gift card not my credit card right?

Ryu Tea

Admin 15.02.2012. 05:48

Unfortunately it will charge your credit card. For the longest time i only used gift cards for my account and i tried to gift apps and it told me a credit card was needed, I tried again recently in hopes that an update happened or something and of course they charged my credit card -_-


AggieEngineer 16.12.2008. 22:04

Need a christmas gift idea for 60 year old parents? Parents are the worst to shop for... If they need it they already bought it. My wife detests buying gift cards. Gift cards are not allowed.

Please help!


Admin 16.12.2008. 22:04

Pajamas & slippers. Then buy them a nice bottle of wine.;...


Inderpaul P 06.01.2009. 01:41

What is the difference between e gift card and a gift card? What is the difference between e gift card and a gift card?

Inderpaul P

Admin 06.01.2009. 01:41

An e-gift card is electronic. You either have to print it to use it, or you can only use it online. A gift card is a physical card you can hold in your hand.


xaznxsneakx 25.02.2008. 00:35

Can I use a Vanilla Visa Gift Card to purchase a USPS money order? I recently bought a $100 Vanilla Visa Gift Card with the intention of using it to make an online purchase. However, I discovered that it cannot be used to make online purchases. I now wish to purchase a USPS money order using the gift card. The gift card does not have a PIN, and does not store billing addresses or cardholder names. Can I buy a money order?


Admin 25.02.2008. 00:35

it acts like a credit card, so probably not. If it had a pin and acted like a debit card, you could:


Domestic Money Orders
Money Orders let you send money safely through the mail.
Postal Money Orders are a safe, convenient, and economical alternative to sending cash through the mail. They can be purchased from any Post Office? locations in the United States as well as from any rural route carrier, available up to $1,000 each. A current government-issued or state-issued picture identification is required for money order purchases of $3,000 or more in a single day. Other features include:

Domestic Money Orders

Purchase with cash, debit card, or traveler's check
Valid for an unlimited period
Can be cashed at any Post Office or can be deposited or negotiated at your financial institution
Replace damaged, lost, or stolen money orders


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