Gift Card Statistics

Year in and year out, gift cards are the most requested presents during the holiday season.

Despite the demand, a surprising number of cards sit idle and go unused.

If you’re interested in writing a story about Gift Card Granny or gift cards in general, here are some interesting statistics that might help.


Top Gift Cards Infographic

  1. Around two-thirds of American consumers have purchased at least one gift card.
  2. 55% of gift card recipients require more than one shopping trip to spend the balance of their card.
  3. The average gift card user ends up spending an extra 20% beyond the value of the card.
  4. Birthdays are the most popular occasion to buy a gift card with 81% of consumers purchasing gift cards for a birthday. 67% of consumers purchase gift cards for other holidays.
  5. Retailers who switch from paper gift certificates to plastic gift cards typically see a 50-100% increase in sales.
  6. 61% of gift card holders spend more than the amount of their gift card, and 75% of those who overspend spend 60% more than the value of their card.
  7. Gift cards are most popular with teenagers. One survey reports 98% of teens have either purchased or received a gift card.
  8. More than one in every four digital or online gift cards sold in December are sold between Dec. 21 and Dec. 24.
  9. 61% of surveyed retailers plan to offer mobile gift cards by 2015.
  10. The average amount loaded on a digital gift card is around 10-15% more than a plastic gift card.
  11. More than $41 billion in gift cards went unused between 2005 and 2011.
  12. Gift cards have been the most requested item on holiday wish lists since 2007.
  13. The most commonly purchased gift card amount is $25.
  14. 40% of gift card recipients do not use the total value of the card.
  15. American households have an average of $300 in unused gift cards.
  16. Department store gift cards are most frequently purchased as a present, followed by restaurant gift cards.
  17. The sale of gift cards that expire in less than five years is prohibited by the federal government.
  18. Gift cards accounted for 18% of all holiday gift purchases in 2011.
  19. 81.1 percent of consumers intend to buy at least one gift card during the 2012 holiday season
  20. Total spending on gift cards in 2012 is projected to reach $28.79 billion.
  21. Shoppers will spend an average of $156.86 on gift cards during the 2012 holiday season.
  22. 59.8 percnet of people want to receive gift cards for the holidays in 2012.
  23. Men will spend about $30 more on gift cards than women in 2012, to the tune of $172.98.