Consumers to spend billions on gift cards this season

WASHINGTON — Consumers will spend billions of dollars on gift cards this
holiday season. General purpose cards, store and online cards are among the
most popular.

The top three most popular gift cards are Visa, Amazon and iTunes. Other very
popular gift cards, according to, are American Express, Netflix,
Walmart and Target.

Evidently, people love to give and get gift cards: The National Retail
estimates that gift cards will make up about $31 billion of holiday
spending, and the group says its survey shows that 62 percent of consumers say
they hope to receive at least one this holiday season.

General purpose cards such as Visa and American Express charge fees; store-
gift cards do not. There’s also a difference between a gift card and a prepaid
card that is
reloadable like your bank debit card.

While gift cards are very popular, many of the plastic cards are apparently
in drawers, buried under paper on desks and otherwise cast aside.

TowerGroup and CardHub estimate that $45 billion worth of
gift cards issued since 2005 are unused.

The top 10 most popular gift cards, according to Cardhub’s 2014 list, include:

  1. Visa gift card
  2. Amazon gift card
  3. iTunes gift card
  4. American Express gift card
  5. Netflix gift card
  6. Walmart gift card
  7. Target gift card
  8. Google Play gift card
  9. eBay gift card
  10. Starbucks gift card

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