If you’re of the mind that gift cards are “impersonal” gifts, you haven’t caught up with the present. (See what we did there? Gifts…present…) In the past, many people believed that the giving of gift cards were signs that the gift givers didn’t wish to put in the time or effort to give the gift recipients meaningful or thoughtful gifts. Today, the complete opposite is true.
Gift cards symbolize wishes to give gift recipients exactly what they want. Gone are the days when gift cards were considered “cop out” gifts. On the extreme contrary, in today’s world, gift cards are highly sought after. In fact, they top many wish lists. “I think everyone on my holiday gift list asked for some kind of gift card this year,” shared one of our colleagues earlier this week, “And I love them for it, because it makes shopping so easy!”
What gift cards are people asking for?
“Okay, so my brother wanted a gift card from a store that sells hats,” he told us, “Which is great, because although I kind of know what kind of hats he likes, based on what he wears, I’m not sure what his size is or what colour he would prefer. I also have a friend who wants gift cards from Ikea and Structube because she’s redesigning her condo and is looking for help with buying new furniture.”
Our colleague is not alone in noticing that gift cards are highly-requested holiday gifts. On CNBC.com, Catherine Campo reports that our neighbours south of the border are fascinated with the convenience and ease provided by gift cards as well. “As it turns out, most Americans aren\’t asking for clothes or electronics,” she reveals, “Instead, 4 in 10 hope to unwrap gift cards — especially from Amazon, Visa and Wal-Mart.”
Jill Gonzalez is an analyst for WalletHub. “We saw this trend (of increasing popularity of gift cards) rise over the past five years or so,” she is quoted as saying in Campo’s article, “You used to dread getting a gift card, thinking, \’What am I going to do with it?\’ But I think it has a lot to do with the fact that you can use it from home, you can use it whenever you want, and you have a little more leeway in terms of what you\’re buying with it.”
So what are the most highly-requested gift cards for the 2017 holiday season?
WalletHub compared the 50 most popular gift card options across five major categories: 1) how popular the cards are; 2) how much of a discount you can buy them for; 3) how much you can sell them for; 4) how much people like the retailer; and 5) shipping fees. They determined that based on the above listed factors, the top three most popular gift cards are for iTunes, Starbucks and Walmart.
Victoria’s Secret, Target, Amazon, Best Buy, Chipotle, Fandango and Sephora round out the top ten most popular gift cards in that order.