Billions of Dollars Are Sitting on Unused Gift Cards
Gift cards were a hot gift this Christmas, and now that you've got 'em, get out there and spend 'em before you forget! You'd be surprised how many people leave that free money on the table.
Since 2005, Americans have left more than $45 billion unspent, on unused gift cards. Who are these people? Did they lose the card? Did they put it in the back of their wallet and forget about it? Do they not realize gift cards can buy stuff and they don't have to use their own money? Give a gift card to a deal-finding, coupon-clipping, budget-savvy woman and she will have some merchandise to show for it in no time flat.
The minute I get a gift card it goes into a special place in my wallet that I lovingly refer to as the "the burning hole," and it starts scorching that pocket until I spend it. It usually takes about three days.
Retaildive.com said we spent $213.49 on gift cards this year, up 7% from 2018. And 76 percent of us bought gift cards this holiday season.
I bought a bunch, for my nieces, sister, and mom this year. They love to shop and they all requested gift cards, and it saved me time shopping. And it may mean they don't exactly trust me to shop for them, but it was still a win for all of us.
The Top Gift Cards this holiday season, according to Wallethub:
5. Home Depot
Visa and Mastercard gift cards made the list, but they didn't rank in the top ten. It's probably because of those darn activation fees. Why, or why do we have to pay for money? I don't understand these things. Paying five bucks to get fifty seems odd, but I did it anyway cuz it's the holidays and it seems acceptable to throw money away this time of year. Coffee shop and restaurant gift cards are popular again too, along with Amazon, Fandango, Netflix, and Google Play. And no activation fees for most of those.
It's the day after Christmas, so let the gift card spending season begin! And while we're at it we should probably dig through wallets and drawers to see if we have any hidden gems in there that got lost in the shuffle last year. We might have just spent between $700 and $1200 on holiday shopping, but we could be sitting on a few hundred bucks in gift cards too.