Survey: Two-thirds of consumers to buy gift cards in spring, summer

Washington, D.C. -- More than two-thirds of U.S. shoppers will buy gift cards during the spring and summer seasons, according to a just-released survey by the Retail Gift Card Association.

Buying occasions include Mother’s Day, graduation and weddings. Key findings of the RGCA spring and summer gift card study, which polled more than 1,100 American shoppers, include:

• A full 100% of survey respondents have used a retail gift card in the last year, 77% have given one in the last year, and more than two thirds plan to give one in the next three months.

• More than two thirds of consumers would buy a gift card for their mothers on Mother's Day. 21% will choose gift cards to a restaurant, while 19% will give cards for either spa and leisure or department stores.

• Gift cards are a very popular gift for graduates, with the overwhelming number of shoppers selecting cards from online marketplaces (45%). Fuel cards are also popular for this younger demographic (21%) as are cards for department stores (13%).

• 79% of shoppers would give a retail gift card as a wedding gift. Department store gift cards are the top choice (26%) followed closely by online marketplaces (20%). Home improvement gift cards will also be popular this year (13%).

• The most popular gift card for Father's Day will be those from home improvement stores, with 23% of shoppers selecting this option. Restaurants (19%) and online marketplaces (10%) will also be chosen this year.

• An overwhelming 85% of shoppers would select a gift card for a teacher present. This year, the most popular types are restaurant (29%), and online marketplaces (25%).

• $25 is the most popular denomination of gift card to be given over the next three months, with 44% of consumers indicating this is the average amount they will load on each card. 24% will give $50 denominations and 6% will give $100.

"Our survey showed that gift cards remain popular choices for two key reasons: gift givers can be assured recipients will be able to purchase what they want, and the cards are convenient for recipients since they can be spent in-store, online or on their mobile phones," said Mary Donovan, executive director of the RGCA.

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