Dec. 17, 2012: Prepaid Gift Cards Remain Popular

Prepaid gift cards — especially “closed loop” cards that can only be used at specific retailers — remain a popular and sought-after holiday present, according to research from First Data. In its report, called “Consumer Insights into the U.S. Gift Card Market: 2012,” First Data found that the volume of gift cards both purchased and received has remained relatively stable this year, compared with last year. Gift cards for supermarket chains comprise only about 8% of the total of gift cards purchased, although they tend to be among the most valuable, with an average worth of $51. Supermarkets are also home to mall-type displays of gift cards in their stores, which are the second-most popular venue for purchasing the cards. The most popular venue — cited by 61% of buyers — is the store itself where the card can be redeemed, followed by mall displays at 45%. Consumers who buy at card malls are more likely to purchase more cards, however.

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