- On Good Things Utah this morning – As the holidays approach, inflation, shipping delays and some of the other frustrations of shopping – whether online or brick and mortar – make gift cards seem like an ideal solution. Buyers can choose exactly how much they want to spend, while the recipients can choose the items they need. It should be win-win.
- But gift cards aren’t always perfect. A lot of them go unspent, for any number of reasons. Despite rising consumer debt, Americans are holding onto more than $21 billion in unused gift cards. In fact, 60% of survey respondents say they have at least one unredeemed gift card. The vast majority of these say their unredeemed cards are worth $200 or less. At least half of Americans have lost an unredeemed gift card at least once. And they seem to be in no hurry to spend the money. Why does this matter? When these cards go unredeemed, there’s only one big winner: The companies that issue them.
- So here are the reasons we don’t spend gift card money:
- People forget they have the cards
- Cards are lost
- Cards are for places where the recipient doesn’t normally shop
- People don’t spend the card’s entire value and are left with a small balance on the card
- And many consumers are unaware that despite federal protections, “inactivity fees” can be charged in certain states after a year of card inactivity, meaning Americans who are saving the cards for a special occasion could end up losing value.
- Tune in as dive into this Hot Topic and so much more this morning on a Friday edition of Good Things Utah.
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