Gift cards are still a major gift-giving option and are particularly popular with older millennial adults, according to a new report from Packaged Facts, a market research firm.
According to a report looking at the new research, Packaged Facts found adults in the U.S. spent $46 billion during the last 12 months on gift cards, with $28 billion of that amount going to gift cards for other people and $11 billion for gift cards they keep for their own use. What’s more, during Christmas shopping, American consumers spent more than $9 billion on gift cards for other people, representing 33 percent of the gift card spend. Birthdays came in second, with $7 billion of the gift card spending going to birthday gifts. The research found 26 percent of the spending falls outside of holidays, with the giving tied more to doing something nice, giving it as a reward or as a way to say thank you.
Packaged Facts also found that 25–34 years olds are the biggest givers of gift cards, spending greater than $7 billion. Meanwhile, those 18–24 year olds spent the least on gift cards. Adults between the ages of 35 and 44 account for $6 billion of the spending on gift cards.
How much income a household has also plays a role in gift card giving, with Packaged Facts finding households with $100,000 or more in income represented 29 percent of the survey respondents but 47 percent ($13 billion) of the money spent on gift cards. Among those who are giving themselves gift cards, the report found 25–34 year olds and 35–44 year olds spend the most on gift cards for themselves, while those with $100,000 in household income represented 48 percent of the money spent on gift cards for themselves.