Gift-Card Purchases to Reach Record Highs

Stamford, Conn., Gift-card purchases are expected to reach an all-time high at $35 billion this holiday season, compared to last year’s actual spending figure of $25 billion, according to the 2007 Holiday Gift Card Survey by Archstone Consulting. This is a 40% increase year-over-year.

The report also found that more than 56% of gift cards are redeemed within the first month of purchase, while 85% of all cards are redeemed within three months. In addition, almost 50% of the respondents spend more than the value of the card upon redemption.

The average American family will spend $184 on gift cards this holiday season. Prepaid credit cards will see the most growth this season as they allow consumers the flexibility to spend by choice, the report said.

Men also tend to spend more on gift cards than women. Men spend on average $61 per gift card vs. an average of $42 for women. About 90% of the highest per gift card expenditures ($200+ per card) are purchased by men, according to the survey.