Study: Who gets gift cards (and which kinds we prefer to get)

A new holiday season approaches, and gift cards remain an attractive present for many consumers. According to a survey conducted by Comdata in September 2007,  half of all presents bought by consumers were gift cards. Other interesting trends include:

  • 95 percent of those interviewed said they have either bought or received a gift card.
  • Consumers purchased an average of 4.83 gift cards for others in the past 12 months, which is about the same as in 2006.
  • The average value of gift cards purchased in 2007 was $53, up from $46 in 2006.
  • People bought gift cards for gifts mainly because they didn't want to worry about getting the correct size or color.
  • 60 percent of gift cards were bought as presents for females.
  • Receipt of cash cards such as Visa and MasterCard quadrupled in 2007 from 4 percent to 21 percent.


Gender drives gift card preference more than ethnicity.

From which of the following merchants (by percent) do you prefer to receive gift cards?

  Ethnicity      Gender    
  African
American 
Caucasian Hispanic   Female  Male   Total
Restaurant 57 45 37 52 38 45
Department store 48 41 48 47 38 42
Cash card 56 38 32 42 37 39
Clothing store 39 30 46 43 24 33
Discount store 27 31 36 33 29 31
Book store 25 29 43 34 26 30
Grocery store 38 28 25 35 22 28
Gas station 40 25 25 25 28 26
Electronics store 34 23 28 15 34 24
Coffee shop 14 15 30 18 14 16

 

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Hispanics are more likely to give gift cards to co-workers or employees, and women give gift cards to relatives more than men.
For whom do you usually purchase gift cards (by percent)?

  Ethnicity      Gender    
  African
American
Caucasian Hispanic   Female  Male   Total
Child 40 45 49 51 38 45
Friend 54 39 54 47 36 42
Parent 44 34 38 39 31 35
Sibling 45 31 35 37 29 33
Spouse 22 17 34 18 21 19
Co-worker 16 14 34 18 14 16
Grandchild 8 13 10 14 10 12
Love interest
15 10 16 9 13 11
Grandparent 5 8 10 8 7 8
Employee 5 6 21 6 9 7

Source: "Adult Gift Card Study," 2007. Comdata. Sampling error varies depending on answer. 


See related:
As holidays tighten, gift cards remain popular, Top 10 creative ways to wrap gift cards, 8 ways to get gift cards for less, How to claim expired gift card funds, 2008 gift card comparison table



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Updated: 04-22-2018