Gift card sales booming for the holidays

A survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics shows holiday shoppers are expected to spend a total of $27.5 billion on gift cards. That’s an opportunity for your credit union to encourage members to purchase cards and give a boost to your CU’s bottom line. Consumers plan to purchase three or […]

A survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics shows holiday shoppers are expected to spend a total of $27.5 billion on gift cards. That’s an opportunity for your credit union to encourage members to purchase cards and give a boost to your CU’s bottom line.

Consumers plan to purchase three or four gift cards on average at an average $47 per card for a total of $27.5 billion. The top reasons for giving a gift card are that it allows the recipient to choose their own gift (46%) and is easier and faster than choosing a traditional gift (29%). Restaurant cards are the most popular, chosen by 35%, followed by those for department stores (30%), coffee shops (23%), Visa/Mastercard/American Express/Discover (also 23%) and entertainment such as movies or music (18%).

The survey found 56% of consumers asked during the first week of November had already begun their holiday shopping, about the same as the past few years. That was up from 48% who had already started at the same point a decade ago. On average, consumers had completed 24% of their shopping, the highest level in the history of the survey and up from 16% in 2009. Only 4% had finished shopping.

NRF defines the holiday season as Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 and has forecast that sales will total between $727.9 and $730.7 billion. Consumers expect to spend an average $1,047.83 – including purchases made earlier – for an increase of 4% over last year, according to NRF’s annual survey released in October.

Credit cards remain the top form of payment at 42%, followed by debit cards (37%) and cash (19%). Forty-four percent of holiday shoppers plan to use alternative payment systems, with 32% saying they will use PayPal, 10 percent Apple Pay, 7% Google Pay, and 5% each Samsung Pay and Venmo.

LEVERAGE offers gift card solutions for your credit union. Learn more here.

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The League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates represents 342 credit unions in Alabama, Florida and Georgia, with a combined total of $118.63 billion in assets and more than 10.1 million members. LSCU & Affiliates provides legislative and regulatory advocacy; education and training; cooperative initiatives (including financial education outreach); public messaging; information services; and business solutions.

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