Gift cards - a typically safe option for the holiday season - are becoming increasingly popular with each passing year. A pair of surveys show just how ubiquitous the plastic cards have begun.
According to the National Retail Federation, 59.8 percent of people prefer to receive a gift card, up from 57.7 percent the previous year.
"Retailers are pulling out all the stops this year to make their gift cards personal, convenient and desirable,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.
The average card will sell for $43.75 and men are much more likely to use a gift card than a woman. Men are expected to spend an estimated $172.98 compared to $141.66 for women.
- Satisfaction with receiving gift cards as a holiday gift increased by 4 percentage points from the previous year, with more than 84 percent of respondents saying they were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with receiving gift cards as a holiday present.
- Department store and restaurant gift cards are the most popular type of gift card to give and receive, but grocery store and gas station gift cards are also popular.
- Gift cards with a value of $25 were the most popular denomination.
- Kids are the most common recipients of holiday gift cards.