Home / Credit News / Holiday gift cards in 2013 are more popular than ever

Remember when holiday gift cards were widely regarded as a cop-out gift? The argument against gift cards were that they lacked creativity and didn't offer much in the way of emotion. My mom used to say they were "No fun" (even though she inundated my cousins with gift certificates every Christmas), and I remember my Dad using holiday gift cards on lunch bills in July. 

Basically, they were pretty unexciting.

However, in today's world of audience fragmentation, there are thousands of different gift cards available basically everywhere you look. (The grocery store, the mall, online, etc.) And with so many options now available when it comes to holiday gift cards, both givers and givees aren't nearly as ... well, blah... about giving or receiving a gift card.

Here are some statistics that came out recently regarding holiday gift cards according to a TellWut survey:

  • 90% of those surveyed considered gift cards a "welcome gift".
  • 72% said that a gift card for a child was a "perfectly acceptable" gift.
  • 80% of holiday shoppers bought gift cards last year.

So not only are credit cards a popular gift to receive - they're extremely popular to give, too. While there are a lot of factors that attribute to the rise in popularity of gift cards, one thing is for certain: gift cards are WAY better then they used to be, and they provide consumers with more options and more flexibility on purchases that they actually want to make.

Gift cards from Apple, Best Buy or Target can help net that person on your holiday list items they really want or need. And while it's inarguably more fun to open up a present, it's always better to find something you like ($50 in iTunes cash) versus something you have to pretend to like. (We're not going to bring any homemade knit sweaters into question, but you get the idea.)

Plus, many gift cards can be reloaded, so that Starbucks gift card you get your sister-in-law might become the gift that keeps on going if they decide to treat it as such.

So, if you're completely stuck on what to get that wild card niece or nephew of yours this holiday season, don't feel guilty for opting to take the gift card route. Odds are it might be the most useful gift they receive this year...