Consumers are Treating Themselves with eGift Cards

November 20, 2015, Written By John H. Oldshue
Flying gift card and present against starry blue sky

eGift card purchases are growing, but people are buying them for themselves, not to give as presents, according to a survey conducted by Blackhawk Network.

Plastic gift cards remain popular. Nearly all of the respondents in the survey (86%) purchased a plastic gift card in the past year and almost half of those surveyed (43%) bought these cards for someone else.

Only 58% of the respondents purchased eGifts, and, rather surprisingly, only 27% of those purchasers used it as a present.

eGift popularity is rising, though, and it may be due to the fact that consumers can buy them at a discount or through a reward or rebate offering. 37% of the eGift buyers purchased it at a discounted rate, and 65% bought it as a part of a rebate or reward program. Nearly all of these recipients (86%) kept the eGift for themselves.

Millennials purchase eGifts more than any other age group. 76% said they have purchased eGifts and 71% have received one as a present.

“Gift cards remain incredibly popular and the expansion into digital forms has provided new opportunities for both retailers and consumers,” said Teri Llach, chief marketing officer at Blackhawk Network, a pioneer of prepaid gift cards, payments tools and rewards delivered via a robust and convenient network. “Our research shows that plastic gift cards are used primarily for gifting, while egifts are more often used for self-use. Digital gifts, such as egifts and e-codes, are helping to drive rewards and incentive programs in an incremental way.”

Blackhawk surveyed 1,000 American consumers online during October.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of November 20, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.