Gift Card Sales Continue to Soar

Gift Card Sales Continue to Soar

A new study gives more evidence about American's growing love affair with gift cards.

Approximately 85 percent of Americans will purchase a gift card in 2012 according to CEB TowerGroup research. Sales will exceed $110 billion, and spillage--the amount of money that goes unused on a gift card--will drop to $1.7 billion.

Gift card sales are expected to reach $130 billion by 2015.

The good news for retailers is that 30 percent of recipients will spend at least $25 more than the value of the card when they go to redeem the card.

The survey says Americans will spend $40 billion on open loop cards offered by American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover; $19 billion on restaurant gift cards; and $36 billion on merchant gift cards. Electronic gift cards are only predicted to reach $3 billion in 2012. However, sales of these electronic cards are projected to reach $16 billion by 2015.