Often, our holiday shopping lists include individuals that are hard to shop for. Whether that is a family member or a hard-to-please friend, sometimes that single perfect gift just doesn’t exist. And what about those individuals you just don’t know that well? You may not know what kind of gift to get, let alone what color or style they’d want.
The easiest, most well-received option has, and continues to be, open-loop prepaid gift cards. An increasing number of shoppers have realized that purchasing prepaid cards for family and friends during the holidays eliminates the stress that can come with searching for the “perfect gift.”
The National Retail Federation has announced that for the 12th year in a row, gift cards remain the most popular items on consumers’ holiday wish lists. Additionally, consumers are expected to spend 4.1 percent more on gift shopping this year than they did during last holiday season. Undoubtedly, many of these savvy shoppers will be stuffing stockings with prepaid gift cards.
Deloitte’s 2018 Holiday Retail Survey found that gift cards topped the lists of the type of gifts consumers planned to purchase. Further, research from Mercator Advisory Group predicts open-loop gift card loads to increase at a rate of 3 percent through 2020, increasing total loads to $22.3 billion.
Prepaid cards are so popular, especially during the holiday season, because of the benefits they provide, including:
Flexibility: Prepaid cards can be used anywhere debit cards are accepted. That means gift recipients have the flexibility to choose the gifts they really want, wherever they want, helping avoid cumbersome returns processes and gift receipts. With a little creative packaging, gift givers can even say why they chose the card and suggest how the funds can be used to show the thoughtfulness behind the gift. For example, the card might go to fund a trip or favorite hobby.
Convenience: Open-loop gift cards can be purchased either online or at the store, helping busy and last-minute shoppers get to everyone on their lists. Additionally, the funds loaded onto prepaid gift cards do not expire for five years, allowing gift recipients to save up for anything from must-have gadgets to upcoming vacations.
Fee-Free: Open-loop gift cards are typically fee-free for the user. The purchaser might have a nominal fee to cover the cost of the card (typically between $2-$5) but then, every dollar put onto the card can be used by the recipient for the things they want most.
Universally Loved: Open-loop gift cards make the perfect gift, especially for last-minute shoppers or picky recipients. Choosy friends, long-distance relatives, and even your mailman or kids’ teachers are sure to be happy. Because prepaid gift cards can be used almost everywhere and are activated as soon as they are purchased, an open-loop gift card is bound to be a favorite for anyone on your holiday shopping list.
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