Will your gift card form part of the 23% of unwanted cards this festive season?

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
Our authors
, updated on June 6th, 2023       

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The holiday season can be one of the best times for credit cardholders to maximise their reward cards to gain points. It is also the time where many cardholders redeem their points to help them save and gift their loved ones with gift cards. However, be careful on the type of gift card you leave under the Christmas tree this festive season as it could end up being thrown away.

23% of gift cards are unwanted

Receiving a card form your aunt or mom can be a sweet gesture on their end, but research has revealed that as many as 23% of Australians brave a smile for gift cards that they never plan on using. However, there are secondary market participants that are willing to prance at the chance of recycling your unwanted gift. A ‘second hand’ market for gift cards has sprung up over the years where gift card holders can sell their gift cards. According to The Treasury, Aussies are trading their gift cards on these secondary markets for 60%-90% of the original purchase price for cash.

Aussies are still going big on gift cards

Try not to be hasty when it comes to cancelling the idea of getting a gift card as a gift for your loved ones. You can sneakily ask them what they would like to get for Christmas and purchase a gift card that is aligned with their interest. The estimated size of the Australian gift card market is valued at $1.5 billion and $2.5 billion annually.

When it comes to forking out on gift cards ANRA found that out of 1000 consumers, 20% of respondents were planning on purchasing a gift card with the average value of $57 is loaded on the card for either clothing, household goods, and entertainment.

Young people are most likely to get a gift card

Putting a thought into gift can be a difficult thing, especially if the receiver has an eclectic taste of interests. The reason why most parents or relatives gave a gift card to their youngsters was that they believed that it gave them more control over what it is spent rather than giving them cash.

A gift card was also a popular choice for people who wanted to gift someone they did not know really well. According to a survey by Retail Decisions Australia, 73% of Aussies stated this as the main reason for purchasing a gift card.

Whether you are planning to choose cash over a gift card or carefully planning your Christmas shopping list, it pays to compare your options. With a budget in place, you will be able to give all your loved ones a gift without blowing your budget. It could also be an opportune time to compare credit card options that are on the market that will offer you the best value when it comes to rewards to get the best value for your money.

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