Retail Gift Card Association Announces America’s Top Picks for the Spring/Summer Gifting Season

    Spring and summer bring with them an array of gift-giving opportunities, and this season more than two thirds of US shoppers plan to buy gift cards, a convenient choice and fail-proof gift. As the warm-weather gifting season begins, the Retail Gift Card Association (RGCA) surveyed US consumers about which types of gift cards will be favorites for occasions like weddings, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduation, teacher appreciation and more this year.

    According to responses from more than 1,100 American consumers, gift cards to department stores, online marketplaces like Amazon, restaurants and home improvement stores will be most popular this season. The RGCA’s key findings include:

    • Americans love gift cards: A full 100% of survey respondents have used a retail gift card in the last year, 77% have given one in the last year, and more than two thirds plan to give one in the next three months.
    • Celebrating Mom: More than two thirds of consumers would buy a gift card for their mothers on Mother’s Day. 21% will choose gift cards to a restaurant, while 19% will give cards for either spa and leisure or department stores.
    • Cap and gown: Gift cards are a very popular gift for graduates, with the overwhelming number of shoppers selecting cards from online marketplaces (45%). Fuel cards are also popular for this younger demographic (21%) as are cards for department stores (13%).
    • Wedding bells: 79% of shoppers would give a retail gift card as a wedding gift. Department store gift cards are the top choice (26%) followed closely by online marketplaces (20%). Home improvement gift cards will also be popular this year (13%). Weddings are also perfect occasions for pitching in with others to give a larger gift; 65% of consumers would prefer to give a gift card when giving a gift from a group.
    • Dear old Dad: Not surprisingly, the most popular gift card for Father’s Day will be those from home improvement stores, with 23% of shoppers selecting this option. Restaurants (19%) and online marketplaces (10%) will also be chosen this year.
    • Teacher appreciation: An overwhelming 85% of shoppers would select a gift card for a teacher present. This year, the most popular types are restaurant (29%), and online marketplaces (25%).
    • Suggested investment: $25 is the most popular denomination of gift card to be given over the next three months, with 44% of consumers indicating this is the average amount they will load on each card. 24% will give $50 denominations and 6% will give $100.

    “Our survey showed that gift cards remain popular choices for two key reasons: gift givers can be assured recipients will be able to purchase what they want, and the cards are convenient for recipients since they can be spent in-store, online or on their mobile phones,” said Mary Donovan, Executive Director of the RGCA. “Consumers have a lot of options, but they’re confident that gift cards deliver.  With more than two thirds of Americans planning to give gift cards this season, it would be wise for retailers to ramp up their card marketing efforts for the spring and summer gifting months.”

    The RGCA spring and summer gift card study was conducted via online survey during April and May 2014 with more than 1,100 adult respondents representative of the US (in terms of education, income and gender).