NEW YORK – July 26, 2021 – More than half of U.S. adults (51%) currently have unused gift cards, vouchers, or store credits totaling roughly $15 billion in outstanding value, according to a report. Furthermore, almost three-quarters (73%) of those with unused gift cards, vouchers, or credits have been holding on to at least one of these for a year or more.

Click here for more information:

However, one group seems to be an outlier when it comes to gift card/voucher/store credit inactivity, especially compared to their elders: millennials.

 Gen Z (ages 18-24)Millennials (ages 25-40)Gen X (ages 41-56)BabyBoomers (ages 57-75)Overall
Total With Unused Balances46%56%47%52%51%
Total Unclaimed Value **$81$139$112$113$116
Have At Least One GiftCard/Voucher/Credit Over 1-Year-Old **85%82%70%64%73%
Believe They’ll use all Unredeemed Value **32%42%54%63%51%
Resold a Gift Card14%17%8%4%9%
**Among those with unredeemed gift cards, vouchers, or store credits

Troublingly, 49% of U.S. adults have lost gift card/voucher/store credit value at some point because they let at least one of these expire (29%), they lost at least one (27%), or they failed to use at least one before the business closed permanently (21%).

Still, nearly half (49%) do not anticipate using all of their unredeemed funds, including 30% who plan to use most of them, 14% who think they’ll use only a small portion, and 5% who believe they’ll use none.

Higher-income households (respondents with annual household incomes of $80,000 or more) also stand out, with 64% possessing unused gift cards/vouchers/credits worth an average of $162. That compares with 53% of middle-income households (annual incomes between $40,000 and $79,999), who average $121 in unused value. Some 44% of lower-income households (under $40,000) are holding onto an average of $79 apiece.

“My advice is generally to use gift cards, vouchers, and credits promptly,” said senior industry analyst Ted Rossman. “The longer you hold onto them, the more likely it is that the store will go out of business, the value will expire, or you’ll lose track of them. If you have an unused card from a store you don’t like, you can still use it to buy a gift for someone else, re-gift it, or even sell it. This is real money, so don’t let it go to waste.”

Methodology: commissioned YouGov Plc to conduct the survey. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The total sample size was 2,387 adults, of whom 1,225 have outstanding gift cards, credits, or vouchers. Fieldwork was undertaken from June 30, 2021 – July 2, 2021. The survey was carried out online and meets rigorous quality standards. It employed a non-probability-based sample using both quotas upfront during collection and then a weighting scheme on the back end designed and proven to provide nationally representative results.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply