Gift card purchases increase during wedding season
July 19, 2013

Small and medium-sized businesses often see consumer participation in their loyalty and gift card programs increase during the holiday season. However, a recent survey found most Americans like to receive a gift card at any time of year. In fact, many couples appreciate gift cards as a wedding present. With summer designated as wedding season, SMBs with payment integration may be seeing prepaid plastic sales rise. In the next few months, many SMBs may also see newlyweds enter the business ready to spend their recently acquired gift card. 

People appreciate receiving gift cards 
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, brides and grooms tend to prefer receiving gift cards or cash as their wedding present so they can purchase household basics. Items on registries tend to be expensive, and while many guests purchase a registry gift, some would rather give a gift card. Many home necessities, like dishware and cleaning products, are often not included in registries. While giving a couple a gift card provides newlyweds with a way to buy certain must-haves, it can also allow them to treat themselves to items they may not have been able to purchase before.

According to American Express, the average wedding gift for a relative is $144, with gifts for friends tending to be around $96. Thirty-five percent of people surveyed by the credit card company said they usually purchase a gift from the newlyweds' registry, but only 18 percent of couples reported preferring receiving gifts they registered for rather than a gift card. With the majority of brides and grooms placing value on gift cards, a recent survey from the Retail Gift Card Association found use of the prepaid plastic is on the rise.

BizReport stated the survey found 69 percent of people who receive a gift card use it to purchase a necessity, with 71 percent saying they feel satisfied when they receive one. In fact, more than 88 percent of people will use a gift card within six months of receiving it, and 87 percent reported they may spend more than what was originally on the card.

During wedding season, 28 percent said they would give gift cards to the new couples. Rebekka Rea, executive director for RGCA said gift cards continue "to evolve in terms of their utility for many gifting occasions" and continue to be valued by recipients. 

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