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What are the best gift cards for the holidays?

Gift Card FlagGift cards are supposed to make gift-giving easier, reducing worry about what the recipient would like and what items he or she may already have. However, gift cards vary, which could explain why nearly $1 billion in gift cards was unused in 2015, despite gift cards being the most popular type of present for 12 years.

WalletHub, a personal finance website, compared the 50 most popular gift cards on several categories: how popular the cards are; how much of a discount you can buy them for; how much you can sell them for; and how much people like the retailer. Here are the top choices:

Best gift cards – WalletHub Score

1. Disney Gift Card, 75 points

2. iTunes Gift Card, 70 points

3. Visa Gift Card, 65 points

4. Target Gift Card, 65 points

5. Sephora Gift Card, 60 points

Biggest buyer discount

1. Visa Gift Card, 28.71 percent discount

2. Disney Gift Card, 18.97 percent discount

3. H&M Gift Card, 18.02 percent discount

4. Cabela’s Gift Card, 13.62 percent discount

5. Texas Roadhouse Gift Card, 12.7 percent discount

Most popular gift cards

1. Amazon Gift Card

2. Visa Gift Card

3. Walmart Gift Card

4. American Express Gift Card

5. iTunes Gift Card

Highest resale value – $100 gift card

1. Walmart Gift Card, $87.43 value

2. Best Buy Gift Card, $86.91 value

3. Netflix Gift Card, $84.45 value

4. Costco Gift Card, $84.17 value

5. Apple Store Gift Card, $83.79 value

See Wallet Hub’s “2018’s Best Gift Cards” report for more information.

Other findings from the report:

  • Gift cards for Dunkin Donuts, $55.30, and H&M, $61.38, have the lowest resale value.
  • The year’s least discounted gift cards belong to eBay, 0.78 percent, and Amazon, 1.60 percent.
  • Red Lobster gift cards have seen the biggest increase in popularity in the past year.
  • Costco gift cards have seen the biggest drop in popularity. 
Copyright 2018, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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