Whether you’re strapped for time or just out of ideas, gift cards are the go-to present year round. 72 percent of us say we have given a gift card as a present, and 84 percent say they have received one. But one size does not fit all. Bankrate.com and Princeton Survey Research Associates International surveyed U.S. residents to figure which cards are appreciated the most by each age group. The best gift card to give by age and gender:
The most common value of a gift card given is $25 to less than $50.
Women (25 percent), more than men (19 percent), prefer gift cards to specific retail stores.
48 percent of adults prefer general gift cards issued by banks and credit card companies, such as Visa, MasterCard or American Express. (If you buy one of these, you will most likely be charged a purchase fee.) For Sunmark members, it’s a small $3.75 fee for a MasterCard gift card.
Those 65 and older prefer gift cards to restaurants and specific retail stores, rather than a general purpose gift cards issued by banks and credit card companies.
If an older teen or 20-something is on your gift list, consider giving a mobile gift card they can redeem by using their phone. A stunning 40 percent of Millennials admit to losing a gift card before they can spend it, compared with 26 percent of the general population. If it’s on their phone, it won’t get lost.
Movie gift cards are the least popular with only 4 percent indicating this as a preference. The online retailer iTunes was a close second with just 5 percent listing it as their gift of choice.
“People like gift cards because it allows them to choose their exact gift,” Martha Weaver, director of the Gift Card Network, a gift card-specific marketing and collaboration platform, told Bankrate.com. “Consumers “have come to the realization that it’s better to give somebody a choice of gift, especially if you’re not sure of what they might want.”