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Top 20 Most Popular Gift Cards of 2012

GiftCardRescue.com has released its annual Top 20 Most Popular Gift Cards of the Year. For 2012, here are the gift cards consumers want most, as taken from a sample of over 20,000 wish lists created by GiftCardRescue.com customers.

For breakdown of the most popular cards by category, like the most wanted Restaurant or Entertainment gift cards, click here. For the 2011 and 2010 Top 20 Lists, click here.

NRF Survey: Gift Cards are the Most Wanted Holiday Gift

The National Retail Federation just released their 2011 Holiday Survey and once again gift cards have beat out all other options to remain the most wanted holiday gift. According to the survey, 80.2% of all holiday shoppers will purchase a gift card, up over 3% from 2010. It is estimated that consumers will spend on average $155.43 in gift cards with total spending reaching around $27.8 billion.

Consumers look to purchase gift cards not because of the convenience, but they like to allow the recipient to choose their own gift. It’s easier to allow someone to purchase something on their own, rather than picking something out that might not be desired.

Matthew Shay, NRF President and CEO said,

With discretionary gifts expected to be popular, many consumers will view gift cards as an ‘everyday value item,’ affording their loved ones the option of buying something they really want or need.

We recommend that consumers follow the Top 20 Most Popular Gift Cards list that we released when choosing what gift card to buy this holiday season. These types of gift cards were determined to be the most popular by the NRF survey.

Most Popular Gift Cards

Data collected from 2011 NRF Survey.

The trends found in this survey actually match the same data that was released by GiftCardRescue.com in the top 20 most popular gift cards list. In the top 20 list, Walmart, Amazon.com and Target were the most desired gift cards and these merchants are each considered department stores. The only variation found between the two surveys were the popularity of restaurant gift cards in the NRF survey, where as in the GCR survey only two restaurant gift cards made it into the top 20.

As a gift card exchange retailer, we see a massive spike in restaurant gift cards that are sold for cash or Amazon.com credit immediately after Christmas. It appears that while consumers have the mindset that restaurant gift cards are desired, in actuality people prefer the department store and specialty merchants more.

Top 20 Most Wanted Gift Cards 2011

Today we are happy to release our fourth annual list of the Top 20 Most Wanted Gift Cards for 2011. Wal-Mart gift cards remain unchanged as the most popular gift card, followed by Amazon.com and Target. Consumers love the ease of use and extensive product selection that is available from these merchants.

Some of the biggest changes for this year’s list compared to the Top 20 Gift Cards for 2010 are; Kohl’s entered the top 20 for the first time, demand decreased for gas gift cards, and McDonald’s made its debut in the top 10. The list serves as an excellent resource for those looking to buy a gift card this holiday season, but are unsure of what merchant to purchase.

 The data for top 20 gift cards was compiled by using over 12,000 gift card wish lists that were created by GiftCardRescue.com customers. GiftCardRescue.com users create wish lists of merchant gift cards they would like to purchase and are sent email alerts when a card they want becomes available at a discount. GiftCardRescue.com is the leading website for gift card exchange where consumers purchased over $4 million worth of discount gift cards in 2011 and saved an average of 15% to merchants like Best Buy, Home Depot, JC Penney and Macy’s.

Top 20 Most Wanted Gift Cards of 2010

Here is our third annual Top Gift Cards of the year list. Those of you who have followed our blog for the last three years are probably familiar with our Top 10 Most Popular list. For this year, we decided to expand the list to Top 20 and only use data from our wish list, which we think is a more accurate representation of what gift cards people want (even though it did not change the Top 10 cards that much). The list you see below was compiled from a nationwide sample of about 6,000 wish lists created by GiftCardRescue.com users showing which gift cards they would like.

What do you think about the list? Did anything surprise you? Is there a merchant you expected to be in the Top 20 that did not make it? Share your comments below.

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