Americans have over $20 billion in unused gift cards or credits, survey says

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HOUSTON – Do you have unused gift cards or some store credits that you haven’t used? Chances are you do, according to a new survey by Bankrate.com.

According to the survey, Americans have more than $20 billion in unused cards or rewards. The survey found that 50% of the adults in the U.S. have unredeemed gift cards or credits. Twenty-two percent of adults said they have lost a gift card and 25% have let one (or many) expire.

“Gift cards and store credits are real money, so treat them as such,” said Ted Rossman, an industry analyst at Bankrate.

Millennials are the guiltiest of having unused gift cards. According to the survey, 55% of them said they had a credit or gift card they have not used. Comparatively, Gen Z had 50%, baby boomers were at 48% and Gen X was at 46%.

The rate of unused cards or credits also depends on income. People with lower incomes were less likely to let a gift card expire, while 32% of people who make more than $80,000 said they have let a card or credit go to waste.

Instead of not using them or letting them expire, Bankrate.com recommends turning to the resale market.

“You can sell unwanted gift cards at sites such as Cardpool.com, CardCash.com and GiftCardSpread.com,” Rossman said. “You can also buy discounted gift cards from these sites. That’s a great way to save on an upcoming purchase.”

You can also donate the cards to charity.

“Your local charity of choice or a website like GiftCards4Change will be glad to accept your unwanted card,” Thomas said. “You also have the potential for a charitable tax deduction when you do this as well.”

For more information on the survey, visit Bankrate.com.


About the Author:

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.