Jan 15, 2024

Question of the Day: What is the average value of unused gift cards per person in America?

Gift cards are one of the most requested gifts, but how much of the value is never used?

Answer: The average unused amount is $187 per person, for a total of $23 billion.

A store display with multiple gift cards for different retailers.


  • Why do you think that the balance on unused gift cards is so high?
  • What strategies can a consumer use to make sure that they don't lose track of their gift cards?
  • Although gift cards are often asked for, would knowing that many people don’t use gift cards impact your decision to give gift cards as presents?

Here are the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.


Behind the numbers (CBS):

"After clothing, gift cards will be the most popular present this holiday season. Nearly half of Americans plan to give them, according to the National Retail Federation.

But many will remain unspent. Gift cards get lost or forgotten, or recipients hang on to them for a special occasion. In a July survey, the consumer finance company Bankrate found that 47% of U.S. adults had at least one unspent gift card or voucher with an average value of $187. That's a total of $23 billion."


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About the Author

Ryan Wood

Ryan grew up with and maintains a love for learning. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a degree in Business Administration and worked in sports marketing for a number of years. After living in Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, and Minnesota, the call of education eventually brought Ryan back to his home state of Wisconsin where he was a Business and Marketing teacher for three years. In his free time he likes to spend time with his wife and daughter, play basketball, read, and go fishing. Now with NGPF, Ryan is excited to help teachers lead the most important course their students will ever take.

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