Of those 50 million folks, 61% of them spend more than the original gift card amount and that 33% of the total value is never used or redeemed by the user.
That's a wacky set of statistics from vantage card, but then gift cards can be quite the convenience. It erases the trauma of figuring out what to get someone, keeps the outlet focused and everyone is happy. IE: If you ever get me a Starbucks or Peets' gift card, you could never go wrong in my book!
Over at couponing.about.com, they note that that in 2007, over $26 billion will be spent on gift cards and that around $8 billion of that won't be used!! WOW!!! Send me your gift cards!! I can make great use of $8 billion worth of coffee.. though I don't think I'd ever sleep again!
Despite the ease of the gift cards, some have hidden fees. Credit card gift cards for one.. (Are you surprised?) Some malls also depreciate the face-value of a gift card when it's not redeemed within a specific time.
So be sure to find out all the details of a card before snagging it. (Yea, I know I'm a bit late for the Christmas season, but I just got this thought today!)