National Use Your Gift Card Day – January 15, 2021

On the third Saturday of January — January 15 this year — make a pact to celebrate the National Use Your Gift Card Day. Yes, we know this isn’t easy. You’ll have to dig up all the old gift cards scattered in your room, and it’s just too much effort. But can you imagine how much you will benefit once all the neglected gift cards get redeemed? The gift cards could even help you get that designer watch on sale — or a gift for your partner since Valentine’s Day is quite near. So stop being lazy and finally put those cards to use!

History of National Use Your Gift Card Day

Gift cards are a blessing in disguise for those with no time to shop or who don’t know what to buy for a distant relative or a new friend. It is a plastic card that resembles a credit card. Gift cards are traceable by an online electronic system and can be used to pay for things within a certain amount. Since gift cards are so easy to carry — and the easiest option to turn to during a holiday — they have become one of the most popular gifts lately. However, the people who receive gift cards often forget to use them. According to research by Mercator Advisory Group, Inc, $3.5 billion in gift cards go unredeemed every year. It is a shocking number. Well, you might not realize it, but there might be several gift cards lying around in your house, begging to be swiped!

To counter this problem and to make sure these cards no longer go to waste, Tracy Tilson founded the National Use Your Gift Card Day in 2020. Tilson believes that gift cards should either be cashed up or donated for a good cause. After all, no one is going to benefit if the card expires. The day is set in support of the National Use Your Gift Card Day movement as well. On this day, several online retailers and stores launch incentives that encourage shoppers to utilize their gift cards. Several major retail industries are also supporting the holiday.

National Use Your Gift Card Day timeline

1994
Introduction of Gift Cards

Neiman Marcus introduces the first lot in store.

1996
Gift Card Hits the Jackpot

The store Blockbuster launches the first successful gift card.

1998
Gift Cards Trend

Macy’s, the Gap, and other retailers have them available.

2001
Upgrade of the Gift Card

Starbucks launches the first gift card that can be reused.

National Use Your Gift Card Day FAQs

Do You Have to wait 24 hours to use a gift card?

No. The gift card can be used as soon as it’s activated. 

Is a 20 dollar gift card enough?

The amount of the gift card depends on how close you are to the individual you are gifting the card to. 

Is it OK to give gift cards for Christmas?

Yes. Giving a gift card to someone is better than buying a gift they may not like. 

How to Celebrate National Use Your Gift Card Day

  1. Visit a mall

    The best way to celebrate the day is by collecting all your gift cards and heading to the nearest mall. It’s time to shop till you drop!

  2. Buy something for a loved one

    Use the gift card to buy something for a family member, a close friend, or a love interest. Investing in someone you love is better than wasting the card on things you may not need.

  3. Use a gift card to buy food for animals

    Go to a supermarket with your gift card, buy pet food for cats and dogs, and donate to the nearest animal shelter.

5 Fun Facts You Need To Know About Gift Cards

  1. Gift cards that are given by Americans

    93% of U.S. citizens have given gifts as store cards.

  2. The most popular gift card in 2019

    Amazon card was the #1 gift card.

  3. Gift cards as birthday gifts

    68% of people give gift cards as a birthday present.

  4. Starbucks transactions

    Almost half were made with gift cards

  5. Men vs. women

    Men spend more on gift cards.

Why National Use Your Gift Card Day is Important

  1. Introduces discounts

    The day is of importance as it prompts stores to introduce offers and promotions as incentives for people to use their gift cards.

  2. Helps utilize old cards

    Many people never use the gift cards they receive. Can you imagine how much money you have stored up in the cards?

  3. Retail therapy

    The day promotes shopping. It means you can step out and shop guilt-free.

National Use Your Gift Card Day dates

YearDateDay
2023January 21Saturday
2024January 20Saturday
2025January 18Saturday
2026January 17Saturday
2027January 16Saturday

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