Gift cards: when did they appear and how popular are they now?

When a store returns money in the form of gift cards, this is not something unusual or out of the ordinary for the millennial generation. These bonus certificates have become so firmly established in our lives that when we take unnecessary goods to the distribution network, we are not at all averse to receiving a refund in this way.

But once upon a time, gift cards were just entering circulation, replacing gift certificates that have existed since the early 1970s. Elite chain Neiman Marcus was the first retailer to introduce gift cards. But at that time, even these progressive businessmen did not yet understand the full potential of the new system and devoted little time to promoting it.

Gift cards have supplanted classic certificates after the widespread adoption of color printers. As Frank W. Abagnale mentioned in his book The Art of Stealing, creating a fake certificate was not difficult at all, entrepreneurs needed bonus cards with a higher degree of protection.

The largest video network, Blockbuster, became the first place to showcase gift cards when its market skyrocketed in 1995. This branded product became very popular and raised the level of sales of the video service.

The next major promoter of gift cards was Starbucks. Their certificates have become reusable, today every seventh purchase in these branded coffee shops is made using gift cards.

Nowadays, these bonus certificates can be both in physical and electronic form, which makes them as convenient and common as possible in circulation.

Gift No. 1

Gift cards have become the most popular type of gift in the US. This is a simple and elegant way to please recipients of certificates, giving them an excellent opportunity to choose a really necessary and useful service or product.

Tamara Holmes, an employee of the site, cites statistics according to which 93% of Americans will somehow deal with gift cards this year. They will either receive them as a gift or purchase them to congratulate their loved ones, distribute them at work, etc. Of course, gift cards have become a real surprise hit at present.

Bonus certificates are popular and loved not only by buyers but also by sellers. According to available data, the owner of a gift card spends much more than face value, realizing his bonus at a point of sale or on a website.

Another benefit for entrepreneurs is that many cardholders simply forget about them and do not realize their potential. It turns out that the certificate was purchased and paid for, but not turned into a product - almost a net profit for the store.

So Kari Paul from Market Watch reports that in general, about a billion gift cards are not sold in a year!

The total annual gift card market is valued at approximately $180 billion. And its growth continues - volumes increase by 5-6% annually. The time of the most active use of certificates is the vacation period. If you want to get the most complete information about valid gift cards from various retail chains and online platforms, go to, the best deals are already waiting for you there!