• Home

Tips On How To Choose The Best Gift Cards This Holiday Season

Posted: Updated:
JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. -

The gift card industry is expected to reach $160 billion by next year, and is topping the wish lists of 41% of people surveyed this holiday season.

With gift cards being as popular as ever, a Binghamton University Marketing Professor says not all cards are equal.

There are two types of gift cards, retail and prepaid debit or bank cards.

"If you have a bank gift card, that typically has an expiration date.. so you've got to spend the full amount within, generally speaking, a year."

The freedom to buy what you want and where may cost you an activation fee, unlike store gift cards.

The most popular gift card this holiday season is retail giant Amazon, followed by iTunes, Victoria’s Secret, Walmart, and Starbucks.

J.C. Penney in the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City has seen more and more shoppers walking in this year to buy gift cards.

“The gift card business seems to increase every single year. We’ve had great response to our gift cards. We have some that work throughout the store, and we have special ones that are for Sephora as well as our salon. We also offer 3rd party gift cards.. Home depot, local restaurants, chain restaurants, movie theaters.” - Mark Barnes, General Manager, J.C. Penney

The National Retail Federation estimates more than half of all shoppers will be buying gift cards this season, and they expect holiday spending to be up 6%.