35% of Americans bought gift cards in 2008

Continued convenience and a clearer understanding of usage terms are expected to increase sales of gift cards by nearly $14 bln over the next five years, according to Packaged Facts. Gift cards, which lead the closed-loop segment of the $81 bln prepaid card market, have been gaining credit since 2002. Then, gift cards were categorized in the catch-all “other” category of in-store payments. In 2003, however, they became their own line item on the survey, accounting for 2% of all sales, a number that doubled in 2005. Nearly 35% of consumers who purchased gift cards in the last 12 months anticipate spending more on gift cards during the next 12 months, with 9.1% expecting to spend “significantly more.”