From the purchasers point of view, a gift card is a , given in place of an object which the recipient may not need, when the giving of cash as a present may be regarded as socially inappropriate. In the , gift cards are highly popular, ranking in 2006 as the second-most given gift by consumers and the most-wanted gift by women, and the third-most wanted by males. Gift cards have become increasingly popular as they relieve the donor of selecting a specific gift. In 2012, nearly 50% of all US consumers claimed to have purchased a gift card as a present during the holiday season. In Canada, $1.8 billion was spent on gift cards, and in the UK it is estimated to have reached St₤3 billion in 2009, whereas in the United States about US$80 billion was paid for gift cards in 2006. The recipient of a gift card can use it at his or her discretion within the restrictions set by the issuer.
A gift card may resemble a or display a specific theme on a plastic card the size of a credit card. The card is identified by a specific number or code, not usually with an individual name, and thus could be used by anybody. They are backed by an on-line electronic system for authorization. Some gift cards can be reloaded by payment and can be used thus multiple times.
Your Gift Card cannot be used outside of Canada and the U.S. It cannot be used at certain Merchants such as casinos, cruise lines and car rental companies. Also, the Gift Card cannot be used: