The most desired item on wish lists this past holiday season wasn’t a pair of Airpods, a Nintendo Switch, or a Baby Yoda plush toy.

For the 13th straight year, the present of choice was the gift card. Gift cards are so popular that they account for 55% of the average shopper’s entire annual gift budget.

In an ideal world, the gift card is a win-win: For the buyer, it’s a hassle-free gifting experience; for the recipient, it’s a cash equivalent that can be used at any store or restaurant

But gift cards aren’t always ideal. Oftentimes, they go unused — whether we lose them, forget we have them, let them expire, or fail to spend the full amount that was gifted.

In the United States a new shopping holiday will debut on January 18th to encourage people to get out and use their holiday gift cards before they become part of the $1 billion in gift cards that go unused each year.

So, do yourself a favor and check the bottom of drawers and the back of wallets for any gift cards you have kicking around and use them on January 18th.

Last modified: January 15, 2020

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