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Gift cards: astronomical numbers not spent in the US

Many gift cards are often given away on special occasions or even forgotten, so nearly two-thirds of Americans have one somewhere in their business, according to a survey.

That’s a total of about $21 billion (CAD 28.5 billion) that will be lost in gift cards, a report from Credit Summit, the financial advice provider, revealed.

Gift cards are very popular gifts for holidays or special occasions, and most people love receiving them, says Rebecca Stumpf, editor at Credit Summit.

However, many people leave them in lockers to use on special occasions. I advised, use it, don’t keep it.

A separate study by the same research group also determined that the average amount on unused gift cards was about US$175 (CAD$237.08) per person in 2022.

“I thought people with high inflation would go to town with their gift cards, but I was surprised,” Ted Rossman, financial analyst at and, told CNN.

He also said that some websites exist to sell gift cards or redeem their value, otherwise the lack of use may contribute to the bankruptcy of some companies.

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