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Tips to celebrate National Use Your Gift Card Day

The third annual National Use Your Gift Card Day on Saturday, January 15 reminds consumers to check wallets, purses, and emails for any unused gift cards. Like Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, and others, National Use Your Gift Card Day benefits shoppers, retailers and restaurants, as well as supports nonprofit organizations.  This popular shopping day follows the holidays when many consumers receive gift cards as presents.

Tracy Tilson, National Use Your Gift Card Day Founder, joined us today and shared that she knew from her own experience of unused gift cards, that a “remember to use” day would resonate with both consumers and merchants. National retailers and restaurants (including Macy’s, Maurices, Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks OFF 5th, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, Applebee’s, Chipotle, Chick-Fil-A, Panera Bread and others) agreed and are participating in the Day with their own reminders or offers.

At a time when every dollar counts, it’s shocking that an estimated $15 billion worth of gift cards are going unspent, according to

Still, gift cards remained a top choice for holiday shopping, according to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics’ November 2021 consumer survey. Consumers planned to spend $28.1 billion on gift cards, up from $27.5 billion in 2020. Nearly half (46 percent) of consumers expected to give gift cards this holiday season, which comes second only to clothing.The average holiday shopper planned to buy three or four cards and spend almost $50 per card.

National Use Your Gift Card Tips Include:

  • Step 1 – Locate all unspent gift cards, even ones left with a small balance.
  • Step 2 – Check to see which gift card providers are running special deals – either online or in store – to maximize your gift card and save money on purchases.
  • Step 3 – Make a shopping or dining plan to use them.
  • Step 4 – If you’re not going to use your entire gift card balance, consider donating it to charity.

For more information and to find out who’s running holiday deals visit,