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At a time when every dollar counts, it’s shocking that $3.5 billion in gift cards go unredeemed each year, according to recent statistics from Mercator Advisory Group, Inc. Tracy Tilson, founder of National Use Your Gift Card Day, joined us today to offer insights on gift cards and tips on how to remember to use your gift card or donate it for good.

According to the data analytics company InMarket, the average shopper spent 17.6% more on gift cards in 2020, compared with 2019, but these statistics warn that this popular holiday gift may go to waste. 

The second annual National Use Your Gift Card Day on January 16 reminds consumers to check wallets, purses and e-mails for any unused gift cards. Like Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, and others, National Use Your Gift Card Day benefits shoppers and merchants, as well as supports nonprofit organizations. This popular shopping day follows the holidays when many consumers receive gift cards as presents. 

National Use Your Gift Card Day Founder Tracy Tilson knew from her own experience of unused gift cards, that a “remember to use” day would resonate with both consumers and merchants. And national retailers and restaurants (including Applebee’s, Chico’s, Chipotle, Express, Macy’s, PetSmart, rue21, Soma, White House Black Market and others) agreed and are participating in the Day with their own reminders or offers that can be found on the shopping holiday’s companion site:    

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.

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