Payment Card News

Gift Cards

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Purchases of gift cards are no longer a year-end holiday phenomenon, as sales throughout the year rise in tandem with growing customer demand to give gift cards for other special occasions such as birthdays, graduations, weddings, and Mothers and Fathers Days. In 2006, only 30% of the estimated $76 billion in sales of all gift cards occurred in the November-December period, a dramatic shift from 2004 when nearly 43% of gift card sales came in the last two months of the year, according to Mercator Advisory Group. In 2004, only one of every three American Express-issued gift cards were sold outside of the peak holiday shopping season in December. In 2006, more than half of American Express Gift Cards purchased were sold between January and November.

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