Survey: Gift cards rated as most popular gifts to give for holiday season

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November 18, 2013, 12:21 pm
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(NECN/NBC News: Chris Clackum) - It's a good thing store shelves are already filled with gift cards, because that's been the most popular gift to give for the last five holiday seasons.

Janna Herron of bankrate.com said, "Three out of four people have given a gift card."

Bankrate.com is releasing a survey of over 1,000 shoppers that found most like receiving gift cards, too, preferring general purpose from the big credit card companies over brand-specific cards.

Herron said, "Your brand-specific are the ones to 'Red Lobster' or to the 'Gap' or to 'Toys "R" Us' for example."

General-purpose gift cards can charge hefty re-activation or maintenance fees. Most brand-specific cards don't charge fees of any kind.

However, Herron said, federal regulations have placed limits on fees on all gift cards.

"You do have 12 months before any kind of dormancy fee, inactivity fee, however they want to call it, kicks in and starts to erode of the gift card."

Bankrate's survey also found the most common value of gift cards, both given and received, is between $25 and $50, and the more someone earns, the more likely they'll give a gift card.

Tags: gift cards, holiday season, fees, Chris Clackum, bankrate, survery, activation, Janna Herron
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