Giftcard Statistics


Why you need to check the expiry dates of your cards, right now.

Another birthday has come and gone and you’re swamped with gift-cards and e-vouchers from well wishers. A lovely thought and generous gift, but perhaps it has got you thinking: Why are gift-cards so popular? What draws so many retailers to start their own gift-cards and vouchers schemes? How much do the big companies make from it? And more importantly, how many of those shiny, plastic cards go to waste each year?

Each year the Gift Card & Voucher Association generates new research about the industry in the UK to give a clearer picture of how the industry works and just how much money is tied up in gift-cards.

THESE ARE UK FIGURES ONLY - sources at the end.

  • In 2019 the UK gift-card market was worth just under £7billion. That’s right, £7,000,000,000. That’s an awful lot of gift-cards.
  • Every year £300 Million is left to expire on unspent giftcards in the UK alone
  • Just over half (50.3%) of people redeem their gift-card within a month of receipt - so 49.7% of people are letting their gift-cards gather dust in their purses and wallets whilst they work out what to spend it on
  • Even after a year, approximately £98million is still trapped in gift-cards, with 1.4% of all gift-cards remaining unused for a full year after receipt.
  • Over 2/3’s (67%) of that enormous £7bn market value comes from gift-cards purchased by consumers directly, with half of these purchases made online.
  • The remaining one third (33%) is from gift-cards paid for by businesses and gifted to consumers through channels like work rewards schemes and incentives for signing up to companies such as banks or energy providers.
  • Digital gift-cards and e-vouchers are on the rise, whilst paper and plastic are becoming much less common.
  • Roughly £1 Billion worth of gifts cards are bought by consumers for their own use: redeemed by the same person who bought it. Often through work schemes or special offers.
  • A huge 36.1% of people opt to spend more than the gift-card value when they use their gift-card. The average additional spend is 35% of the card value, splashing even more of their own hard earned cash at a retailer that they weren’t planning on spending money at in the first place.
  • In 2014, the government published a study that showed that each year 6% of vouchers went unused.

So we think that now is the perfect time to take a moment to search through old wallets, purses and pockets for those gift-cards that you forgot about, or perhaps that you didn’t know what to do with. Don’t let them go to waste, use Cardyard to set your cash free. Sell your giftcards here.


15th of June, 2020More blog posts