Survey: Consumers Want Gift Card Under Tree

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A new consumer survey by MasterCard International found that this holiday season 79% of those surveyed would rather receive a $100 prepaid gift card than a more traditional gift worth the same value. More than 80% of those surveyed view prepaid gift cards as a way to give people what they really want.

Other findings:

* 78% indicated that they sometimes or always exceed their gift-giving budget.

* Open-loop gift cards (those that can be used at any merchant) are significantly more popular than those cards that can only be used at a designated merchant.

Shopping and gift-wrapping consume a large amount of time during the holiday shopping season, another factor that is fueling prepaid gift card growth. For example, 40% of consumers spent 10-15 hours shopping and wrapping gifts last year.

The ability to avoid giving an unwanted gift is driving the popularity of prepaid cards. For example, 46% of respondents said that they have given a gift that the recipient did not like.

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