Gift cards rising in popularity, for both consumers & businesses - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Gift cards rising in popularity, for both consumers & businesses

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KENNEWICK, Wash.--  If you're finishing up last minute holiday shopping, you may be tempted to skip the presents and just buy a gift card.  Research shows that's actually not a bad idea as both consumers and businesses like them and their popularity has been on the rise over the past few years.

Many consumers like getting them, as opposed to an actual gift that they may not like.  Today, there are cards not just for specific stores, but generic VISA or American Express gift cards that you can use anywhere.  Gift givers often prefer the plastic over giving out cold, hard cash.

Businesses, too, love gift cards.  First, they bring people to their stores.  Second, many times people end up spending more money than just what's pre-paid on the gift card.  Also, researchers at Gift Card USA say gift cards are the largest selling single item for 80 percent of the top 100 retailers.  They also say 5% to 15% of the values are never redeemed.

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