Only 1 in 4 Americans Like Getting Gift Cards

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Most people -- 73 percent -- don't like receiving gift cards. Find out what Americans really want under the tree this holiday season.

A gift card is often the go-to present for the holidays. But a new study reveals that Americans don’t love receiving gift cards.

According to a new survey from Bankrate, just 27 percent of Americans say they prefer receiving a gift card over an actual gift during the holidays.

“Generally, I think if a family member or a friend gave me a gift card I’d find it tremendously disappointing,” Jenny Chang, an account director at New York public relations and marketing firm PKPR, tells Bankrate.

Interestingly, younger millennials (ages 18 to 25) are in both the age group that’s most likely to appreciate receiving a gift card (34 percent) and the age group most likely to prefer a more concrete gift (47 percent). Meanwhile, younger baby boomers (ages 52-61) are the age group least likely to prefer receiving gift cards.

“I think holiday giving is mostly about giving a gift, something very personal,” Euphemia Erikson, a vice president with payment technology solutions company First Data, tells Bankrate.

Still, regardless of the survey’s findings, it’s likely that many Americans will continue to give their friends and loved ones a gift card this holiday season. It’s a quick and easy gift, and sometimes it allows the giver to ensure that the recipient is able to purchase something they’ll enjoy.

Ben Jackson, an analyst who studies gift cards and other prepaid payment methods for consulting firm Mercator Advisory Group, tells Bankrate:

“I think some of that is we just don’t trust that Grandma or Aunt Millie is going to get us something that we like. People are more sure of their ability to buy than they are of their friends’ and family’s ability to shop for them.”

Check out “How to Get Your Hands on Free (or Nearly Free) Gift Cards.”

Do you give gift cards as gifts? Do you like receiving them? Tell us why below or on our Facebook page.

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