Apps to help you organize and use your gift cards


Cathy Kamimura is an extreme user of gift cards. She currently has about 100 valued at more than $2,000. 


Managing them all is not just unwieldy, it is also risky since gift cards are like cash and cannot be replaced if they are stolen.

Gift cards, which become more popular by the year, have long been a challenge to consumers who leave them in drawers, lose track of their value or just never get around to using them.

At least $500 million of the estimated $130 billion worth of U.S. gift cards sold this year will go unused, consulting firm CEB TowerGroup said.

Kamimura, a 53-year-old stay-at-home mother from San Gabriel, California, found an app called Slide that let her consolidate that pile of plastic into an easy-to-use tool for her smartphone.

"It has made my life so much easier," Kamimura says. "My gift card carrier was so big, and I feel much safer."

Gift card organizing apps make things simpler by consolidating cards to single place that displays their value and allow them to be spent. The apps generate a bar code for cashiers to scan and draw down the value of the card.

The apps, which are free, make their money by taking a percentage of the gift cards they sell. They allow users to enter their cards manually, by scanning or a combination of the two.

The biggest player in this market is Gyft, while others like Slide, GoWallet and eGifter are expanding offerings.

The bulk of the overall gift card market is dominated by physical, plastic gift cards, says Gyft co-founder CJ MacDonald. By contrast, e-gifting (when you email a gift card from a retailer like has only about a 5.5 percent share.

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Written by Mitch Lipka, a Reuters contributor


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TAGS:   card services, trends


Retailers in for a Very Digital Holiday Season, according to NRF survey

Top findings of consumers surveyed:


  • Average spending per person reaches $805.65, comparable with spending in 2014 holiday season ($802.45).
  • Spending on gifts for family members will total $462.95, up from $458.75 last year, and a survey high.
  • Almost half of holiday shopping, consisting of browsing and buying, will be done online: average consumers say 46 percent of their shopping (both browsing and buying) this holiday season will be conducted online, up from 44 percent last year.
  • 21.4 percent of smartphone owners will use their device to purchase holiday merchandise this year, the highest seen since NRF first asked in 2011.
  • Nearly half (46.7%) said free shipping/shipping promotions are important factors in their decision on where to shop.
  • 55.8 percent of holiday shoppers will splurge on themselves and/or others for non-gift items, and will spend an average of $131.59, up from $126.37 last year. ​


Gift cards maintain their spot at top of wish lists!

Those struggling with finding the perfect gift this year should look no further than a retailer’s gift card section. According to the survey, nearly six in 10 (58.8%) consumers celebrating the holidays say they would like to receive gift cards as a gift, making this the ninth year in a row that gift cards have topped the list of most requested gift items. Close behind is clothing or clothing accessories (52.2%) and books, CDs, DVDs and video games (40.5%) — though the latter is the lowest percentage seen since NRF started asking.

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Source: National Retail Federation

Article by Kathy Grannis Allen, NRF

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TAGS:   card fulfillment, card services, holidays, National Retail Federation, trends


Target to Give Gift Cards in Exchange for Used Clothing

Target has announced that it will be giving store credit to its customers in exchange for used clothing. The project is being implemented with ThredUp, an online consignment store, which accepts "high-quality, children's, or women's clothing, bags, and shoes," in return for Target gift cards, according to KARE 11 News.

Customers who would like to participate in the program would simply need to drop off their used goods at any target store. The items can also be shipped via FedEx or UPS. Target will even pay for the shipping fee.

However, Target states that not all items that are sent will be accepted. To date, ThredUp states that less than 50 percent of the items donated are being accepted. There's no cause for worry, however, since unwanted donations will be "recycled responsibly." Customers whose items are not accepted can also request for the donations to be sent back, reports Business Insider.

For the items that do get accepted, the corresponding store credit will vary. Items listed under $60 dollars will be paid upfront, while those listed for more than $60 will be listed as consignment.

Customers whose donations are accepted will receive an email about which items have been accepted within 25 days. The target gift cards that correspond to the accepted donations will be sent through registered mail.



Article by Peter de Jesus,

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TAGS:   card services, Community, holidays, trends