How many gift cards are you going to receive this year? And how many are going to gather dust in a drawer? Here’s where all that money goes.
Graphic by Jason Lee
Gift cards may make perfect little stocking stuffers, but they’re a huge business, with estimates putting the total value of merchant-issued cards at as much as $73 billion. Around 10% of sales come from the kiosks you see in supermarkets and drugstores. The companies that distribute them, such as Safeway’s Blackhawk, are the newest players. They take a cut for themselves and their third-party partners. Below, the breakdown of a gift card.