Unused Gift Card Economy

During the holidays billions of dollars in gift cards are received. Amazingly these cards start slipping through the cracks to never be used. How much is still lingering around:

“People are letting cash slip away that they could be using,” says John Kiernan, a senior analyst with CardHub. Kiernan, citing CardHub numbers, estimates that some $44 billion in unredeemed gift-card value has been accumulating since 2008.

Unused gift cards aren’t just free money for retailers either:

For retailers, however, gift-card sales don’t count as revenue until cards are used, meaning that retailers are holding $44 billion in liabilities against these unused cards.

NYPost also provides more information on how consumers can cash in the cards as well.

Really fascinating piece of the economy that is bigger than what one thinks.