Gift Card Weekend™ Addresses Common Gift Card Misperceptions

Helps consumers cut through the clutter, determine truth from fiction this holiday season.

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With inventive packaging and interactive email video teasers, gift cards are something everyone on your list can be excited about.

Kansas City, MO (PRWEB) December 11, 2012

Gift Cards have gotten a bad rap recently. They've been touted as being everything from impersonal to having hidden fees or expiration dates, leaving consumers to wonder what is fact and fiction when considering purchasing gift cards for their holiday shopping list favorites. Here are a few of the most widely held misperceptions, debunked:

Myth: People don't want gift cards.

Let's start here. People do want gift cards, in fact, they want them more than they ever have before. According to a recent survey by the National Retail Federation, six in 10 (59.8 percent) of those polled say they would like to receive a gift card this year, up from 57.7 percent last year and the most in the survey's history. Now that we've gotten that out of the way…

Myth: Gift Cards are impersonal.

There was a time when the preconceived notion of a gift card was that it was it was an “after thought” picked up on your way home. Now, with inventive packaging and interactive email video teasers, gift cards are something everyone on your list can be excited about (and look forward to before the gift card is given!)

Here's an innovative example of personalizing a gift card from Gift Card Weekend. This particular email teaser is different for two reasons. One, it allows the gift giver to personalize the movie to the intended recipient's taste and personality and, two, it's actually a pre-curser to a tangible gift card sent in the mail.

This free Santa video is the perfect way to surprise that special “kid of any age” and let them know that you and Santa are in cahoots, cooking up something just for them. Simply fill in the recipient's name, a few details about them, upload a photo and let Santa know why they have been naughty or nice!

Myth: Consumers are at a disadvantage when it comes to cashing in their gift cards.

Not anymore. Nearly 50 billion dollars will be spent on gift cards this holiday season. This year, everyone receiving a gift card should plan to take advantage of Gift Card Weekend on January 4-6, 2013.

Gift Card Weekend is the industry's only once-a-year shopping event where consumers get special offers and incentives when they redeem their gift cards the weekend of January 4-6, at participating retailers. Gift Card Weekend is sponsored by Gift Card Impressions, the Retail Gift Card Association, InComm and Ceridian Stored Value Solutions.

“The goal of Gift Card Weekend is to help retail partners and consumers alike through enhancing the holiday giving and receiving experience. Consumers will benefit directly by taking advantage of discounts available to them through their gift cards,” said Rebekka Rea, Retail Gift Card Association, Executive Director. “Retailers will also benefit from consumers' motivation to redeem their gift cards because of the added incentives of shopping during Gift Card Weekend.”

Myth: Retailers Don't Want You to Spend Your Gift Card.

This is one of the biggest misconceptions, according to Brett Glass, CEO of Gift Card Impressions.

“Retailers don't get to book the revenue off your gift card until you come in and spend it. They want you to cash in that card at their store or at their restaurant,” Glass explained. “The average person gets 10 gift cards every year, and Gift Card Weekend is a way for businesses to incentivize the consumer to not only cash in their cards, but also help them stretch them as far as possible.”

For more information and updates on Gift Card Weekend's retail partners or to learn how to personalize a complimentary Santa teaser video for a gift card you plan to give, visit Gift Card Weekend online at http://www.giftcardweekend.com or find them on Facebook or Twitter!

Myth: Gift Cards contain hidden fees.

In August 2010, the Federal Reserve ruled to limit the fees that issuers are allowed to charge on gift cards, including inactivity, dormancy and other service fees. Issuers are required to clearly state the terms and conditions associated with gift cards, so if you're not sure if your gift card has a fee, check the packaging or ask. Take comfort in the fact that, under these rules, issuers aren't able to charge a fee until after a gift card or certificate has not been used for a year, and fees will be limited to one per month after that. (Yet another reason for consumers to cash in during Gift Card Weekend!)

About Gift Card Impressions
Gift Card Impressions is a Kansas City based company focused on delivering strategic development, agency creative and packaging solutions to the gift card industry. Clients of Gift Card Impressions include most major retailers and most major gift card brands. The company provides leading product solutions for both physical and digital gift card delivery, and its solutions make the gift-giving occasion more memorable and personalized by using the latest technologies. The company has more than 45 patents pending or issued, and 35 trademarks issued or applied for. Gift Card Impressions brings the “gift” back to gift cards. For more information, please visit http://www.giftcardimpressions.com.

About the Retail Gift Card Association
The Retail Gift Card Association (RGCA) is a trade association whose mission is to promote the positive attributes of closed loop gift cards. Educating consumers, retailers, media and legislative groups about the difference in prepaid products is key to ensuring a positive gifting experience. RGCA members abide by a Code of Principles which support consumer friendly policies around the purchase and redemption of closed loop gift cards. RGCA membership is open to retailers, restaurants, and travel-and-entertainment merchants whose core part of their business is to sell products or experiences but who also issue and offer closed loop gift cards. For more information visit http://www.theRGCA.org.

About InComm
InComm is a leading provider of cutting-edge prepaid products, services and transaction technologies to retailers, brands and consumers. InComm supports more than 255,000 retail locations in building prepaid card destinations, connects brands with new markets and gives consumers a simple, secure shopping experience. InComm stays ahead of emerging trends by analyzing market needs and leveraging its global, innovative commerce platform, go-to-market expertise and extensive partner relationships. With 123 global patents, InComm is headquartered in Atlanta and has offices in North and South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. For more information, visit http://www.incomm.com or follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/incomm.

About Ceridian Stored Value Solutions (SVS)
With twenty years of experience, SVS is a pioneer and premier one-stop prepaid and stored value provider serving top brands around the world. Our full product suite includes retail gift cards, branded prepaid and promotional cards, plus a robust loyalty platform. SVS is the leading global provider of prepaid solutions that influence consumer behavior and increase brand loyalty. Each year we drive billions of dollars in increased sales for our customers, managing more than five hundred million card products and processing over one billion prepaid transactions from 45 countries in 26 currencies worldwide. As a leading prepaid provider, our mission is to measurably increase client sales with superior prepaid programs. Big or small, SVS meets your needs. To learn more about increasing sales and simplifying program management, visit our website (http://www.storedvalue.com).