Visa Survey Unwraps Gift Giving Insights Just In Time for the Holidays

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Holiday Shoppers: Visa Gift cards are budget friendly and preferred over non- essential holiday gifts

A new survey commissioned by Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) reveals that 78 percent of respondents will have a holiday budget in place before they begin their shopping. Of that 78 percent, 42 percent start with a specific budget for each individual on their shopping list, and 36 percent start with a specific overall budget number and plan accordingly.

For consumers trying to keep holiday spending under control, prepaid gift cards are seen as one way to stay on track: 64 percent of respondents agree that giving a Visa Gift card can help them stay within their holiday budget.

Visa Gift cards make it easy to stick to a financial plan while giving friends and family a gift that will be well-received. 85 percent of U.S. consumers would appreciate receiving a branded gift card – like a Visa Gift card – to buy something they really want or need. In fact, 65 percent of respondents would prefer to receive a branded gift card rather than a “non-essential” holiday gift, such as a holiday scarf or a bottle of cologne.

The data was collected in a national survey examining consumers’ perceptions and habits relating to gift giving.

“Visa Gift card givers enjoy one-stop shopping and the ability to tailor gift card amounts to their budget – which is especially important as consumers keep a keen eye on spending this holiday season,” said Hyung Choi, head of U.S. consumer prepaid products, Visa Inc. “At the same time, gift card recipients have the flexibility to treat themselves to a little luxury they’ve wished for, but might not otherwise experience, or to cover more practical needs.”

Give a gift they really want

The survey also revealed the fate of well-intentioned, but off-the-mark gift ideas:

  •     42 percent of consumers still have at least one unopened holiday gift from last year in the back of their closet
  •     Nearly as many (38 percent) admit to returning at least one holiday gift from last year
  •     28 percent admit to re-gifting at least one of their holiday gifts from last year

The price of giving the wrong gift can add up. Of those unused and unwanted gifts, 24 percent of respondents estimate the dollar value to be worth $51-$100 and 11 percent estimate the gifts to be worth more than $100.

Visa Gift cards let recipients choose the gift that means the most to them. When asked how they would use a Visa Gift card if they were to receive one this holiday season, the top three responses were:

  •     To indulge in something they might not normally be able to afford, such as a special dinner, jewelry, clothing or personal electronics (65 percent)
  •     To get what they didn’t receive from their holiday wish list (57 percent)
  •     To buy “life essentials” such as groceries or household products, or to pay bills (54 percent)

Visa Gift cards can be used at the millions of locations that accept Visa Debit cards, giving recipients the convenience and flexibility to use the card where they want, for exactly what they want.

For additional holiday insights, visit the Visa Gift Giving Survey Fact Sheet here. For more information about Visa Gift cards, please visit

About Visa Inc.
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world’s most advanced processing networks—VisaNet—that is capable of handling more than 10,000 transactions a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit

About the Visa Gift Giving Survey
The 2010 Visa Gift Giving Survey was a telephone survey conducted among a national probability sample of 1,005 adults comprising 504 men and 501 women 18 years of age and older, living in private households in the continental United States. Interviewing for this CARAVAN® Survey was completed during the period July 8-11, 2010.


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Liz Nunan
Visa Inc.
(415) 932-2564
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