Gift cards more popular than ever this holiday season - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Gift cards more popular than ever this holiday season

(NBC Newschannel) - This holiday season gift cards are more popular than ever before.

According to the National Retail Federation, gift card sales are expected to total $26.3 billion this holiday season, up from $24.8 billion last year.

That's up from $24.8 billion last year.

Anaylists say retailers are going "all out" to lure shoppers into buying gifts cards, offering enhanced packaging and extra incentives.

Some retailers are offering gift cards that have store discounts, send money to charity, or come with something else.

If you are not looking to spend as much, you can still get traditional gift cards without all the new fancy features or perks.

"Understandably, at the beginning of the holiday season, people aren't buying them as quickly but you know that last two weeks, I don't think I sit down once," said Brian Smith of SimplyCertificates.com.

Still, gift cards aren't for everyone.  Some people worry about replacement hassles if they're lost, or about fees and expiration dates. 

But with billions of the plastic packages sold every year, it's a trend that's adding up to big bucks for retailers and consumers.

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