Most Consumers Prefer Gift Cards to Gifts, but Many Feel Guilty Asking for Them

Gift cards have topped holiday wish lists among Americans of all ages year after year. A new survey from CashStar reveals that a majority of consumers would like to receive gift cards instead of physical gifts, but many feel guilty admitting that they want to receive them. The findings of the CashStar survey expand on the National Retail Federation’s Holiday Consumer Spending Survey, which indicates gift cards are the most requested gift item for the eighth year in a row.

According to the survey of more than 1,100 U.S. consumers, 60 percent said gift cards to their favorite retailers, restaurants and brands are on their wish list this year, jumping to nearly 70 percent among 35-44 year-olds. Yet, 30 percent said they feel guilty asking for them, citing several reasons: they don’t like asking for anything (62 percent), it feels the same as asking for cash (61 percent) and it doesn’t feel personal enough (45 percent).