The gift-card industry is a more than $120 billion business. In 2016, roughly $1 billion in gift-card value went unused, despite gift cards being the most popular present to purchase. Approximately 79% of Americans intend to purchase gift cards this holiday season, and 77% of them would prefer to receive a gift card rather an actual gift, according to LendEDU, a marketplace for private student loans, student loan refinancing, credit cards and personal loans, as well as other financial products.
LendEDU studied 101 of the most popular gift cards on the market. The research compared the cards to one another according to five different pieces of data: gift-card popularity, average purchase discount for buyers, average resale value for sellers, happiness of receiving a gift card (determined via survey), and shipping charges.
After conducting their research, the company tallied a "total number of points" column that combines the five pieces of data into a single ranking. Each gift card was ranked using a 100-point scale, with 100 points representing the highest possible score.
Click through to see the top 10 gift cards of 2017, as ranked by LendEDU.