ORLANDO, Fla. – It’s gift-giving season which means people are scoping out the best gifts for loved ones or gifts given to acquaintances as a toke of their appreciation.
Gift cards have been known to make gift-giving simpler and have risen to the top as the most popular type of present for 13 years straight. Gift cards have become so popular, retailers have been rewarding the purchaser with other perks for just investing in a gift card.
But as WalletHub notes, not all gift cards are created equal.
The personal finance couple created a list to help you get the most out of a gift card, whether its a gift or a personal pick-me-up. So in the interest of helping you find the best gift card to invest in this holiday season, the company compared the 50 most popular gift cards across five categories. WalletHub compares how popular the cards are, how much of a discount you can buy them for, their resell value, how much people like the retailer.
WalletHub explains the average buyer discount metric was measured according to what kind of discount buyers can get on each card if they were to sell it. Its retailer rating metric is based on how much customers actually like the store.
Here are the top five gift cards based on value, according to WalletHub’s list.
Leading the list is Target with the highest WalletHub score of 70. The general merchandise store proves to have one of the most popular gift cards each holiday season, coming up as No. 4 on WalletHub’s popularity ranking metric.
According to WalletHub’s data, the average buyer discount is 5.76%. Target gift cards prove to be a hot commodity as their average resale value of an $100 gift card sits around $77.12.
On a scale of 1 to 5, Target’s retailer rating sits in the middle at 3.09.
Walmart gift cards take the No. 2 spot with an overall WalletHub score of 60, trailing about 10 points behind the reigning gift card Target.
Walmart ranked higher than Target in the popularity department, taking the No. 3 spot on that metric ranking. The resale value for a $100 Walmart gift card also seems to be more valuable, with the resale price coming up to $84.09, according to WalletHub data.
What seemed to weigh Walmart’s ranking down was its average buyer discount. WalletHub notes that buyers typically get a 1.07% discount contributing it to its low retailer rating.
On a scale of 1 to 5, Walmart’s retailer rating is 2.13.
Beauty and self-care products always rank high on gift lists, proving to be a simple solution to gift-giving. It’s no surprise that personal care chain Sephora is a popular option and that its gift cards make the cut on the top gift cards of 2019.
The beauty store gift card received a WalletHub score of 60 matching Walmart in the metric.
Since some see it as a gendered-gift, its popularity ranking comes in at No. 10. The average buyer discount is 2.63% with the resale value of a $100 Sephora gift card coming in at $77.82.
On a scale of 1 to 5, Sephora gets an above-average retailer ranking of 3.41.
Its popularity may have died down since its 1995 launch, but eBay gift cards prove to have a decent bang for your buck, according to WalletHub data.
The e-commerce site got a WalletHub ranking of 55 in large part because of the products available to the gift recipient. It also ranks No. 9 on the list of top 10 popular gift cards.
Since the site lets people resell their items, there’s not much a guaranteed buyer’s discount since most items are sold at face value or at an already discounted price. WalletHub calculated the average buyer discount to be 0.25$. The average resale value for a $100 eBay gift card is $82.
On a scale of 1 to 5, eBay gets a 2.53 retailer ranking.
Don’t underestimate the power of a home improvement gift card.
Home Depot received a WalletHub score of 55 -- matching up with eBay. Though these gift cards aren’t that popular, earning the No. 13 spot on a list of 50, they seem to have a high resale value. A $100 Home Depot gift card resells at $82.91 on average.
WalletHub data suggests the average buyer discount is 2.30%.
On a scale of 1 to 5, Home Depot retailer ranking is 2.30.
WalletHub notes that a gift card’s value doesn’t necessarily speak to is popularity. If you’re looking for the most widely purchased gift cards, WalletHub created a list for that too. You can find it below.
Most Popular Gift Cards for 2019
- American Express