Almost $3 Billion Will Be On Starbucks Gift Cards This Holiday Season

Gift cards are a divisive gift. "Gift cards are just less useful money that expires, and it's high time we stopped using them. Just hand over the cash," writes Amanda Yeo in Mashable. Consumers typically end up spending 40% more than the value of the card anyway, using the gift card to offset the cost of their purchase, per Bloomberg. The pros of a gift card are if you don't know what to get someone, they're the perfect gift, giving the receiver the opportunity to buy what they want. And if you're shopping at the last minute, they're ideal and low-effort. They're also a great way to control spending and an excellent way to teach kids about spending money. On the other hand, you either underspend and end up leaving a few dollars on the card, or you overspend and need to chip in a few of your own dollars to make up the difference. If you lose the card, you most likely won't see that money, and if you don't use the card, fees may be deducted from the balance, per Investopedia.

People are still gifting them, though. According to a report from the National Retail Foundation, 2022 sales are projected to hit $28.6 billion, compared to last year's $28.1 billion. The report also found that most gift cards are for restaurants, followed by department stores and banks.

1 in 6 Americans will receive a Starbucks gift card

Who hasn't received a Starbucks gift card? Teachers love to receive gift cards, but they especially love Starbucks gift cards — keeping track of those kiddos requires a lot of caffeine, according to We Are Teachers. So it's fitting that after a record-breaking 2021, when Starbucks sold 55 million gift cards, this year looks on track to bust that record. According to a press release, Starbucks estimates that this year the number will jump to 50 million gift cards, with nearly $3 billion on them. Starbucks chief marketing officer Brady Brewer said, "Starbucks is one of the most gifted brands in the world, and we are honored that our customers continue to give Starbucks Cards as a meaningful gift during the holiday season." The coffee retailer is expecting December 23rd to be the busiest day in terms of gift card sales.

If you're searching for last-minute gifts for the coffee lovers in your life, but that Moccamaster coffee maker won't arrive soon enough, you can buy Starbucks gift cards through their website, app, and even iMessage and Microsoft Teams. Purchases made with a Starbucks Rewards-registered gift card are eligible for Stars.