Wedding Couples Missing Out On Financial Gifts

New Survey Shows Couples Have Unused Gift Cards 15 Years Later

Wedding Couples Missing Out On Financial Gifts
August 24, 2015

Whatever happened to those gravy boats and candlesticks that you were given as wedding gifts years ago? How about all the gift cards you gave newlyweds because you could not find the right gift, ran out of time to look, or bought for convenience?

Coinstar Exchange recently conducted a survey of 1,000 married couples on wedding gifts and how often they are used and returned, especially with respect to gift cards. It should not be any surprise that many wedding gifts are returned. The survey respondents returned around five gifts on average, with 6% of the respondents returning more than ten gifts and 4% returning more than fifteen gifts. Almost one-third of respondents returned between one and ten gifts.

Returns did not seem to be specific to any one length of marriage, with one exception — only 22% of those who have been married fifteen years or longer recalled returning any wedding gifts, while the other age categories varied from 34% to 57% of respondents that returned any wedding gifts. Perhaps it was considered more rude back then to return wedding gifts, or more difficult to do so.

There is one other potential explanation why fewer of those married fifteen years or longer report returning wedding gifts — it has been so long since their wedding that they do not remember. Other data seems to back that up.

Gift cards have proven to be a favorite over the years, with an average of eleven gift cards received along all the increments of length of marriage. However, their popularity appears to be increasing. One-third of respondents who had been married over fifteen years received gift cards at their weddings, compared to 74% of those married from one to three years. While couples married less than one year received the most gift cards on average (sixteen cards), the average across respondents was eleven cards. We wonder how many of them are sitting unused in a box with the ugly painting Aunt Gladys gave you?

Respondents that had been married ten to twelve years on average had one gift card that was still unredeemed, respondents married from thirteen to fifteen years averaged two unredeemed gift cards, and some respondents still had unredeemed gift cards fifteen years later.

On average across all groups, respondents have two gift cards remaining unredeemed, with those married less than one year understandably having the most unredeemed cards at four. Still, 4% of all respondents have more than ten cards unredeemed and 2% of respondents have between seven and nine unredeemed gift cards. 8% of respondents have four to six gift cards left and 20% have between one and three unredeemed gift cards.

The survey seems to show that even with the convenience of redeeming gift cards, there are still far too many that go unredeemed. Not redeeming them is akin to throwing away cash. Even if the couple does not shop at the retailer that issued the gift card, they could sell the unredeemed card online or swap the card for one they can use.

Do not let free money sit unredeemed in your junk drawer. Dig out those old gift cards and use them — or sell them or give them to somebody else who will use them.

  Conversation   |   9 Comments

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Angie | 08.26.15 @ 19:57
I have a feeling that part of the reason that couples who've been married for quite a long time have already forgotten what gifts they returned that long ago. Maybe there should be a section added to wedding gift registries that details favorite places/things the couple would use gift cards for...
Andrea | 08.26.15 @ 20:32
I love gift cards. Use every single one :)
Kamie | 08.26.15 @ 21:18
This is so crazy to read, how could someone not want to use their gift cards, or forget? I guess maybe if they were given a gift card to a very expensive houseware place.. But, I love gift cards, and I love gifts.
Nancy | 08.26.15 @ 21:52
Not using a gift card? That's just throwing money away. And that's just crazy!
Steffanie | 08.26.15 @ 23:12
I don't think I have ever NOT used a gift card.
Vaughn | 08.27.15 @ 01:03
I am a gift card hoarder.
Jackie | 08.27.15 @ 13:17
I love receiving gift cards. Gift cards I receive never go unused. In the past I've used a gift card to purchase a gift for someone else. The card was for a store I didn't care for but the recipient of the gift I purchased loved their merchandise.
Jackie | 08.28.15 @ 14:34
Not using gift cards is like throwing money away. I can always find something to use a gift card for.
Jackie | 08.28.15 @ 14:35
Gift cards are great. I have several and will use them at Christmas time to buy gifts for grandchildren.
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 12.09.16 @ 04:21
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