As it is estimated that as much as $96 million of gift card money is not used every year, it is perhaps a good reason to check how much is left on any gift cards that you may have. To check a gift card balance amount balance, all you have to do these days, is go on the internet where there are sites that can inform you of the amounts outstanding on all gift cards.
Of course, not being sure of the balance remaining on a gift card is not the only reason why money on them is not spent. In some instances, some people may mistakenly believe that by not using the gift card, they may save the person that gave them the card, some money. Another reason is that the gift card may get damaged in which case there is not too much you can do about it. Of course, a gift card could also expire before you had a chance to use it but, those instances have recently been reduced because most countries have introduced laws that require the expiry dates of gift cards to be reasonable, usually now, a gift card cannot expire within 5 years of purchase and if, after initially buying the card, more credit is added to the card, the card cannot expire within 5 years from that new date.
Although $96 million may seem like a lot of money, which of course it is, it is only a small percentage of the money spent on gift cards each year, that amount, in the US alone, is estimated to be in excess of $100 billion annually. This really is a huge amount of money considering that gift cards have only been in existence since 1994 when Blockbuster introduced them. The fact that so much is being spent on gift cards so quickly after their introduction, says something about their popularity and they are so popular that today, it is estimated that every consumer in the US will buy at least one gift card, each and every year. Although gift cards are one of the favourite gifts people want to receive, it would appear that women prefer them to men as, they are considered to be the 1st gift choice for women in America, compared to being the 3rd favourite gift choice for men.
As the popularity of gift cards has increased, so has the amount of crime related to them, also increased. Today it is estimated that as much as 13% of all fraud crimes committed, are associated with gift cards in one way or another and unfortunately, 62% of those crimes are due to illegal actions taken by the staff of those stores issuing the cards. Money laundering has also been associated with gift cards to the extent that today, 5% of all money laundering occurring worldwide is connected with gift cards in some way or other. So; be careful and check what balances you may have left on any of your gift cards.