Unused Gift Cards:
We’ve all experienced the unbridled joy of finding a $10 bill in the dryer after a washing load or $5 on the sidewalk. But nearly all Americans could have untapped cash just sitting in the back of our wallets or the bottom of our purses.
The most requested gift by far
Gift cards may get a bad rap for being impersonal. However, they are the most requested holiday gift for 10 years running. In 2016 more than 60% of people surveyed by the National Retail Federation said they wanted a gift card this holiday season.
So how many gift cards actually get bought — and how many go unused?
Over $970 million in gift card cash went unused in 2015 alone. Meanwhile, total gift card spending in 2015 clocked in at $130 billion, up 6% from the year before. Despite the billions of dollars that go unused, it’s estimated that gift card sales will make another 9% jump this year up to $143B.
Since 2005, some $45.7 billion has been floating around in unused gift card balances. For cards that are lost or accidentally thrown away, that money may never be used.
Why this isn’t free money for companies
Sounds like free money for businesses, right? It’s all in the accounting.
When gift cards are sold, they are counted as a liability until spent. Only when they are spent does that money count as revenue. This means that US businesses carried $970 million in liabilities on unused cards last year.
Further, closed-loop gift cards — or gift cards that can be used at a single store or chain only — are generally bought through card vendors. These vendors can charge for everything from setup to stocking the card inventory. When you’re not using, they’re losing.
The state of gift cards in 2016
Despite all the unused gift cards out there, 2016 is slated to bring on even more gift card purchases. It’s estimated that $140 billion will be spent on gift cards in the US alone.
To give you an idea of just how much money that is, with $140 billion you could buy the Chicago Cubs 140 times over. (Given their recent World Series win, that might not be a bad idea.) Of that $140 billion, it’s projected that over $1 billion will go unspent. Still enough to buy the Chicago Cubs once.
So Put your Gifts to Work
If you don’t want to use them, donate in addition to your regular gifts and we will find ways to make them meaningful in ministry.
- We will buy bibles and small group study materials from Barns and Nobles,
- we will feed hungry folks with food cards,
- and clothes for homeless.
- If you have generic cards we can use them in limitless ways,
- If they are not doing you any good, re-gift them.
Our Spiritual Gift Cards
To each of us is given gifts of the Spirit. Different outlets and different amounts for different work and witness. God is ready to fill us with limitless possibilities if we will
- identify and recognize these gifts
- not attemp to save, ignore or store them for some other day
- trust the verse in Phillipians that we can do all things in Christ who gives us Spiritual strength
What Spiritual Gift Cards are in your purse, billfold or dresser drawer?
- What would you do if you had an unlimited gift card to sing, praise?
- What would you do with an unlimited gift card to share stories of your faith?
- If your unlimited gift card could teach, inform, inspire?
- If your gift card could multiply in value for others to use in a variety of ways
- If your gift card were kept safely, privately, quietly for a special occasion that may never come by, all the while folks are hungry, thirsting and passing by empty.
Holy Communion is our re-fill station
We come to this holy meal and God fills us with grace, purpose, love and makes us whole, read for:
- spiritual living,
- spiritual giving,
- spiritual loving,
- Spiritual growing,
- Spiritual sharing,
- Spiritual Praising..
Don’t come to the table and go home that same as you came. Don’t keep your Spiritual gift cards hidden in your wallet or purse,
Come to the Table and Get busying living growing, love, sharing the Spirit.
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