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DENVER – More than half of likely gift givers in this upcoming holiday season will prefer to give gift cards over cash or gift certificates, according to a survey conducted for the First Data Corporation. The survey conducted on behalf of the Denver-based card processing company found that 52% of the consumers surveyed said they would prefer giving a gift card over cash (38%) or a gift certificate (11%). Sixty-four percent of the adult population in the United States, an estimated 139 million people, said they purchased and/or received a gift card in the previous 12 months versus just 36% in a 2001 survey, the card processor said. Consumers purchased an average of just under seven gift cards in the previous 12 months with an average value of $59 per card, up from just four cards at $44 per card in 2001. Twenty-seven percent of those who received a gift card in the previous 12 months said they spent the initial value of their card within one week of receiving the card. Another 31% spent the value within one month. And, more than half (55%) of those surveyed said they spent more than the initial value of the card they received.

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