Holiday shoppers plan to spend less, buy gift cards

Personal Finance

Simple shopping lists may help. As it turns out, most Americans aren’t asking for clothes or electronics. Instead, 4 in 10 hope to unwrap gift cards — especially from Amazon, Visa and Wal-Mart.

“We saw this trend [of increasing popularity of gift cards] rise over the past five years or so,” Gonzalez said. “You used to dread getting a gift card, thinking, ‘What am I going to do with it?’

“But I think it has a lot to do with the fact that you can use it from home, you can use it whenever you want, and you have a little more leeway in terms of what you’re buying with it,” she added.

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