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Whether it is that family member who has everything and is difficult to buy for or it’s that gift exchange at work where no one could anticipate who would actually receive the gift, giving gift cards for Christmas, Hanukkah and other winter holidays has become fairly commonplace. But when people receive gift cards, they sometimes get tucked into a wallet or purse and completely forgotten about.

Remembering to use those holiday gifts is what National Use Your Gift Card Day is all about!

History of National Use Your Gift Card Day

Most people don’t realize that retailers and online shops score big when they sell gift cards. And that’s because tons of them don’t actually get used! Maybe they get lost in the shuffle of various cards and gifts that are exchanged, or maybe they have been tucked in a drawer and then forgotten about until they pass their expiration date. It is estimated that at least $1 billion gift cards go unused each year!

Falling just three weeks into the month of January, National Use Your Gift Card Day acts as a reminder to get out those gift cards left over from the winter holidays and redeem them for all kinds of cool stuff!

Most people spend a ton of time during November and December doing lots of shopping and gift giving for other people. But now is the time to head out to that department store, shoe store, specialty gift store or online shop and have a heyday doing some shopping for yourself.

Sometimes people are gifted with cards that can be redeemed at restaurants, movie theaters or even a mini-golf place where they are meant to be used for entertainment. National Use Your Gift Card Day is the perfect time to head on over to the bowling alley, Dave & Buster’s or The Olive Garden to redeem that generous gift card from Aunt Betty!

How to Celebrate National Use Your Gift Card Day

National Use Your Gift Card Day offers a fun and exciting way to get some cool gifts, meals or coffee – without having to spend any money! Try celebrating in some of these ways:

Use Those Gift Cards

The most obvious and ideal way to celebrate National Use Your Gift Card Day is to gather up those gift cards and use them. Maybe it’s a five dollar stocking-stuffer gift card to get a free cup of coffee at Starbucks. Or perhaps it’s a gift card for a bookstore where you can spend hours browsing and deciding which book to buy.

Host a Gift Card Swap

Some people who get gift cards are not fond of the places where their gift cards came from. National Use Your Gift Card Day could be a good time to gather a group of friends or coworkers for a gift card swapping party. Simply have everyone bring the gift cards they don’t want to use and then negotiate trades based on who prefers what retailers or restaurants. It’s a great way for everyone to leave with something they really want!

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