November 16, 2006

Gift Cards Prove Popular This Holiday Season As Six In Ten People Would Be “Thrilled” To Receive One, According To The Second Annual Discover® Card Gift Card Survey

Riverwoods, IL, November 16, 2006 – Discover® Card today released its second annual Gift Card Survey, a national poll examining spending trends in gift cards for the upcoming holiday shopping season as well as the opinions of those who give and receive them.

According to the survey, 58 percent of respondents said they would be "thrilled" to receive a gift card because they could buy what they want, and another 26 percent said they would be "touched" by the giver's thoughtfulness. Only nine percent of respondents would be disappointed to receive a gift card because they feel they are impersonal, indicating that respondents overwhelmingly feel that gift cards are a thoughtful gift.

The survey also revealed that more than three quarters (76 percent) of respondents will consider giving a gift card because it ensures the recipient will ultimately get what he or she truly wants. Among the other leading reasons why gift givers will consider gift cards this year, 65 percent said they were easy and convenient for both the giver and the receiver, while 64 percent favor them because they provide the recipient with multiple purchasing options.

“Gift cards meet so many shopping and gift-giving needs -- they're a time-saver, they're a convenient means of getting friends and family what they really want, and they're an easy way to make the holidays less stressful. It's clear they will be a popular gift choice again this holiday season,” said Margo Georgiadis, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Discover Financial Services. “Also, our survey revealed that adding personalization to gift cards will go a long way with recipients, especially if the card has customizable options.”

Other key findings among those who plan to give gifts cards this year include:
  • Customized Gift Cards Can Increase Sales: Fifty-seven percent of all respondents said they would be more likely to purchase a gift card if they could personalize it. Specifically, the ability to select a custom denomination appealed to 31 percent of respondents, while more than a quarter (26 percent) would like to have an accompanying greeting card included. Twenty one percent said they would like to have the recipient's name embossed directly on the plastic.

  • A Great Shopping Tactic: Fifty-eight percent said gift cards simply make holiday shopping “less painful,” beating out other time saving tactics such as a designated parking spot near the store entrance (45 percent) and pre-wrapped gifts (36 percent).

  • Gift Cards Beat Out Cash: For long-distance giving, gift cards were favored by more than half of the respondents (51 percent) as the gift of choice, while only 31 percent said they prefer to send a check or cash.
Gift Recipients Prefer General Purpose Cards

According to the survey, more gift recipients would prefer to receive general purpose cards (38 percent) than store-specific gift cards (25 percent). Likewise, gift givers agree by 44 percent that general purpose cards are good to give people who are difficult to shop for.

When asked how they would use their general purpose gift card, respondents revealed that:
  • Seventy percent would buy something special for themselves,

  • Forty-four percent would go out to dinner,

  • Thirty-seven percent would use gift cards to buy a gift for someone else,

  • Thirty-six percent would buy groceries or other things they need, and

  • Twenty percent would use general purpose gift cards to pay bills.
To better meet the gift card needs of holiday shoppers this year, Discover Card is offering exciting new options to personalize gift cards this holiday season. The company has also expanded the opportunity for Cardmembers to earn gift cards instantly in 80 malls across the country.

Georgiadis continued: “Discover Card offers customization options such as personalized embossing on the gift card plastic and greeting cards that match the gift card design, with a customizable messaging option. Purchasers can also choose from 20 different card designs and select their own custom denomination at our re-launched online gift card destination,”

Additionally, from November 1 through December 31, Discover Card is rewarding its loyal Cardmembers by giving away $5MM in gift cards during its holiday mall promotion. Whether they are shopping at home or traveling for the holidays, Cardmembers can turn their receipts into rewards and receive an instant $20 gift card when they spend $200 on their Discover Card at 80 Mills and General Growth Properties malls across the U.S. To receive their gift card, Cardmembers simply must present their original Discover Card receipts at the mall Customer Service Center.

For more information on Discover's holiday offerings, please visit:,

About the Discover Card Gift Card Survey
For Discover Card's Gift Card Survey, a telephone survey was conducted with a total of 1,013 nationally representative adults (511 males and 502 females). The research was conducted from October 20-23, 2006 by Opinion Research Corporation.

About Discover Financial Services LLC
Discover Financial Services LLC, a business unit of Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), operates the Discover Card with more than 50 million Cardmembers, and the Discover Network with more than 4 million merchant and cash access locations. Discover Financial Services also operates the PULSE ATM/debit network, which serves over 4,200 financial institutions and includes almost 250,000 ATMs and approximately 3.4 million POS terminals. For more information, visit, or

# # #

Media Contact:
Matt Towson
Public Relations
(224) 405- 5649