Almost Half Of Consumers In Ireland Hit By Gift Card Fees

New Multi-brand Digital Gift Card Launched Today

Monday, October 16th 2023: OptionsCard, a new multi-brand digital gift card, launched today, bringing a new focus on trust and transparency to the Irish market. With a no fees policy and always visible live balance in your mobile wallet, OptionsCard aims to counter the perception of unfairness among consumers towards current gift card products and eliminate concerns.

Gift Card Fees - Half Suffer Loss Of Funds

An iReach consumer sentiment survey of over 1,000 adults nationwide commissioned by found that almost half (46%) of adults experienced a loss of funds on a gift card that has decreased in value through administration or non-usage fees. 80% believe fees on gift cards are unfair.

A majority of respondents (86%) claim that charging a monthly administration fee on the unused balance of a gift card after 12 months or a period of inactivity was unfair. This research has uncovered a perceived negative sentiment towards multi-brand and “spend anywhere” gift cards in the Irish market.

The survey also shed light on the anxiety experienced by 71% of gift card givers who worry that administration or non-use fees may be applied to their gift.

Re-Gift Your Gift Card - Share The Value

OptionsCard is the only gift card on the Irish market that enables users to share or re-gift part of their balance. The survey revealed four in 10 (37%) would happily share their last €20 in gift card value with a family member and 31% would extend this generosity to their partner.

OptionsCard was created to provide a different type of gift card experience and remove many of the restrictions and costs faced by employers rewarding their staff and consumers sending gifts.

Gift Cards Are More Special Than Cash

The research also revealed that 62% of consumers see a gift card as a special treat, preferring to spend it on something that they would not normally buy, such as a premium product or experience. The new OptionsCard can be redeemed for more than 60 premium digital gift cards at launch from brands such as Brown Thomas, Ikea and Ticketmaster

Women buy more gift cards each year with 57% of the respondents buying up to 4 gift cards, compared to 39% of the male respondents.

Easy To Spend and Easy to Send

Jonathan Grey, MD, commented at the launch: “The research confirms what we already know anecdotally, people can’t understand why some gift cards have fees and are looking for an alternative they can trust. That’s why we created the OptionsCard — to provide businesses and consumers with a world-class gifting experience, free from fees and fuss.”

“We only earn an income when a customer redeems their OptionsCard – that means we want our customers to have the best possible experience, use their OptionsCard and share it with their friends and family. It’s not in our interest to see a gift card go unused, that’s why we’ve made it easy to send and easy to spend.”

OptionsCard holders will have access to exclusive special offers and promotions from retail brand partners. By combining two or more OptionsCards together consumers can increase their buying power.

As the Irish gift card market expands rapidly, driven in part by a tax exemption that allows employers to provide tax-free gifts up to €1,000 per annum to employees, OptionsCard is going to make a significant impact. With a market size approaching €800m, on average, spending on gift cards in Ireland is up to 66% more per person than the European average at €135 per person v €81 per person (Source: IMA Europe - European Incentive Market Report - 2023 March).