More Gift Cards Go For Necessities

2016 Global Citizen Festival
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According to a new study from Bankrate.com, more people will use gift cards to buy life's necessities this year.

"My budget's not very good at all this year," said Shirley McBrayer, a shopper at a Dallas Walmart. "At this time right now, I'd probably spend it on food and clothing."

Shopper Paige Burchfield said she would use a gift card to buy, "clothes or shoes (and) maybe groceries."

Experts say gift cards to stores such as Walmart and Target are expected to be popular gifts this year because they can be used to buy such a wide variety of merchandise.

"It's just like cash," Walmart spokesman Daniel Morales said.

Among the other versatile gift card options this year are credit card-branded gift cards and online gift cards to retailers such asAmazon.com, eBay and Overstock.com.  Restaurant and gas station gift cards may also be winners because they help people save money.

But surveys show some people are expected to avoid giving gift cards this year in favor of the most versatile gift of all -- cash.

"I love cash," McBrayer said.

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