November 30, 2011, 9:50 PM
SIOUX FALLS, SD -
Don't know what to get someone for Christmas? You can always fall back on a gift card. Gift card sales are expected to reach $100 billion by next year.
But the biggest boost is now digital gift cards.
More retailers are offering e-gift cards via email, mobile or even through social networks. The plastic gift card is a staple as a stocking stuffer this time of year, but now that gift card is going virtual and it's growing in popularity.
"People don't want the extra plastic to carry around. They want something more simple," Rick Swanson of Pizza Hu saidt.
Pizza Hut is one of 32 major brands, according to a CreditCards.com survey, that now has e-gift cards available. It's the first year that Pizza Hut, American Express, Best Buy and Gap have all offered e-cards.
"We want to be competitive with the rest of the industry and others are coming out with these and they seem like a valuable option for us to do as well," Swanson said.
Wanda Day has purchased gift cards from Pizza Hut in the past and likes the idea of buying an e-card because she's already doing that with other retailers anyway.
"I get the Amazon.com gift cards and they send a code to your email and you go to that site and it's credited to your account and comes off your bill. I like it, I really like it," Customer Wanda Day said.
Pizza Hut is expecting it's customers to feel exactly the same way.
"We started using them especially over the Thanksgiving weekend. One of my managers reported she had already received a couple," Swanson said.
Make sure you buy e-gift cards directly from a retailer. Don't buy an e-gift card from an online auction site because it could be counterfeit.
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