The National Retail Federation estimates that more than 80% of shoppers will be including gift cards inside greeting cards this holiday season. Giving or getting debit cards requires some care.

gift cards

*(Via LA Times) – Spoiler alert: There’s a really good chance you’ll get a gift card for Christmas.

That’s not a news flash from the North Pole. It comes instead from the National Retail Federation, which estimated in a recent report that more than 80% of shoppers will be including the plastic gift cards inside greeting cards this holiday season.

The average person will spend about $163 on gift cards, the group’s survey found. That’s up 4% from last year and represents the highest average amount since the retail association began tracking such things 11 years ago.

Total spending on gift cards this season will reach about $30 billion, the group said.

Matthew Shay, president of the National Retail Federation, called gift cards “the perfect foolproof option for friends and family.”

Harry Friedman, a Culver City retail industry consultant, didn’t dispute that assessment, but he said this isn’t exactly the best reflection of Americans’ thoughtfulness toward others.

“Could we be any more disengaged?” he said. “Gift cards save us the trouble of actually having to think about other people and what they want and what they care about.”

Read the FULL story at LA Times.