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Numinerd9's Blog

16 Jun 2014

Do you collect gift cards?

Odd & Curious Money | Numinerd9

Do you collect gift cards?

Gift cards have been around for about 20 years now, and seem to be growing more popular all the time. Whether or not you "give the gift of choice," what do you think will be the future of these items within our hobby? Will numismatists collect them as much as we might collect any other media of exchange?

Comments

Mike B

Level 6

There you go 2014 I told you I don't imagine things.

CoinLady

Level 6

Nope! I use them!

user_7180

Level 5

Never came close to considering gift cards as collector items before. Interesting ...

Conan Barbarian

Level 5

i collect bus passes that my school hands out i have been collecting them for the past 4 years

Mike B

Level 6

I really don't know what to say. I guess I could throw the card away and keep the coin. Or a young relative who might get interested in the hobby. Then it would be worth it. It sound's like another way to spend our money that would be better spent on good old American coins. I'm not getting into this. I feel whatever I say it's a catch twenty two. So I'm bailing out. It's up to the individual collector. How does that sound? Take care Mike.

ShriekenGriffon

Level 5

i never thought about collecting gift cards but i guess they are a "currency"

user_5225

Level 5

No, but i keep 'collect' the cards that come in the mail.

user_6683

Level 4

user_6683

Level 4

Sorry it didn't send the first time. But I don't think it will because it be more towards like baseball cards if anything because there are so many made more than coins. And rarely any change except around the holidays.

no.

CMCC

Level 5

I don't collect them, I've never even had the idea about it!

Mr. Wheatie

Level 5

i don't collect them......... I spend them!

CMCC

Level 5

The same for me!

Numinerd9

Level 5

So this just came out; still think exonumia fans won't pay attention to gift cards in the future? I don't know too many of us who'd turn this gift card down! Link to Coin World story: http://www.coinworld.com/news/starbucks-for-life-contest-its-a-wonderful-card-ultimate-giveaway-gold-starbucks-card-coin-world.html

Longstrider

Level 6

Yeah, I think some people will collect them. Money is money!

Kepi

Level 6

This is an interesting idea... I think actual coins and currency will always rule! However, gift cards do have monetary value...

LNCS

Level 5

I still have a phone card, since it has the 1913 Liberty Nickel on it. Just part of my 1913 collection that will probably never include an actual 1913 Liberty nickel.

nachos10

Level 4

Will this be counted as exonumia in the future?

Numinerd9

Level 5

I would like to think so, nachos10. Technically, I consider them exonumia right now (even though most people consider them to be trash when funds are used up.) There's even a term out there for gift card collecting - Cartodorology! At any rate, it's tough to ignore a multi-billion dollar industry like this. In 2013 alone, approximately $113 Billion was spent on gift cards. By 2021, projections are saying it'll be about $200 Billion per year in annual sales. Do you think gift cards are collectible or not? Maybe this info will help change your mind: 1) There are now a few websites dedicated to trading these things, primarily Starbucks GC's and other companies that make several designs at a time. 2) Do a search on eBay right now and look at how many expired gift cards are trading. Sure, most of them do not go for a whole lot of money, but more and more people everyday are getting into these, and what a great time to do it - most everyone you know throws them away (it already is starting to sound like a hindsight nightmare for collectors who just keep putting them in the trash; collector's remorse is imminent!) 3) In a January 2011 eBay auction, a rare Starbucks gift card was sold for a winning bid of $10,277. It was 1 of only 6 known that Starbucks made for a NYT crossword puzzle contest back in 2006 (I'm not kidding - someone actually paid over ten large for an expired gift card!! And why not - it's over 2x rarer than an 1804 dollar!) The local Starbucks down the street from my house has already agreed to hang on to the expired cards they get (minus whatever ones their staff wants to keep; some of them are already collecting them, which stinks for me, lol.) I recommend anyone else out there to do the same. As long as you have the room for storage, why not; what's the worst that'll happen - They might turn out to be as lucrative as phone cards (and beanie babies.) BTW, if anyone has any ideas for lesson plans that I can use here at the Money Museum to help teach kids ages 4-12 about these things, please let me know!!

VKurtB

Level 4

Remember that brief shining moment when the numismatic hobby briefly went ga-ga over phone cards? It almost seems embarrassing now, doesn't it? What ever happened to the guys who collected those seriously?

VKurtB

Level 4

Whoa! Hotel key cards?!? I never thought of those! I always turn 'em back in. I wonder what a thousand of those cost a hotel?

VKurtB

Level 4

Whoa! Hotel key cards?!? I never thought of those! I always turn 'em back in. I wonder what a thousand of those cost a hotel?

Numinerd9

Level 5

Yeah Kurt, where did all the phone card collectors go? I honestly never got into those, as I never considered them a true "medium of exchange." I actually found a box of some old numismatically-related phone cards not too long ago here at the ANA HQ; most all of 'em from the late 1990's (just before cell phones became all the rage.) Not sure what we'll ever do with them, but at least they're here where they should be, I guess. I sincerely feel that gift cards are different in that they are used for everyday purchases and that the generation of kids coming up now will one day look back on the first gift cards they encountered with nostalgic reverence - and then pay for these memories (at least I hope so!) And I have to admit - I even hang on to my used hotel room keys, now that most every hotel has switched to the card-style key systems. I know, they aren't even close to being considered money, but it's just this collector's curse that I can't shake (so is there anyone else out there that collects these hotel room keys too, other than myself and Ken Hallenbeck?! lol)

Numinerd9

Level 5

It's a good thing, Jake!

Numinerd9

Level 5

I have to agree, User_9998. Coins will always be first in my numismatic heart too! I think it'll be interesting to watch this segment of numismatics as time goes on, imho. Right now no one believes these will be collectible (gee, weren't baseball cards just toys kids played with in the "50's? Then thirty years later, everyone was collecting them; some trading for thousands of dollars.) Some of the best collectibles out there are things that were never meant to be "collected" in the first place.

user_9998

Level 5

Interesting point, but coins are still totally winning here.

IloveSilver

Level 3

I do not think so but who knows

Jake Sherlock

Level 4

Have you ever seen this Martha Stewart commercial? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0B6jyJYC2I&feature=kp

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