Local

Gift Cards Go High-Tech This Holiday Season

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Source: KDKA-TV) Susan Koeppen
A nationally known, award-winning journalist, Susan Koeppen co-anc...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – If you can’t figure out what to give your loved ones for the holidays, chances are they want a gift card.

In fact, 60 percent of people say they want one and gift cards are changing with the times.

Americans will spend $29 billion on gift cards this year alone.

However, what happens if you get a gift card to a place you don’t like or you lose the money because you forgot where you stashed it?

Those days are behind us because gift cards are growing up and going high-tech.

Roughly, 80 percent of consumers will buy one this holiday. But, forget about paper and plastic because the digital gift card has arrived.

From the makers of Square Wallet comes the new age of gift cards. Use the mobile app to search the directory for a business, pick an amount, write a message and with a tap, your gift is sent to your friend’s inbox.

They can use their phone to redeem it or print out a QR code.

The app is available for both an iPhone or Android.

Then there’s Giftly, where you can give someone a gift card for just about anything.

You pick the item or event and then plug in a dollar amount.

CEO Tim Bentley said whatever you think up, it can be made into a Giftly for someone.

“Some of the funniest ones end up being people gifting tattoos to each other,” Bentley said.

Here’s how you cash in. You get a $100 Giftly, you register a credit card with the company and the company puts a $100 credit on your card.

“We wanted to create a gift card that was easy to use, send you reminders to use it, and be more flexible,” Bentley said.

Bentley said Pittsburghers have bought 500 Giftlys since Thanksgiving alone.

However, there is a limit on how much you can spend on a gift card. It’s under $1,000, but you can give just about anything from a tattoo to a bottle of beer at your favorite bar.

If you do get some plastic gift cards this year, there’s a way to make those high-tech too.

Using Google Wallet, you can store your gift card information right into your phone.

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