Our friends at Yahoo published an interesting post today that we want to share.

Young folks have found a new use for refillable gift cards. They are buying them for themselves.

A new report issued this week by analyst firm Mercator Advisory Group found a big jump in purchase of these “retailer-specific” cards among millennials.

“Nearly 3-in-5 young adult respondents indicated they bought them during the previous year, up from less than half of young adults who did so in the 2015 survey,” the report said.

The intermingling of these gift cards and apps seems to be behind the trend.

Increases in overall retail refillable gift card sales were particularly sharp in the 18- to 24-year-old age range, which saw an increase from 44% to 53%; and among those ages 25 to 34, which jumped from 48% to 57%. The rise is even more dramatic when a three-year trend is considered — among the 18- to 34-year-old set, the jump was from 39% to 57% from 2013 to 2016. During that same stretch, gift card sales actually dropped among those over age 65, and were nearly flat for 35- to 64-year-olds.

Why the increase among young people? Gift cards aren’t just for gifts anymore. Young folks are loading gift cards onto retailer apps, and using the money on themselves, said report author Karen Augustine. “Retailers are introducing more mobile-based apps and offers when using their loyalty and prepaid programs, which may be fueling this growth in retailer gift card purchases,” Augustine said. “Young adults continue to lead this mobile revolution and growing use of prepaid cards as a money management tool.”

As a leader in the retail gift card industry, eGifter sees this type of activity every day. Our customers buy our gift cards, earn points from our Insiders Rewards Club Program for discounts, and then use those cards to pay for their purchases in the store or online. It’s a genius way to stack savings!

You can read the article in its entirety here.