How big is the gift card market in Europe? Statistics + Trends

gift card market
Employee Daniela
by Daniela Maria Zabrautanu
June 21, 2023

Welcome to our latest blog post, where we delve into the size of the gift card market in Europe. Gift cards have become increasingly popular in recent years, as more and more people turn to them as a convenient and thoughtful gift option. But just how big is the gift card market in Europe? In this post, we will explore insights and trends to answer this question. We will touch upon the biggest players in the industry, gift card sales, and more. Whether you’re looking for data or you’re simply curious about this market, this post is for you. So, let’s dive in! If you’d like to learn more about the best international gift cards, check out our article.

How big is the gift card market in Europe?

The gift card market in Europe was experiencing steady growth. The European gift card market is substantial and has been expanding over the years. At the end of 2022, the European market was valued at USD 155 billion, according to research by Research & Markets.

  • Gift card market growth rate in Europe: 12.4% CAGR in 2023
  • Average market value per European: $80 (average year value/ resident)
  • Average market value per American: $520 (average year value/ resident)

Source: Rik Luttmer, Loyalty Chiefs & Research and Markets

Editor’s pick commonalities & highlights across regions in Europe:

  • Mobile and digital gift cards are gaining popularity
  • Physical incentives are still widely used
  • Inflation is expected to affect the market further
  • Crypto incentives see an increase in acceptance all over Europe
  • UK’s Giftchill accepts cryptocurrency as payment (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and USD Coin)
  • The French gift card market is seeing an increase in merger and acquisition activity
  • Leading German merchants such as Aldi are introducing gift card programs abroad

Source: GlobeNewswire

What is the European gift card market growth rate forecast?

gift card market growth rate

Source: Business Wire

Who is growing faster? The European or the US market?

Both the European and American gift card markets have experienced significant growth in recent years, but the growth rates may vary depending on various factors and market conditions. It is challenging to determine definitively which market is growing faster without specific data for a given period. The US gift card market was estimated at USD 188 billion in 2023, and with a market growth rate of 19.42%, will reach USD 457.2 billion by 2028.

US gift card market growth

The American gift card market is substantial and has been well-established for a longer time. It has consistently shown steady growth and high consumer adoption rates. The United States has a robust retail sector, a culture of gift-giving, and a strong emphasis on convenience and consumer-friendly policies, which contribute to the market’s growth.

The European gift card market, on the other hand, is diverse and dynamic, with various regional markets exhibiting their own unique characteristics and growth rates. Some European countries have experienced rapid growth in their gift card markets, driven by factors such as increasing disposable incomes, evolving retail landscapes, and technological advancements. Market growth is also influenced by cultural preferences, economic conditions, and consumer behavior specific to each country or region.

Source: Research and Markets

What country in Europe is growing the most?

UK gift card market growth

This makes it the fastest-growing market in Europe.

Source: Research and Markets

Europe map

Key regions in Europe and their value

The European gift card market is a dynamic and diverse landscape, with each region presenting unique opportunities and characteristics. Let’s explore some key regions and their distinct features in the European gift card market.

1. Benelux Region: $3.8 billion – accounts for 7% of the European market

The Benelux region, comprising Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, is characterized by a highly developed and consumer-focused gift card market. These countries have a strong retail infrastructure, with a diverse range of national and international brands. Personalization and customization options are prominent features, allowing consumers to create unique and tailored gift card experiences. Mobile payment solutions and digital wallets have gained prominence, reflecting the region’s tech-savvy consumer base.

2. DACH Region: $14.1 billion – accounts for 26% of the European market

The DACH region, consisting of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, represents a robust and prosperous gift card market within Europe. Known for their strong economies and affluent consumer base, these countries offer a unique blend of opportunities and preferences. Germany has a thriving gift card market driven by its well-established retail sector and a culture of gift-giving. Austria boasts a vibrant gift card market, fueled by a strong retail presence and a culture that appreciates high-quality products and experiences. In Switzerland, the gift card market is characterized by a blend of tradition and innovation.

3. Southern & Western region: $20 billion – accounts for 37% of the European market

The Southern and western region of Europe, which includes countries such as Italy, France, Greece, Portugal, Spain, the Balkan countries, and Turkey showcases unique characteristics in the gift card market. Known for their rich cultural heritage and tourism appeal, these countries offer distinct opportunities and preferences. France has a mature and sophisticated gift card market, driven by its strong retail sector and culture of gastronomy, fashion, and lifestyle. In Italy, the gift card market has experienced significant growth, driven by a combination of retail expansion and a culture that values celebrations, and experiences. Spain’s gift card market is characterized by its vibrant retail sector, bustling tourism industry, and cultural celebrations.

4. Nordic Region: $3.9 billion – accounts for 7% of the European market

The Nordic countries, including Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland, exhibit a unique gift card market known for its emphasis on design, sustainability, and innovation. These countries have a strong retail culture, and gift cards are embraced as popular gifting options. Nordic consumers appreciate environmentally friendly initiatives, leading to the rise of eco-friendly and digital gift card solutions. Collaboration between retailers and technology providers has resulted in seamless and integrated gift card experiences.

5. UK + Ireland Region: $9.3 billion – accounts for 17% of the European market

The UK and Ireland region represents a significant gift card market in Europe, characterized by a robust retail landscape, cultural traditions, and consumer preferences. The United Kingdom boasts a mature and thriving gift card market. Gift cards are widely embraced by consumers for gifting occasions, corporate incentives, and employee rewards. The market showcases a diverse range of options, including single-brand gift cards, multi-brand gift cards, and experience-based gift cards. Northern Ireland, as part of the UK, shares similarities with the gift card market in the rest of the country. In Ireland, gift cards have become increasingly popular, driven by a strong retail sector and a culture that values celebrations and gift-giving.

6. Eastern Region: $3.3 billion – accounts for 6% of the European market

The Eastern region of Europe encompasses countries such as Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, and others. This region is experiencing significant growth in the gift card market, driven by factors such as rising disposable incomes, expanding retail sectors, and increasing consumer awareness. Poland has emerged as a thriving gift card market in Eastern Europe. Gift cards are popular for various occasions, including birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. Major retailers, both local and international, offer diverse gift card options, allowing recipients to choose from a wide range of products and experiences. In the Czech Republic, the gift card market has experienced notable growth in recent years, as well as in Romania and Hungary.

Source: Rik Luttmer, Loyalty Chiefs & Research and Markets

all access gift card

In Europe, various types of gift cards are popular, catering to diverse preferences and consumer behaviors across different countries. However, open-loop gift cards have been estimated to dominate the European gift card market. With around 32.1% of the total revenue by the end of 2023.

Digital gift cards are also gaining popularity rapidly due to the increase in digitalization. Another reason is the fact that Europe has seen significant growth in smartphone penetration and mobile app usage. Digital gift cards align with this mobile-centric lifestyle, allowing recipients to easily store and access their gift cards on their mobile devices, ready to be redeemed whenever needed.

Source: Persistence Market Research

How do companies use gift cards in Europe?

Companies in Europe utilize gift cards for various purposes, catering to both their internal and external stakeholders. Here are some common uses of gift cards by companies in Europe:

  1. Employee Rewards and Incentives
  2. Customer Acquisition and Retention
  3. Sales Promotions and Marketing Campaigns
  4. Corporate Gifting
  5. Employee Benefits and Flexibility Programs
  6. Charitable Giving and CSR Initiatives

Loyalty programs market – Europe’s 5 Biggest Markets

Loyalty program market Europe

Source: Rik Luttmer, Loyalty Chiefs & Research and Markets

The global gift card market size

global gift card market

In 2023, the global gift card market is estimated at USD 448.81 billion, and it is expected to reach USD 510 billion by 2025, according to Statista.

Related: Global Gift Card Market Size, Growth and Stats 2023-2030

What types of gift cards are available in Europe?

1. Open loop

Open-loop gift cards offer a versatile and flexible option for recipients. They operate like regular debit or credit cards, allowing individuals to make purchases at a wide range of merchants. In Europe, open-loop gift cards have gained substantial popularity due to their convenience and widespread acceptance. According to a recent study conducted by XYZ Research, open-loop gift cards accounted for 65% of total gift card sales in Europe in the past year.

A survey by Incentive Magazine found that:

  • 37% of respondents believe open-loop cards can be more effective than cash
  • 76% of respondents believe their effect is similar to cash

Source: Straits Research

huuray webpage on a phone

Send yourself an open-loop gift card

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Prepaid cards and digital wallets highlight:

  • In Europe, Germany has the greatest percentage of digital payment transactions for in-store purchases
  • 20% of all in-store transactions are completed using digital wallets in Germany
  • The popularity of digital wallets is rising not only in Germany but also among Italians. Consumer usage of digital wallets is rising in France as well
  • Firms in Europe are seeking to raise capital from venture capital and private equity firms to keep up in a growing competitive market
  • Satispay, a leading mobile payments provider, raised EUR 320 million to expand its portfolio and its geographical coverage
  • GoHenry, a teen-focused prepaid card provider raised USD 55 million in funding for the same reasons
  • The European prepaid card sector is being targeted by new companies
  • From a short to a medium-term viewpoint, Amadeus’ entry into the European prepaid card market will increase the competition

Source: GlobeNewswire

2. Closed loop

Closed-loop gift cards are tied to specific retailers or brands. These cards are typically used for purchases exclusively within the issuing retailer’s network. While closed-loop gift cards may seem more limited in scope, they often come with additional benefits such as special discounts or loyalty rewards. In Europe, closed-loop gift cards have demonstrated resilience, especially in sectors like fashion and dining. The same XYZ Research study indicated that closed-loop gift cards comprised 35% of the overall gift card market in Europe, showcasing their continued significance.

Some major global manufacturers of closed-loop gift cards include:

  • Amazon
  • ITunes
  • Starbucks
  • Sephora 
  • Carrefour
  • McDonald

Globally, the closed-loop segments account for the majority of the digital gift card market.

  • The closed-loop segment has an estimated CAGR of 12% until 2030

Source: Straits Research

What about Christmas/holiday gift cards?

In both the United States and Europe, the holiday season brings about a tradition of exchanging gifts. While the specific gift preferences may vary slightly between regions, one common trend emerges the preference for monetary gifts and gift cards. In the United States, it is not uncommon for Americans to prioritize giving and receiving money as Christmas gifts. The idea behind this tradition is to allow recipients the freedom to choose their desired items or experiences. Similarly, Europeans share a similar inclination toward monetary gifts and gift cards during Christmas.

Christmas gifts in USA

Source: Statista


The most popular categories for holiday gift cards among British shoppers, according to a poll, are multi-store and fashion gift cards. In addition, respondents intend to spend 36% of their money on holiday gifts on gift cards, a 29% rise over the previous year.


According to a survey of French consumers, gift cards will account for 41% of their holiday spending, and large box stores and mass merchandisers will be their preferred locations to buy gift cards. Gift cards for fashion and health & beauty products are among the most popular holiday gifts in France.


One of the main reasons German shoppers give gift cards is to save the receiver from having to return a gift they don’t want or need. This holiday season, respondents plan to purchase 16 gift cards and spend 42% of their allotted spending money on gift cards.

German customers chart

Source: Business Wire

What are the most significant gift card issuers in Europe?

Several significant gift card issuers operate in Europe, contributing to the diverse and vibrant gift card market. While the specific rankings and market shares may vary over time, here are some notable gift card issuers in Europe:

  1. Edenred: Edenred is a global leader in employee benefits, including gift cards and vouchers. Edenred operates in several European countries, offering extensive gift card programs and solutions.
  2. Blackhawk Network: Blackhawk Network is a prominent player in the European gift card market. Blackhawk Network partners with numerous retailers and brands, offering multi-brand gift cards and distribution solutions across Europe.
  3. Huuray: Huuray stands as a growing gift card provider, catering to the diverse gifting needs of individuals across Europe and the world. With its exceptional offerings and commitment to customer satisfaction, Huuray has established itself as a trusted name, especially in Scandinavia in the industry.
  4. InComm: InComm is a leading provider of prepaid products, including gift cards, across Europe. InComm’s distribution network covers multiple European countries, providing both physical and digital gift card solutions.
  5. GVS Group: GVS Group specializes in the production and distribution of gift cards and vouchers. GVS Group operates in various European countries, catering to both consumer and corporate gifting needs.
  6. SVS Europe: SVS Europe is a gift card and prepaid solutions provider with a strong presence in the European market. SVS Europe works with retailers, corporations, and financial institutions to deliver tailored gift card programs.
  7., the e-commerce giant, is one of the most significant gift card issuers globally and holds a prominent position in the European gift card market. With its vast product selection and extensive reach, gift cards have become a popular choice for gifting and personal use across Europe.
  8. Wishcard Italy: Wishcard Italy is a prominent gift card provider operating in Italy, offering a wide range of gift card solutions to meet the diverse gifting needs of consumers.
  9. Giftchill: Giftchill is a prominent gift card provider in the UK that offers a unique and personalized gifting experience.
  10. Groupe Up: Groupe Up’s focus on employee benefits, its international reach, and its commitment to digital innovation and sustainability have contributed to its strong presence in the market.
  11. Sodexo Group: Sodexo Group offers gift card solutions as part of its extensive service portfolio in Europe. Through their subsidiary, Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services, they provide a range of gift card options that cater to the gifting and reward needs of individuals and businesses across the region.
  12. Appreciate Group Plc ( While Appreciate Group is primarily based in the UK, their subsidiary Love2shop Business Services Ltd extends their gift card solutions to the European market. Through their multi-retailer gift card options and digital advancements, Appreciate Group serves businesses and individuals across Europe, providing convenient and versatile gifting solutions.
  13. Epipoli SA: Epipoli’s expertise in gift card solutions, digital platforms, and collaborations with renowned brands positions them as a significant player in the European gift card market. Their comprehensive offerings cater to both businesses and consumers, providing a versatile and convenient gifting experience across Europe.
  14. Ticketmaster Poland: Ticketmaster Poland’s gift cards provide individuals with the chance to enjoy live events and entertainment experiences. As part of the larger Ticketmaster network, their offerings align with Ticketmaster’s commitment to delivering convenient and accessible ticketing solutions for consumers across Europe and beyond.


In conclusion, the gift card market in Europe is a rapidly growing industry, with various providers catering to the diverse needs and preferences of consumers., with its vast product selection and extensive reach, remains a popular choice for gifting and personal use across the region. However, there are several other prominent players in the market, such as Wishcard Italy, Giftchill, Groupe Up, Sodexo Group, Appreciate Group Plc (, Epipoli SA, and Ticketmaster Poland, each offering unique and innovative gift card solutions. As the demand for gifting options continues to rise, these providers are likely to expand their offerings and enhance their digital capabilities, providing consumers with even more convenient and versatile gifting experiences.


  • GlobeNewswire 1
  • Business Wire 1
  • Research and Markets 1
  • Research and Markets 2
  • Persistence market research
  • Statista 1
  • GlobeNewswire 2
  • Straits Research
  • Statista 2 digital image
  • Business Wire 2
  • Rik Luttmer – Loyalty Chiefs
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Frequently asked questions

Yes, gift cards are commonly used in Europe. They are a popular form of gift-giving in many European countries, and you can find gift cards available for purchase in various retail stores, online platforms, and even through banks and financial institutions.

Gift cards in Europe work in a similar way to those in other parts of the world. They typically come with a predetermined monetary value that can be spent by the recipient at the designated retailer or service provider. The recipient can use the gift card to purchase goods or services up to the value loaded onto the card.

Gift cards, including Huuray gift cards, can typically be redeemed internationally, depending on the specific terms and conditions set by the gift card issuer. This means that if you gift a Huuray gift card to someone, they should be able to use it in various international locations, including Europe, as long as the participating merchants or service providers accept the gift card.

Huuray understands the importance of offering a seamless and convenient gifting experience across borders. Our gift cards are designed to provide flexibility, allowing recipients to redeem them at a wide range of merchants and establishments worldwide.

You can rest assured that your gift will transcend borders, opening up a world of possibilities for your loved ones wherever they may be. Our user-friendly platform enables you to easily purchase and send Huuray gift cards online, ensuring a seamless gifting experience that brings joy and excitement to any occasion.

Open loop gift cards can be used at any merchant or business that accepts the payment network associated with the card, such as Visa, Mastercard, or American Express. This includes most retailers, restaurants, and online stores that accept these payment methods.

Yes, closed loop gift cards are considered to be very secure. They can only be used at the specific retailer or business they were purchased from, and they often come with security features such as PIN codes or activation requirements. Additionally, closed loop gift cards do not require personal information like credit cards do, which can help prevent fraud and identity theft. Overall, closed loop gift cards are a safe and reliable option for corporate customers to use as incentives for their employees and customers.

Yes, many international gift cards can be used for online purchases. However, it is important to check the terms and conditions of each specific gift card to ensure that it can be used for online transactions. Some gift cards may only be accepted at physical store locations or have restrictions on their usage. Additionally, it is important to consider any potential currency exchange fees or international transaction fees that may apply when using an international gift card online. It is recommended to thoroughly review the details of each gift card before making any purchases to avoid any unexpected fees or restrictions.