Press Release

Mastercard holiday shopping survey shows consumers prefer online shopping and gift cards that give back this season

December 16, 2021 | Purchase, N.Y.

46% plan to increase online shopping relative to last year

69% of holiday shoppers believe it’s important to give gifts that support a good cause

While consumers are returning to their in-store shopping routines, according to a recent Mastercard survey, 56% of shoppers are continuing to prioritize online shopping this holiday season, citing waiting in lines (72%), finding parking (65%), and items being out of stock (47%) as primary reasons. Survey data also shows that when selecting gifts this holiday season, nearly half of shoppers say they’re more likely to give gift cards this year (48%) and two thirds say are focused on charitable and cause related giving (69%). Additional insights from the Mastercard survey include:

Deck the Halls with gift cards and make your holiday bright

  • Two thirds (63%) of shoppers say they are more likely to buy their loved ones a gift card/prepaid card rather than a physical or experiential gift this year and 41% say gift cards are the top item on their own wish lists.
  • Gift cards are the most popular gift for parents/grandparents (21%), siblings, other relatives and best friends (all at 23%), coworkers (16%) and clients (12%).

 Giving gifts that give back put joy and meaning into the holidays

  • Twenty percent of shoppers would like a gift that gives back to a good cause this year more so than in the past. Millennials are more likely to prioritize giving back with 27% saying gifts that give back to a good cause are higher on their wish list, representing a significantly higher share than Gen X (15%) and Boomers (18%).
  • Top charitable causes shoppers are most interested in supporting include wildlife conservation (37%) and environmental protection including parks and nature centers, health including patient and family support, and food banks and social services (all at 30%).

“Gift cards are a clear winner this season. People’s propensity to engage digitally and support causes they’re passionate about is changed for good,” noted Cheryl Guerin, executive vice president, North America Marketing and Communications at Mastercard. “Online shopping is not only providing consumers with convenience, but also an immediate way to give with meaning this season.”

Introducing Priceless Mastercard gift cards and a Priceless Experience that Gives Back

With growing consumer attention on supporting environmental conservation, Mastercard continues to leverage the full scale of its business, technology and network of partners and cardholders to create products and services that inspire action towards a more sustainable future. Building on this commitment, Mastercard is providing a series of passion-led gift cards and launching a Priceless Experience auction that deliver a differentiated and meaningful gifting experience this holiday season that gives back. This includes:

Priceless Planet Mastercard Passion gift card: Each time consumers purchase the new Priceless Planet Mastercard Passion gift card, $2.00 will be donated to Conservation International, an environmental non-profit, to plant a tree in support of the Priceless Planet Coalition, an initiative to unite merchants, banks, cities, and consumers in the restoration of 100 million trees. The Coalition works closely with its forest restoration partners, Conservation International and World Resources Institute, to not only plant trees, but regrow forests in the places with the greatest need, creating a positive impact on climate, local communities and biodiversity. To learn more about this gift card visit:

Wildlife Impact gift card: Each Mastercard Wildlife Impact gift card features a Critically Endangered animal, along with an expiry date that highlights just how short the timeframe is for protecting these animals from extinction.  For each card purchased, $1.00 will be donated to Conservation International, an environmental non-profit, to help protect and restore wildlife habitats that support critically endangered species, including priority areas equal to 40 million hectares of landscape and 4.5 million square kilometers of seascape globally by 2030.  To learn more about this gift card visit:

Hawaii Priceless Experience Auction: In addition to the Priceless Mastercard gift cards, Mastercard is also announcing a once-in-a-lifetime Priceless Experience auction for cardholders. The winner will receive an expert-led wildlife tour of Hawaii’s scenic island, Lana’i. Winning amount will be donated to Conservation International to protect wildlife habitats[1]. To learn more about this Priceless Experience auction visit here:

In addition to supporting these initiatives through the purchase of a passion-led card this holiday season, Mastercard invites consumers to contribute directly to Conservation International through the Mastercard Donate platform.

[1] Auction is open exclusively to Mastercard  cardholders and ends December 23, 2021 at 10AM PST.

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted among 4,000 respondents among representative populations across the US and Canada. All respondents were 18+, use a credit card, and were likely to shop during the 2021 holiday season. Research was conducted between November 23rd and December 1st.

The Priceless Planet Mastercard Passion gift card and Mastercard Wildlife Impact gift card are issued by Sunrise Banks N.A., Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Mastercard International Incorporated. These cards may be used everywhere Debit Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard and the circles design are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated. Use of this card constitutes acceptance of the terms and conditions stated in the Cardholder Agreement.

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.