Global - Show me the money: People would be most excited to be gifted cash this holiday season
December 20th, 2023, Lesley Simeon

Global - Show me the money: People would be most excited to be gifted cash this holiday season


  • Most consumers would be happy to receive cash/money as gifts this year
  • Gift cards follow at a distant second
  • There are few-to-no takers for beverages, alcoholic or otherwise, as far as receiving them as presents is concerned
  • Indonesians are in the lead to say they’d be happy to receive cash/money as gifts
  • Danes are least likely to say so

The trickiest aspect of a holiday season could be figuring out what gift to buy for your loved ones. While this piece may not have answers to what your friend, partner or family specifically want as gifts this year, it does explore what kind of presents people across 17 international markets would be most excited to receive this season.

YouGov’s data shows that nearly four in ten consumers across markets (38%) say they’d prefer cash or money in some form as gifts this holiday season.

Gift cards come in at a distant second place. One in ten consumers say they’d be most excited receiving gift cards of any kind as gifts (10%), followed by books (6%), event tickets (6%) and clothes, shoes or accessories (5%).

Interestingly, there seem to be no takers for non-alcoholic beverages as gifts for this season. Further, just one percent of consumers say alcoholic beverages, investment products or services and home décor items given to them as gifts would excite them.

Let’s now see which gifts would excite consumers across individual markets.

Asians more likely to get excited on being gifted cash this season; Europeans keener on receiving gift cards, books

Indonesians account for the largest share of consumers (71%) across all markets who say cash or money in any form as gifts would excite them the most this holiday season. Singaporeans (62%), Emirates (50%) and Mexico (47%) follow.

Among the European markets we survey, respondents in Italy are most likely (40%) to say cash as gifts would excite them the most.

Conversely, cash or money as gifts are least likely to excite Danes (15%) and Swedes (22%).

In the US, nearly four in ten consumers (38%) say cash/money would excite them, while almost three in ten Britons (29%) agree. Indians are the least likely in Asia (43%) to be excited by cash as present.

Hong Kongers account for the largest share of consumers who say they would get excited on being gifted a variety of products. These include subscriptions of any kind (9%), beauty and personal care items (6%) and consumer electronics (7%).

As for gift cards, Americans (15%), Canadians (15%), Australians (14%) and the Swedes (14%) are the most likely across all markets to say they would get most excited on receiving gift cards this holiday season. Gift cards would excite Indonesians (3%) and Singaporeans (5%) the least.

Video games would excite Canadians (3%) and Mexicans (3%) the most.

Notably, Europeans are more likely than Asians to be excited about getting books as gifts. Spain is the only market in our survey that records a double-digit figure (13%) for respondents who would get excited the most to receive books as gifts this season. Britons (9%), Italians (8%), Germans (8%) and Danes (8%) follow Spaniards in their preference for books as gifts.

One in ten consumers in Mexico and Spain get most excited when gifted clothes, shoes or accessories. Denmark accounts for the largest proportion of consumers who say event tickets (15%) excite them, followed by Brits (11%). The Danes are also most likely across all markets (4%) to say home décor items as gifts excite them.

Food and grocery gifts would find favor among 4% of Singaporeans. A similar proportion of those in the UAE would like to get phones and related accessories (5%) and investment products and services (4%) as gifts.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 501 and 2004 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in October 2023. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced

Photo by micheile henderson on Unsplash