DES MOINES, Iowa (12/12/07)--Early sales figures indicate that a substantial number of consumers are choosing to purchase gift cards that can be redeemed at a variety of retailers instead of at a single retailer. Since Black Friday, credit unions offering The Members Group (TMG) ATIRAgift cards have sold almost 15,000 instant-issue gift cards with an average load of more than $90 per card. Currently, 55 credit unions, ranging in asset size from less than $6 million to more than $4 billion--and representing almost 400 branches--offer the gift cards (The Members Group Dec. 10). The $4.045 billion asset America First FCU in Riverdale, Utah, is offering gift cards for a second holiday season in a row. Rich Syme, America First vice president, said he is happy with the numbers so far and expects the overall numbers to increase from last year’s roughly 10,600 cards issued. “We’ve added a new twist to our product by offering a personalized card, in which gift givers can use their own photos as the card design,” he said. “This feature has really gotten the attention of our members. In addition to the photo card, which is available only online, we expect brisk branch traffic for the generic gift cards, which will result in branch sales of 400 to 500 cards per day.” While most gift cards sold in the first two weeks of the holiday season were due to walk-in traffic, several credit unions already are working with companies to provide bulk-order opportunities, said Jeff Falk, TMG director of product development.