Consumers Will Spend $22.4 Billion This Father’s Day

And swipe fees will cost merchants $500 million.

June 14, 2024

Father’s Day spending is expected to reach near record amounts this year—consumers are expected to spend $22.4 billion this year, according to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. This is the second highest figure in the survey’s history after last year’s record of $22.9 billion. Three quarters of Americans plan to celebrate the holiday.

On average, those shopping for Father’s Day plan to spend $189.81 on gifts and celebrations, just shy of last year’s record of $196.23. Consumers ages 25-34 are the biggest spenders this year at an average of $275.67.

Greeting cards are the most popular Father’s Day gifts (58% of shoppers plan to purchase one), followed by clothing (54%), a special outing (52%), gift cards (48%) and personal care items (31%).

According to Numerator, 94% of Father’s Day celebrators plan to purchase something for the holiday, with the top items being food (61%), gifts (57%), alcoholic beverages (23%) and non-alcoholic beverages (15%). Among those planning to buy alcohol for Father’s Day, the top choices are beer (76%), wine (36%) and spirits or spirit-based drinks (36%).

Other notable spending takeaways from the NRF survey include:

  • 27% of Father’s Day shoppers plan to give a gift of experience.
  • 42% of consumers are interested in gifting a product subscription box.
  • 47% of those looking for Father’s Day items say it’s most important to find a gift that is unique or different.
  • 42% plan to buy a gift online, 24% at discount stores and 19% at local/small businesses.

Meanwhile, credit card swipe fees for the holiday could total $506.2 million, said the Merchant Payments Coalition (MPC). Based on the NRF’s $22.4 billion total and the 2.26% average swipe fee for Visa and Mastercard credit cards, MPC estimates that $4.29 per shopper will go to banks and card networks rather than the merchant when customers pay by credit card.

MPC estimates that the total would include $101.7 million in swipe fees on $4.5 billion in “special outings” like a dinner out or a day at the ballpark, $79.1 million on $3.5 billion in clothing, $54.2 million on $2.4 billion in electronics, $33.9 million on $1.5 billion in tools and appliances, and $31.6 million on $1.4 billion in home improvement or gardening gifts.

“Credit card companies are snipping the end off the Father’s Day necktie with high swipe fees that drive up prices,” MPC Executive Committee member and National Grocers Association Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Counsel Christopher Jones said. “For families taking Dad out to the ballgame, swipe fees can equal the cost of a hot dog or a bag of Cracker Jacks. The credit card industry sees this special day as just another opportunity to make money. It’s time for Congress to stand up for dads by passing the Credit Card Competition Act.”

As the industry awaits a vote in the Senate on the Credit Card Competition Act, NACS members are encouraged to reach out to their members of Congress and ask that they support the Credit Card Competition Act. NACS makes it easy for retailers and suppliers to send a message to their legislators via the NACS Grassroot Portal.