Zelle® Blog
What Grads Really Need This Year: Money

Total gift spending for the 2021 spring graduation season was estimated to be $5.9 billion, with consumers spending an average of $119 on gifts for their graduates, according to a recent consumer trends survey by the NRF (National Retail Federation). This next grad season is going to be just a big— if not bigger!

Whether a grad is preparing for college, pursuing more school, or starting their career, money is always a great gift to give. In fact, the NRF reports cash will be the most popular gift for those high school and college graduates, with more than half of those surveyed saying they plan to gift money.

If you find yourself on your way to your nephew’s graduation party next grad season, and suddenly realize you forgot to get him a card, you don’t have to rush to find the nearest drugstore and spend time scouring the card aisle for a generic “Congrats, Graduate!” card. And you won’t have to open up your maps app and search for the closest ATM.

Luckily, you can easily send money to your special grad with Zelle® - along with a personalized, congratulatory note.

How to Send a Grad Money with Zelle®

To send your graduate money with Zelle®, start by checking if you already have access to Zelle® through your bank. If you do, you don’t need to download an additional app and can use Zelle® through your bank’s mobile app or online banking. If your bank or credit union doesn't offer Zelle® yet, you can simply download the Zelle® app to get started.

And your grad doesn’t have to bank at the same place as you to receive your gift. With just an email address or U.S. mobile phone number, you can send money to them regardless of where they bank, for free1.

Although it can be tempting to get creative with your gift-giving, graduates will undoubtedly appreciate the gift of money as they’re preparing to embark on a new chapter of their lives. And with Zelle®, the money will be directly in your grad’s bank account and available for them to spend within minutes1.

Learn more about how Zelle® works.


1U.S. checking or savings account required to use Zelle®. Transactions between enrolled consumers typically occur in minutes and generally do not incur transaction fees.