The holidays are the best time to buy gift cards for loved ones or even yourself — especially for popular restaurants and retailers. Not only are gift cards at the top of many people’s wish list every season, but, because there are so many bonus offers this time of year, they’re an even better choice because of the savings.
The extra savings make gift cards an efficient, convenient, and frugal way to check off your holiday shopping list.
Plus, who says gift cards have to be gifts? If you have a favorite restaurant or retailer offering a gift card bonus, pre-pay for goods and services now…and gift yourself the bonus.
It’s important to note that most, if not all, of the “bonus cards” are not gift cards. They have completely different terms and conditions. For example, unlike a gift card, the restaurant bonus cards may have minimum purchase requirements, date restrictions, or menu exclusions. For many bonus offers, you will have to wait until Jan. 1, 2021, to redeem them. Review the fine print for limitations before you purchase.
Tips for getting the best holiday gift card deals
Here are some more things to look for as you review the best gift card bonus offers:
The gift card bonuses are available at participating locations, while supplies last.
Most of the gift card bonus offers are available through Dec. 31. However, some of the promotions end earlier, so check first.
Most bonus offers are either available online or in-store only. However, some may be available both online and in-store. If you’re ordering online, be sure it qualifies for the bonus offer. Once you click “buy,” you may be out of luck as most gift card sales are final. (For maximum savings, purchase gift cards in person, so as to avoid any potential online shipping charges.)
National and regional chains aren’t the only businesses in the gift-giving mood. You may find local restaurants or businesses in your neighborhood with bonus gift card offers, so stop by your favorite spots for more potential savings. Gift card purchases are a great way to support local businesses.
As with any promotion, bonus card offers may have limits or restrictions. Therefore, do the math first. You may get more bonuses by breaking down a large purchase. For example, if the bonus is for a $25 (or more) gift card and you’re buying a $50 gift card, why not purchase two $25 gift cards in separate transactions instead? You just doubled your bonus. However, many businesses give you a bonus for each gift card purchased at a specified amount (usually $25 or $50.) As a result, there may be no need for multiple transactions.
Finally, review our tips on how to maximize the value of your gift cards.
Restaurant gift card deals for 2020
Here’s a round-up of restaurant gift card bonus offers from popular national chains:
Restaurant: Minimum Gift Card Purchase = Bonus Offer
Abuelo’s: $50 = $10 VIP card
Arby’s: $25 = FREE sandwich
Applebee’s: $50 = $10 bonus card
bellagreen: $50 = $10 e-gift card
bartaco: $50 = $10 bonus certificate
Benihana: $50 = $10 promo card / $200 = $60 / $400 = $120
Bonefish Grill: $50 = $10 bonus card
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. – $50 = $10 reward card
Buca di Beppo: $50 = $10 reward card
Buffalo Wild Wings – $25 = $5 eBonus
Carrabba’s Italian Grill – $50 = $10 bonus card
The Cheesecake Factory – $25 = FREE Slice of Joy voucher
Chili’s: $50 = $10 eBonus
Chompie’s: $50 = $10 gift card
Cold Stone Creamery – $50 = $15 Bonus Card
Corner Bakery: $25 = $5 bonus card
Del Taco: Online – $30 = FREE small combo meal coupon / $100 = Four (4) FREE small combo meal coupons
In-store – $15 = Two (2) FREE grilled chicken tacos / $25 = Four (4) FREE grilled chicken tacos
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit: $25 = $5 bonus card / $50 = $10 bonus card
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar: $100 = $20 bonus card
Flower Child: $50 = $10 bonus card
Fogo de Chão: $125 = $25 bonus card / $300 = $75 bonus card / $400 = $100 bonus card
Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria: $50 = $10 bonus card / $100 = $20 bonus card
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant: $50 = $10 bonus card
Jamba – $30 = Two (2) $5 Reward Cards
Kona Grill: $50 = $10 Dining Dollars / $100 = $25 Dining Dollars
Ledo Pizza: $25 = $5 bonus card
Logan’s Roadhouse: $50 = $10 bonus card
Maggiano’s Little Italy: $100 = $20 bonus card
Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt: $25 = $5 bonus card
Metro Diner: $50 = $10 Bonus Bucks
Modern Market: $25 = $5 bonus card
Morton’s The Steakhouse: $250 = $50 reward card
Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom: $25 = $5 bonus card
Olga’s Kitchen : $25 = $5 Bonus Bucks / $100= $30 Bonus Bucks
On the Border: $50 = $10 bonus card
Outback Steakhouse: $50 = $10 off
Panera Bread: $50 = $10 bonus card
Pie Five Pizza: $25 = FREE large 1-topping pizza
Portillo’s: $50 = $10 promo card
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery: $50 = $10 bonus card
Ruth’s Chris Steak House: $250 or more = 10% bonus card
Seasons 52: $500 = 10% additional in gift cards
Shake Shack – $25 = FREE shake
Subway: $25 = FREE 6″ sub
STK Steakhouse: $50 = $10 Dining Dollars / $100 = $25 Dining Dollars
Taco Bell: Online – $10 = $2 eGift Card / In-store – $10 = Two (2) FREE seasoned beef crunchy tacos
Taco John’s: $25 = $5 bonus card / $100 = $20 bonus card
Retail gift card deals for 2020
These popular retail establishments are offering extra savings on gift card purchases:
Business: Minimum Gift Card Purchase = Bonus Offer
The Children’s Place: $50 = $10 bonus card / $75 = $15 bonus card / $100 = $20 bonus card
DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse): $50 = $10 bonus card / $100 = $25 bonus card
Massage Envy: Buy one 60-minute service at the non-member rate and receive one FREE 60-minute service voucher / $80 = $20 voucher / $150 = $50 voucher
2020 Black Friday and Cyber Monday restaurant gift card deals
These restaurants offered extra gift card bonuses for purchases made on Black Friday through Cyber Monday 2020 (now expired):
Restaurant: Minimum Gift Card Purchase = Bonus Offer
Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom: $25 = $10 bonus card
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery: $50 = $20 bonus card
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant: $50 = $20 bonus card
Gift card fine print
Remember, price and participation may vary by location. Review the fine print for limitations, including minimum purchase requirements, date restrictions, or exclusions first. Also, many businesses don’t allow you to combine multiple bonus cards in a single transaction. Most (if not all) bonuses are not valid until Jan. 1, 2021.
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