Once again, gift cards are at the top of many people’s wish list this holiday season. Gift cards are always an efficient and convenient way to check off your holiday shopping list. Best of all, it pays to give gift cards because of all the bonus offers this time of year. Most of the gift cards must be purchased by December 31, in order to receive the bonus — some promos end earlier, so check first. In addition, some promos are available online or in-store only, while others are available either way. (For true savings, it’s better to buy the gift cards in-store, rather than pay any potential shipping charges.)
We’ve compiled a round-up of bonus offers from popular national restaurants and retailers. However, there may be local deals to be found, too, so stop by your favorite neighborhood spot and ask. Plus, review our tips on how to maximize the promos at the end of the list.
- Merchant – Minimum gift card purchase = bonus offer
- Applebee’s: $50 = $10 Bonus Card
- Benihana: $50 = $10 Promotional Card
- BJ’s Restaurant Brewhouse: $100 = $25 Bonus Card / $50 = $10 Bonus Card / Plus 20% off VIP card online only. The VIP card is valid through Feb. 13, 2018. Guests who spend $100 on gift cards in the restaurant will receive two festive chalkboard beer glass.
- Bonefish Grill: $50 = $10 Bonus Card
- Boston Market: $25 = $5 Bonus Card
- Brio Tuscan Grille: $100 = $20 Bonus Card
- California Pizza Kitchen: $100 = $20 Promo Card
- Carrabba’s Italian Grill: $50 = $10 Bonus Card
- Chick-fil-A: $8 2018 Calendar = FREE food and/or drinks each month in 2018 (on sale Nov. 20)
- Children’s Place: $40 = $10 off coupon
- Chili’s: $50 = $10 Bonus Card
- Chipotle Mexican Grill – $30 (from November 20 to December 24) = BOGO FREE burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos with gift card receipt through Dec. 31.
- Denny’s: $25 = $50 Denny’s coupons
- DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse): $100 = $20 Bonus Card — earn additional $5 Bonus Card for each $50 spent in gift cards over the $100 threshold
- Einstein Bros. Bagels: $25 = $5 Bonus Card
- Fleming’s Steakhouse: $100 = $20 Bonus Card
- Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse: $150 = $25 Holiday Bonus Card
- IHOP: $25 = $5 coupon
- Jamba Juice: $25 e-giftcard = $25 off first purchase in 2018
- Landmark Theatres: Film Aficionado Ticket Book for $225 (25 tickets total for $9 each)
- Longhorn Steakhouse: $25 online = $5 Bonus Card
- Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt: $25 = $5 Bonus Card
- MOOYAH: $25 = $5 off your meal — in the same transaction
- Morton’s The Steakhouse: $250 = $50 Reward Card
- Olive Garden: $50 = $10 Bonus Card
- Outback Steakhouse: $50 = $10 Bonus Card
- Panera Bread: $50 = $10 Bonus Card
- P.F. Chang’s China Bistro: $100 = $20 Bonus Card
- Red Lobster: $50 = $10 Off Coupon or FREE appetizer
- Red Robin: $25 = $5 Bonus Buck Reward / $50 = $10 Bonus Buck Reward
- Regal Cinemas: $50 = $10 Concessions Bonus Card
- Ruby Tuesday: $50 = $15 Bonus Card
- Ruth’s Chris Steak House: $250 or more = 10% Bonus
- Steak ‘n Shake: $20 = $5 Certificate
- Taco Bell: $25 = FREE Combo Meal
- Texas Roadhouse: $30 = $5 Bonus eGift Card
- T.G.I. Friday’s: $25 = Bonus Bites Card worth $5 to $25 and FREE Redbox rental
- The Cheesecake Factory: $25 = 2 FREE slices of cheesecake — offer valid from Nov. 24 to 27.
- Wendy’s: $2 Frosty Key Tag = FREE Jr. Frosty with any purchase in 2018 – on sale beginning Nov. 20
- Yard House: $50 = $10 Bonus Card
Remember, price and participation may vary by location. It’s also important to note that most, if not all, of the offers are for “bonus cards” — not gift cards. Review the fine print for limitations, including minimum purchase requirements, date restrictions or menu exclusions first. Plus, most (if not all) bonuses are not valid until Jan. 1, 2018.
Who says gift cards have to be gifts? If you have a favorite restaurant or merchant offering a gift card bonus, “pre-pay” for goods and services now…and “gift” yourself the bonus.
Plus, 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) — so there’s no need for multiple transactions. As always, clarify first before purchasing, especially because most gift cards are non-refundable.