The holidays are the best time to buy gift cards for loved ones, or even for yourself, especially for popular restaurants and retailers.
Not only are gift cards at the top of many people’s wish lists every season, but — because there are so many bonus offers this time of year — they’re an even better choice due to 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 roundup of restaurant gift card bonus offers from popular national chains:
Restaurant: Minimum Gift Card Purchase = Bonus Offer
Applebee’s: $50 = $10 bonus 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
Chili’s: $50 = $10 eBonus
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar: $100 = $20 bonus card
Fogo de Chão: $125 = $25 bonus card / $300 = $75 bonus card / $400 = $100 bonus card
Maggiano’s Little Italy: $100 = $20 bonus card
Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt: $25 = $5 bonus card
Morton’s The Steakhouse: $250 = $50 reward card
Outback Steakhouse: $50 = $10 off
Panera Bread: $50 = $10 bonus card
Ruth’s Chris Steak House: $250 or more = 10% bonus card
Seasons 52: $500 = 10% additional in gift cards
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
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
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.
Looking for more gift card tips? Read these articles: