Gift cards are at the top of many wish list this holiday season, because they are an efficient and convenient way to check off your holiday shopping list, and many offer a bonus offer ot two that extends their face value. Gift cards are offered by a variety of merchants, including restaurant chains, retailers, even movie theaters, so there’s a lot to choose from. Some smart spending rules first:
Gift card buying tips
Most gift cards must be purchased by Dec. 31 to receive the bonus, and some bonuses end earlier, so check first.
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, and avoid potential shipping charges.
Even with national chains, price and participation may vary by location.
Review the fine print for limitations, including minimum purchase requirements, date restrictions or menu exclusions first.
Also, many businesses don’t allow you to combine multiple bonus cards in a single transaction. Plus, most bonuses are not valid until Jan. 1, 2018.
Top tip to maximize savings
Get more bonuses by breaking down a large purchase into smaller denominations. For example, if the bonus is for a $25 gift card and you’re buying a $50 gift card, purchase two separate $25 gift cards to double your bonus.
That’s not necessary for buying gift cards from businesses which give you a bonus for each gift card purchased at a specified amount (usually $25 or $50), so you should clarify first before purchasing, especially because gift cards are typically non-refundable.
Local businesses also may offer gift cards, so stop by your favorite neighborhood spot and ask.
Here’s the list of 60 bonus card deals we promised at the beginning of this posting:
- Merchant – Minimum gift card purchase = bonus offer
- Abuelo’s: $50 = $10 Bonus Card
- Alamo Drafthouse Cinema: $50 = $10 Snack Pass
- Applebee’s: $50 = $10 Bonus Card
- Benihana: $50 = $10 Promo Card
- BJ’s Restaurant Brewhouse: $100 = $25 Bonus Card and 20% off VIP Card / $50 = $10 Bonus Card and 20% off VIP Card
- Bonefish Grill: $50 = $10 Bonus Card
- BRIO Tuscan Grille: $100 = $25 Bonus Card
- Bruegger’s Bagels: $25 = $5 Bakery Bucks
- Buca di Bepp0: $50 = Two $10 Reward Cards
- California Pizza Kitchen: $100 = $20 Promo Card
- Chick-fil-A: $8 2018 Calendar = FREE food and/or drinks each month in 2018
- Children’s Place: $40 = $10 off coupon
- Chili’s: $50 = $10 Bonus Card
- Chipotle Mexican Grill – $30 (from Nov. 20 to Dec. 24) = BOGO FREE burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos with gift card receiptthrough Dec. 31
- Cinemark Theatres: $35 = $5 Concession Bonus Coupon
- Del Taco – Online:$30 = FREE small combo meal / $100 = Four FREE small combo meals; In-Store:$15 = Two FREE grilled chicken tacos / $25 = Four FREE grilled chicken tacos
- Denny’s: $25 = $50 in 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
- Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria: $50 = $10 Bonus Card / $100 = $20 Bonus Card
- Harkins Theatres: $25 = FREE medium popcorn
- IHOP: $25 = $5 coupon
- Il Fornaio: $100 = $20 Complimenti Card
- Jamba Juice: $25 = $5 off first purchase in 2018
- Landmark Theatres: Film Aficionado Ticket Book for $225 (25 tickets total for $9 each)
- Longhorn Steakhouse: $25 = $5 Bonus Card
- Maggiano’s Little Italy: $100 = $20 Bonus Card
- McCormick and Schmick’s: $100 = $20 Reward Card
- Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt: $25 = $5 Bonus Card
- Mimi’s Café: $25 = $5 Gift Certificate
- MOOYAH: $25 = $5 off meal in the same transaction
- Morton’s The Steakhouse: $250 = $50 Reward Card
- Native Foods Café: $100 = $20 Gift Card
- Noodles & Company: $25 = $5 Bonus Card
- Ocean Prime: $100 = $25 Bonus Card
- Olive Garden: $50 = $10 Bonus Card
- Outback Steakhouse: $50 = $10 Bonus Card
- Panera Bread: $50 = $10 Bonus Card
- P.F. Chang’sChina Bistro: $100 = $20 Bonus Card
- Potbelly Sandwich Shop: $25 = FREE Sandwich Ticket
- Red Lobster: $25 = $10 off Coupon or FREE appetizer
- Red Robin: $50 = $10 Bonus Buck Reward / $25 = $5 Bonus Buck Reward
- Regal Cinemas: $50 = $10 Concessions Bonus Card
- Ruby Tuesday: $50 = $15 Bonus Coupon
- Ruth’s Chris Steak House: $250 0r more = 10% Bonus
- Shoney’s: $25 = $5 Shoney’s Bucks
- Smashburger: $50 = $15 Smash Bucks / $25 = $5 Smash Bucks
- Souplantation:$50 = FREE Meal Pass
- 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
- Tony Roma’s: $50 = $15 Roma Bucks
- Village Inn: $25 = $5 Promo Card
- Wendy’s: $2Frosty Key Tag = FREE Jr. Frosty with any purchase in 2018
- White Castle: $25 = $5 Promo Card
- Yard House: $50 = $10 Bonus Card
This list was compiled and published by Living on the Cheap, a sister website of ecoXplorer by Evelyn Kanter.
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