UPDATED for 2020!
Gift cards are always a popular item at this time of year. They’re an efficient and convenient way to simplify holiday shopping.
Best of all, it pays to buy gift cards at this time of year — because of the bonus offers. Yes, many retailers will throw in a bonus card if you spend a certain amount. For example: buy a $50 gift card and get a $5 bonus card.
In the list below, most of the offers require that gift cards must be purchased by December 31, in order to receive the bonus — but some promos end earlier, so click through and check the details.
In addition, some bonuses are available either online or in-store only, while others are available either way. Often, cards ordered online will have FREE shipping, but you’ll want to check on that. You don’t want shipping charges to erase your bonus.
Things to know about “bonus” cards
It’s important to note that most (if not, all) of the offers below are for “bonus cards” — not gift cards.
Most bonus cards are not valid until Jan. 1, 2020. Retailers don’t want you using the bonus until after the holiday shopping season is over!
Also, bonus cards are excluded from expiration laws, according to Money Magazine, so you may have a short window in which to use them. For this reason, it’s a good idea for you to keep that “bonus” card for yourself—and use it promptly.
We suggest that you review the fine print for limitations, including minimum purchase requirements, date restrictions, or menu exclusions right away, after receiving the bonus card, so you won’t run up against a surprise in April when you go to use it and find it’s no longer valid.
Here’s a round-up of bonus offers from popular national restaurants and retailers.
Restaurants are listed first, followed by retailers.
Restaurant bonus card offers
The list is written in this format:
Restaurant/Business: Minimum Gift Card Purchase = Bonus Offer
Abuelo’s: $50 = $10 VIP card
Arby’s: $25 = FREE sandwich
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
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
Corner Bakery: $25 = $5 bonus card
Del Taco: Online – $30 = FREE small combo meal coupon / $100 = Four (4) FREE small combo meal
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
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant: $50 = $10 bonus card
Kona Grill: $50 = $10 Dining Dollars / $100 = $25 Dining Dollars
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
Morton’s Steakhouse: $250 = $50 reward card
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
Ruth’s Chris Steak House: $250 or more = 10% bonus card
Seasons 52: $500 = 10% additional in gift cards
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
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
Thanks to Bryan at Living On The Cheap for compiling this list!
More food and drink deals:
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