If you’re planning on giving gift cards for the holidays, you can stretch your cash by tapping into one of the many holiday bonuses going on right now, gift card deals and discounts. From now until Christmas or later many restaurants and retailers will reward your gift card purchase with discounts or additional gift cards to give to a loved one or keep for yourself.
Update: See the list for the current holiday season: 2011 Gift Card Deals.
If you are a frequent visitor to one of these places, you might even consider buying gift cards for yourself, just to reap the bonus – it’s like locking in a discount on your favorite meals! As I mentioned last year, buying restaurant gift cards makes your shopping easier and saves your recipient money on a meal out.
$100 may sound like a lot, but it could be 5 $20 gifts or even 10 $10 gifts for coworkers, your children’s teachers, or stocking stuffers. Just remember one of my Black Friday shopping rules: it’s only a deal if you would have bought these gift cards anyway! Otherwise, you’re spending and not saving.
iTunes Card Deals
- iTunes Bonus: Cash in $40 for an ecertificate at a Coinstar machine and get a $10 bonus.
- iTunes Gift Card: Buy $60 worth of iTunes gift cards for $48 at Target through December 11.
Restaurant Gift Card Deals
- Applebees: Buy $50, get $10 Free
- BJ’s Brewhouse: Free pintglass with $50 giftcard purchase, pint glass + “surprise card” worth $5 or more (with a trip for 2 as the grand prize!) for every $75 purchase
- California Pizza Kitchen: Buy $100, get $20 free
- Cheesecake Factory: Receive a free slice of cheesecake for every $25 in eGift Cards
- Chilis: 10% off gift card orders of $100 or more (Plus, check out their “HoliDaily Specials” for a different printable coupon every day!)
- Macaroni Grill: Buy $25, get $5 free
- Qdoba: Buy $25, get $5 free
- Outback Steakhouse: Buy $100, get $20 free
- Red Robin: Buy $25, get $5 free OR get 20% on gift card orders over $500
- Ted’s Montana Grill: Buy $100, get $20 free
- Uno Chicago Grill: Buy $25, get $5 free
Other Gift Cards Deals
- Amazon: $5 and $10 Bonuses for buying Amazon gift cards.
- AirTran: Get 1 A+ Rewards Credit for every $100 in Gift Cards (16 A+ credits = 1 Free Flight – I will definitely be taking advantage of this one as AirTran is my airline of choice!)
- AMC Theaters: Buy $50 gift card, get $10 in concessions
- Barnes and Noble: Buy $100, get $10 eGift card
- Borders: Buy $100, get $10 coupon
Make sure you check with your favorite local restaurants and retailers before finalizing your gift card plans. Here in DC almost every single place I frequent is doing some kind of bonus – some as much as 20%. Groupon is good source of local gift cards for less.
As with any deal, make sure you are aware of all terms and conditions before making your purchases. Some bonuses can only be used after and/or before a certain date, and many places limit the number of bonuses you can earn or the days/times you can use them. Finally, some bonuses are available for gift card purchases in-store or online, while others only apply to one or the other.
And if you can’t find a bonus for the gift card you are looking for, check Plastic Jungle for gift card discounts.
What is your favorite gift card bonus this holiday season? Tell us in the comments!