Gift card deals with bonuses for buyers

Posted by Amy Dunn on December 16, 2013 

Love them or hate them, gift cards have become a go-to gift for the holidays.

You don’t have to worry about the right color or size, they’re easy to wrap and easy to mail.

And if money is tight, you can oftentimes stretch your gift budget with discounted gift card deals or reap the benefits of buyer bonuses.

Don’t forget, if you regularly shop at any of these retailers, you might want to buy a gift card for yourself and keep the discounts and bonuses, too. Then save even more by using coupons with your gift card purchase -- a double play in a savvy shopper’s world. Just be sure to read the fine print. With the discounted cards, you get your savings up front but many of the bonus offers have expiration dates.

• If you belong to a warehouse club, be sure to check their selection of gift cards next time you go. Many of them are sold at a discount. The Costco website, for instance, is listing two $25 Build A Bear Workshop gift cards for $39.99 and a 4-pack of $25 Dicky’s Barbecue gift cards for $79.99. BJ’s is advertising four $15 iTunes gift cards for $51.99 after instant savings.

• Kroger stores offer double gas rewards points on the purchase of gift cards to other retailers. That means the purchase of a $50 gift card will earn you 100 points, which translates to a 10-cent discount on gasoline at Kroger and Shell gas stations.

• The drugstores frequently offer rebates on the purchase of gift cards, giving you $5 or $10 in rewards money when you buy $25 or $50 in gift cards. Check your most recent circular for all the latest deals. And don’t forget, you’ll need a loyalty card to get the reward.

• And finally, there are a massive amount of restaurant gift card promotions out there, most of them valid through Dec. 31. I’ve noted deals that expire early. Please add any gift card promotions you’ve found in the comments section below.

Applebee’s: Buy a $50 gift card and receive a $10 bonus card. Check for restrictions on bonus card.

Bahama Breeze: Buy a $50 gift card and get a coupon for a free dessert. Coupon is valid Jan. 2 through Feb. 10.

Bonefish Grill: Buy $100 in gift cards and receive a $20 bonus card valid Jan. 1 through Feb. 10.

Boston Market: Buy $25 in gift cards and receive a $5 bonus card, which expires Jan. 31.

California Pizza Kitchen: Buy $100 in gift cards and receive a $20 bonus card. Check for restrictions.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill: Buy $100 in gift cards and receive a $20 bonus card valid Jan. 1 through Feb. 10.

Chili’s: Buy $50 in gift cards and receive a $10 bonus card valid Jan. 1 through Feb. 10.

Cici’s: Buy a $25 gift card and receive a coupon for a free buffet. Coupon is valid for the month of January 2014.

Cold Stone Creamery: Purchase $30 in gift cards online and receive a free $5 e-card. Free shipping.

Hooters: Buy $25 in gift cards and receive a $5 bonus card, which will be valid beginning Jan. 1.

Jason’s Deli: Buy $50 in gift cards and get a free $5 gift card.

Lone Star Steakhouse: Buy $25 in gift cards, get a free appetizer. Buy $75 in gift gards, get a free entrée. Coupons for free items valid through Jan. 31.

Maggiano’s Little Italy: Buy $100 in gift cards online and receive a $20 bonus card and a subscription to Food & Wine magazine. Check for restrictions on bonus card.

O’Charley’s: Buy a $25 gift card and receive a $5 reward card redeemable Jan. 1 through Feb. 13.

Olive Garden: Buy $50 in gift cards and receive a coupon for $10 off the purchase of two adult entrees. Coupon in valid Jan. 1 through Feb. 9.

On the Border: Buy $25 in gift cards and receive a $5 bonus card. Check for restrictions on bonus card.

Outback Steakhouse: Buy $100 in gift cards and receive a $20 bonus card valid Jan. 1 through Feb. 10.

Panera Bread: Purchase $100 in Panera Bread gift cards online and receive a $10 Panera Bread eGift Card. Limit one $10 eGift Card per transaction.

Papa John’s: Get a free large one-topping pizza for every $25 in Papa John's gift cards you purchase.

Pei Wei: Buy $25 in gift cards by Dec. 24 and receive a coupon for a free small entree valid Jan. 7 through Feb. 2.

P.F. Chang’s: Buy $100 in gift cards and receive a $20 bonus card valid Jan. 1 through March 31.

Qdoba: Buy a $30 gift card and get a coupon for a free entree. Coupon is valid Jan. 1 through Jan. 14.

Red Lobster: Buy $25 in gift cards online and get a coupon for $5 off two adult entrees. Coupon is valid Jan. 1 through Feb. 9.

Red Robin: Buy a $25 gift card and receive a $5 bonus card valid Jan. 1 through Feb. 28.

Rita’s: Buy a $10 gift card and get a free treat certificate good for one regular-size Italian Ice, Frozen Custard, Gelati, Blendini, Misto or Milkshake.

Romano’s Macaroni Grill: Buy $25 in gift cards and receive a $5 bonus card to be redeemed Jan. 2 through Feb. 12.

Ruby Tuesday: Buy $25 in gift cards and get a $5 bonus coupon. Buy $50 in gift cards and get a $15 bonus coupon. Bonus coupons are valid Jan. 2 through Feb. 28.

Sweet Tomatoes: Buy a $50 gift card and receive a free meal pass. Offer not valid online. Check for meal pass restrictions.

Taco Bell: Get two Doritos Locos tacos and a large drink free when you purchase $20 in gift cards.

TGIFridays: Get $10 bonus for every $50 in gift cards you purchase. Bonus valid Jan. 1 through Feb. 28.

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