Once again, gift cards are at the top of many people’s wish list this holiday season. Gift cards are always an efficient and convenient way to check off your holiday shopping list. Best of all, it pays to give gift cards because of all the bonus offers this time of year.
Most of the gift cards must be purchased by December 31st in order to receive the bonus — some promos end earlier, so check first.
In addition, some bonuses 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, rather than pay any potential shipping charges.) However, always check first, especially if you’re ordering gift cards online. Once you hit the “buy” button, you may be out of luck.
In addition, there may be local deals, so stop by your favorite neighborhood spot and ask. Plus, review our tips at the end of the list on how to maximize the promos.
Much of the content of this post, especially the helpful information for understanding and maximizing gift card deals, is from This list was compiled by Living on the Cheap and is used with permission.
We might include deals for chains that aren’t in the Triangle, in case you’re shopping for people who live elsewhere.
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 December 31st. 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 Living on the Cheap’s tips on how to maximize the value of your gift cards.
Restaurant gift card deals for 2021
These restaurants are offering extra gift card bonuses for gift card purchases:
Restaurant: Minimum Gift Card Purchase = Bonus Offer
Alpaca Chicken: $50 = $10 bonus card (ask about offer in restaurant)
Applebee’s: $50 = $10 bonus card
BurgerFi: $25 = $5 bonus card (purchase through app)
Bonefish Grill:$50 = $10 bonus card
Bruegger’s Bagels: $25 = $5 bonus card
Buca di Beppo: $50 = $10 reward card
Carrabba’s Italian Grill: $50 = $10 eBonus Card
Cheesecake Factory: $50 = $15 bonus card (starting November 22nd, 2021)
City Barbeque: $25 =$5 bonus card
Chili’s: $50 = $10 E-Bonus card
Cold Stone Creamery: $50 = $15 Bonus e-Card
Denny’s: $25 = $5 Bonus Card
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit: $25 = $5 bonus card
Fleming’s: $100 = $20 bonus card
Logan’s Roadhouse: $50 = $10 Bonus Card
Maggiano’s Little Italy: $100 = $20 bonus card
Metro Diner: $50 = $10 bonus card
Moe’s Southwest Grill: $25 = $5 in Moe Rewards
Noodles & Company: $25 = $5 Bonus Gift Card
On the Border: $50 = $10 Bonus Card
Outback: $50 = $10 bonus card
Panera Bread: $50 = $10 bonus card
Pei Wei Asian Kitchen: $25 = $5 Bonus Card
Red Robin: $25 = $5 bonus card
Ruth’s Chris Steak House: $200 = $40 bonus card
Shake Shack: $25 = FREE shake
Subway: $25 = free 6″ sub
T.G.I. Fridays: $50 = $10 bonus card
Tijuana Flats: $25 = $5 Bonus Bucks; $50 = $15 Bonus Bucks
Retail gift card deals for 2021
These popular retail establishments are offering extra savings on gift card purchases:
Business: Minimum Gift Card Purchase = Bonus Offer
Children’s Place: $50 = $10 gift coupon; $75 = $15 gift coupon; $100 = $20 gift coupon
Target: $75 specialty gift card = $10 gift card
True Rest Float Spa: $89 gift card = $89 gift card (BOGO)
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 January 1st, 2022.
Looking for more gift card tips? Read these articles:Subscribe to Triangle on the Cheap