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‘Tis the Season for Gift Card Bonuses

‘Tis the Season for Gift Card Bonuses
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With the holidays fast approaching, retailers are doing their best to capture your attention and a share of your pocketbook with deals abounding. They want you to consider getting these deals as gifts, but, while you can certainly gift some of these deals, you should consider buying them for yourself to save a little money!

Olive Garden and Other Darden Restaurants

Olive Garden always puts out these gift card deals. However, you have to be sure to read the fine print. On this one, you won’t be able to use the bonus gift card until after the holidays, so be sure you’ll have a trip to Olive Garden (or presumably any of the other Darden family of restaurants) planned during that window. I’m assuming the $50 card can be used immediately, and you have until 12/30/2019 to purchase it.

Carrabba’s, Outback, etc.

It looks like the Bloomin’ Group has taken a page out of Darden’s playbook, offering almost the identical deal, with only a couple of date changes on the restrictions. For every $50 purchase through 12/31/19, you get $10 to spend from 1/1/20 to 2/9/20.

Applebee’s

You can enjoy your bonus card a bit longer at Applebee’s. Their $10 bonus gift cards go all the way through 3/1/20, and you have until 1/5/20 to make your $50 purchase.

Chili’s and Other Brinker Locations

Chili’s lists some restrictions to their gift card deal. You can only use one of the $10 bonus cards per visit from 1/1/20 until 2/12/20. You need to purchase your initial $50 card by 12/31/19, and your bonus card will be emailed to you.

IHOP

You can get a $5 bonus card with any gift card purchase of $25 or more at IHOP in-store through 1/1/20. The terms don’t state whether you can get more bonus cards, but you cannot use the bonus card on the same visit. The bonus card is valid until the end of February.

Landry’s

Landry’s has many themed restaurants like Rainforest Cafe, Morton’s Steakhouse, and Claim Jumper. You have until 12/24/19 to purchase, and you need to check which tier your restaurant is in to know the amount of the gift card you need to purchase for your bonus. Presumably, the higher end the restaurant, the more in initial gift card you’ll need to purchase. However, your bonus card will be more as well. There are restrictions on redemption, like a minimum spend on your check, however, you can use two bonus cards per check. You have all the way until the end of May to use them, but you can’t redeem on Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day.

Panera

Purchase at least $50 in Panera cards by December 31 and redeem your $10 bonus card from 1/1/20 through 1/21/20. With this one, you can use the bonus card on multiple visits instead of having to use it all in one transaction, so long as your purchases are within the redemption time frame.

P.F. Chang’s

P.F. Chang’s is doubling up on their offer, requiring a $100 initial purchase by 12/31/19 for a $20 bonus to be used anytime in January or February. You’ll need to use the bonus card all at once, and only one bonus card will be accepted per check.

Red Lobster

Buy $50 in Red Lobster gift cards to receive a $10 coupon for a meal in January. There are a lot of restrictions on this promotion since it is considered a coupon instead of a gift card. Basically it’s only good on two adult entrees or one free appetizer. There is no date given for the duration of the initial offer.

Red Robin

Through December 31st, you can get $5 in bonus bucks for every $25 in gift cards purchased. Gift cards purchased will not be activated until 24 hours after purchase, so you cannot use them immediately. The bonus bucks award can be used throughout January and February, and you must use it on one transaction with a minimum purchase of $5 or $10. (I’m not sure why there are two minimum amounts listed.)

Texas Roadhouse

Texas Roadhouse seems to have the fewest restrictions, although they may just not be listed. For every $30 in gift cards you buy, you get a $5 bonus card emailed to you within 48 hours. There are no dates listed for the promotion or the use of the bonus gift cards. There is a maximum bonus of $100.

Watch For Local Deals

The other day, Maggie and I decided to go out to lunch at our favorite local Mexican food place, Macayo’s. They had a deal on gift cards for the same buy $50, get $10. I wish I had pulled the trigger on it right then and there because I’m not sure if they are still offering the deal. I might be forced to stop by to just check (and also have lunch).

Added 11/18: Starbucks

Through 11/22, you can get a $5 bonus when buying at least a $15 gift card with your Mastercard in the Starbucks app. Simply send someone (maybe yourself) at least $15 in gift cards by email through your Starbucks app. You’ll need to customize the amount if you just want to do the minimum of $15 since it’s not an option on the drop down menu. The recipient should get their $15 card fairly quickly, and you will get the $5 bonus gift card in your email. Just click to add them to your account from your mailbox. I always combine cards in the app to make one. This works great with a two player system. My husband is the only one who goes to Starbucks in the family, but I have an account in order to take advantage of deals like this.

Check the Terms

Make sure you look carefully at the terms of any gift cards with bonus offers you choose to purchase. It could be so restrictive that it really won’t be saving you enough money to be worth the effort.

[Expired] Harkins

I am loving the My Harkins Rewards program. I’ve earned six $5 awards to use at the box office and concession stand this year alone. Even though I feel like I don’t really spend that much at Harkins to begin with since they have the Popcorn Perks and refillable cups, I guess all that loyalty adds up. Their current deal through November 20, 2019 is to buy $50 in Harkins gift cards and get a $10 award added to your account. If you have two accounts in your household, you could double the deal by each buying a gift card, but only if you are both willing to go to the box office by November 20, because there is a $2.00 fee to mail a card.

Check Back for Updates

I’ll update this post as I find more of these bonus gift card deals, because, rest assured, there will be more of them! Take advantage of them not only for gifts, but to help you maximize your spending!

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