‘Twas the time before the holidays and on the web and in stores,
Were shoppers with coupons seeking deals galore;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that deep discounted merchandise soon would be there;
The retailers were scrambling for ways to make sales,
While consumers sang in unison, give me the best price, and I’ll be there;
And mamma in her Snuggie and I in my thermals,
Had just settled down to watch the “Chia” and “Clapper” commercials.
– LaTiahna Nelson
The holiday season of November and December is by far the best time to get great deals on restaurant gift cards. This is the time of year when many restaurants offer their cards at a substantial savings to the public. Restaurants are hoping that you will give them as holiday gifts and/or keep them for your own use, so they’ve made these offers very enticing.
Here’s an example of a popular offer that many restaurants are providing: “Receive a $20 bonus card for every $100 in gift cards purchased.” You can get the $100 in various increments (e.g., four $25 or two $50 cards). In this example, they are giving you an additional 20% for free. The cards are usually not valid for use until January and will expire within a short period of time (usually within 1 to 3 months), but the regular cards do not expire and can be used all year.
Also, gift cards (which are considered the same as cash) can be used in conjunction with a discount coupon for that restaurant. Bonus cards, however, cannot, since they are considered coupons by most restaurants. So, if you intend to use any of the regular ones for yourself, you can combine them with a discount coupon (which is typically $4 to $5 off with the purchase of two adult entrées) and you have saved even more money.
Below is a list of some of the restaurant chains currently offering these types of deals. This list will grow as the holidays draw nearer.
Purchase $50 in cards and receive a $10 promotional card. Promotional cards are valid from 1/2/13 to 3/31/13. Offer ends 12/31/12. Available in-restaurant or online.
Black Angus Steakhouse
Receive $5 bonus bucks with every $50 in cards purchased. Bonus bucks are valid from 1/1/13 to 2/13/13. Offer ends 12/31/12. Available in-restaurant or online.
For each $100 in cards purchased, receive a $20 bonus card and a sweepstakes entry (chance to win $5000). Bonus cards are valid from 1/1/13 to 2/10/13. Offer ends 12/31/12. Sweepstakes entry applies to online purchases. Available in-restaurant or online.
Get a free $20 bonus card when you purchase $100 in cards. Bonus cards are valid from 1/1/13 to 2/10/13. Offer ends 12/31/12. Available in-restaurant or online.
Purchase a gift card of $25 or more and receive a $5 off bonus coupon. Bonus coupons are valid from 1/1/13 to 2/12/13. Offer ends 12/31/12. Available in-restaurant or online.
Get a free $5 Bonus Bites card for every $25 purchased. Bonus Bites cards are valid from 1/1/13 to 3/31/13. Offer ends 1/1/13. Available in-restaurant or online.
Receive a bonus $15 in RomaBucks for every $50 card purchase. RomaBucks are valid from 1/2/13 to 3/25/13. Offer ends 1/1/13. Available in-restaurant or online.
Uno Chicago Grill
For every $25 worth of cards purchased, you’ll receive a $5 holiday bonus voucher. Holiday bonus vouchers are valid from 1/2/13 to 3/31/13. Offer ends 1/1/13. Available in-restaurant or online.
Since many restaurants are individually owned and operated, some restaurants may not participate in these promotions. If you intend to pick up your cards, you should contact your local restaurant to inquire about the offer.