One long standing retail tradition is to offer gift card bonuses leading up to the holidays to give gift givers a little extra incentive to give a gift card. This year the trend continues, and we are seeing bigger bonus offers coming in from retailers beyond the restaurant industry.

Retailers offer these deals to spur the sales of gift cards for others, but many bargain lovers like myself pick up these deals just to save money on our own purchases.

DealNews has a roundup of several great gift card bonus offers that could be great for gifting or saving money on your own purchases, including;
  • 20% off gift card purchases at Eastbay with coupon code.
  • Free $5 gift card with $25 gift card purchase at Boston Market.
  • 10% bonus on Marriott gift cards.
  • $20 gift card on $100 gift card purchase at Outback and other OSI restaurants
  • And many more deals including Ruth Chris, L.L. Bean and others.
These national chains aren't the only ones offering gift card bonuses to spur holiday sales; many smaller regional restaurants are getting in on the fun with big bonuses. For example, my local franchise of Max & Erma's restaurants are currently offering a $25 bonus on a $50 gift card purchase! As the holidays approach, expect to see more restaurants and retailers advertising offers of their own.

As mentioned, many people like to purchase a gift card for themselves in order to get the bonus. On important thing you need to know is that most bonus gift card offers at restaurants can't be used until after the new year, so don't expect to cover your bill with the gift card plus bonus if you pick one up on your next dinner out.

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