I've only seen Restaurant.com discount its gift certificates to 80% off a handful of times. Right now you can get the $25 certificates, which normally sell for $10, for just $2 a pop. Not too shabby!

Click on the link above and use code SHARE to get the super discount. Good through Dec. 14.

On an earlier post on Restaurant.com, reader Mike said he objected to all the redemption rules that come with these certs:
The biggest problem that I see with this offer is that a large majority of the coupons include the following: An 18% gratuity charge will be added to the pre-discounted bill. In addition, a $25 certificate can (typically) ONLY be used on a purchase of $35 or more. So let's do the math -- my wife and I go to a restaurant where we've purchased a certificate. Our cost so far $10. We order $35 worth of food and drinks, our cost is still $10. They bring us the bill and take the $25 off but add the gratuity charge $6.30 - total cost to us is $16.30 for the meal. Two problems (for me), first while I'm getting two meals for about half of what it would cost, it's not the deal it first appears to be. Second, when I pay a gratuity I want it to reflect the service I received, but forcing it on my bill sucks -- I don't patronize restaurants that force a gratuity fee and for those two reasons most of the restaurant.com coupons don't work for me.


Mike calculates his total based on paying $10 for the certs, not a discounted rate of $2 or $3. So let me re-do his calculation to maximize the savings.

$25 gift certificate -- you pay $2
$35 minimum food purchase -- you pay $10 plus use the certificate
18% gratuity added to the original $35 tab -- $6.30

You end up paying $18.30 for a $35 meal -- that's 47% off.

If the minimum food purchase is $50:
$25 gift certificate -- you pay $2
$50 minimum food purchase -- you pay $25 plus use the certificate
18% gratuity added to the original $50 tab -- $9

You end up paying $36 for a $50 meal -- that's 28% off.

Buy a certificate from Restaurant.com here. Remember to use code SHARE by Dec. 14.

Caveats: read the redemption rules carefully before purchasing as they often exclude alcohol, require a minimum purchase, and have other rules. Each restaurant sets them so they can vary widely.

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