Tis the season when retailers roll out great gift card deals.  At my local supermarket, they are offering a free $20 voucher for groceries when you buy $100 worth of gift cards.

Restaurants are rolling out the deals too.  In fact, you will never see more holiday bonus offers from restaurants than you do from now until Christmas Eve.  Many restaurants are offering an array of bonuses such as $10 holiday card when you purchase $50 gift card to their restaurant.  (See my list of restaurants and their bonus offers here.)  The idea is that you will buy $50 worth of gift cards as a gift and keep the $10 holiday card to use in the restaurant for yourself.  However, you can make this kind of bonus works for you in a variety of ways.

Some people use the bonus card of $10 as the actual gift and keep the $50 worth of gift cards for themselves.  This would work well as a gift for a teacher, a hair dresser, a mailman, etc.  This is an especially good idea if you know for sure you will frequent the restaurant several times during the year.

Alternatively, you can purchase the gift card for yourself and keep both the bonus and card.  This is a great way to extend your dollar if you have the money now.  Some restaurants offer a $20 bonus with a $100 gift card purchase.  If you keep this for yourself, you now have $120 to use at the restaurant, but you only paid $100.

Caution:  The bonus cards especially have some strict use by dates.  Many of them often expire early in the year, by February or March, so make sure to read the fine print and only buy what you can use by the expiration date.

Works for me!

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