‘Tis the Season to Buy Gift Cards

maggianos

If you have a flexible spending account with your health care, you’re probably familiar with the November/December guessing game known as “How Much Do I Expect It Will Cost To Keep Me Healthy Next Year?” Guess too much, and you lose whatever amount you don’t use by the end of the calendar year.

Well, now is also the time to plan gift card spending for the upcoming year. During December, many businesses, particularly restaurants, offer extra bonus incentives when you purchase gift cards. So you can stretch your money further by investing in gift cards to businesses where you will be shopping throughout the year (assuming you have wiggle room in your budget for the expenditure – putting them on credit cards and not paying them off will NOT save money).

The nice thing about gift cards (versus flexible spending accounts) is that most gift cards give you longer than a year to use them! The challenge is that the accompanying bonuses often have short terms of redemption, like a month or two, so don’t get more than you can redeem in that time frame.

A few of the bonus incentives are listed below:

    Applebee’s — $10 bonus card for $50 gift cards purchase
    Chipotle – Free burrito, salad, bowl, or tacos with gift card purchase $30+
    Frostings – Each $10+ gift card will earn YOU one FREE cupcake
    IHOP — $5 coupon off your next visit when purchasing a $25 gift card
    Maggiano’s — Get a $20 bonus card plus a free Food & Wine magazine subscription for $100 e-gift card purchase
    Noodles & Co. — Buy $25 in gift cards, get a free sandwich duo
    Outback Steakhouse — Buy a $100 gift card, get a $20 bonus gift card.
    Plato’s Closet – Get $10 Closet Cash for every $50 gift card purchase
    Ruby Tuesday — $15 Bonus card for every $50 in gift cards
    Subway – Free regular 6″ sub when purchasing or reloading a $25 gift card
    Taco Bell — Buy a $20 gift card, get a free chicken flatbread combo meal
    TGI Friday’s — $5 bonus bite card for every $25 in gift card purchases

This doesn’t even come close to covering all the offers out there, so feel free to add your favorites!

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    December 11th, 2011 by