15 Restaurants Offering Gift Card Freebies for the Holidays

Photo (cc) by MattHurst

You can save significant dough when eating out any time of year with the right tips, but it’s especially easy during the holiday season.

That’s because fancy, casual and fast-food restaurants all offer free food and discounts to encourage gift givers to buy gift cards between now and the end of the year.

For example, if you purchase $50 in gift cards from Ruby Tuesday’s this month, you’ll score a free bonus card that’s good for $15 off a future visit.

So whether you buy the gift card for yourself or someone else, here is everything you need to know about the freebies that 15 regional and national chains are offering.

1. Bakers Square Restaurant & Bakery

Bakers Square Restaurant & Bakery
Photo by Flickr user fanofretail
  • If you buy: $25 gift card (must be purchased online)
  • You get a free: $5 bonus card valid Jan. 1 through March 20
  • Offer expires: Unspecified
  • For more info: bakerssquare.com/giftcards

2. California Pizza Kitchen

California Pizza Kitchen
Photo by Flickr user jphotos
  • If you buy: $50 in gift cards
  • You get a free: $10 promotional card valid Jan. 11 through Feb. 28
  • Offer expires: Dec. 29
  • For more info: cpkstore.wgiftcard.com/chrome/cpk

3. Cheesecake Factory

Cheesecake Factory
Photo by Flickr user wfryer

4. Del Taco

Del Taco
Photo by Flickr user mikekalasnik
  • If you buy: $30 in gift cards, or $100 in gift cards
  • You get a free: Coupon for one small-size combo meal, or coupons for four small-size combo meals, respectively, both valid through Feb. 29
  • Offer expires: Jan. 1
  • For more info: deltacogiftcards.com

5. IHOP

IHOP
Photo by Flickr user jackdonaghy
  • If you buy: $25 gift card
  • You get a free: $5 coupon valid through Jan. 31
  • Offer expires: Jan. 3
  • For more info: ihop.com

6. Olive Garden

Olive Garden
Photo by Flickr user osseous
  • If you buy: $50 in gift cards
  • You get a free: $10 bonus offer valid Jan. 4 through March 31
  • Offer expires: Jan. 3
  • For more info: olivegarden.com/gift-cards

7. Outback Steakhouse

Outback Steakhouse
Photo by Flickr user hyougushi
  • If you buy: $50 in gift cards
  • You get a free: $10 bonus card valid Jan. 1 through Feb. 10
  • Offer expires: Dec. 31
  • For more info: outback.com/gift-cards

8. Papa John’s

Papa John's
Photo by Flickr user mrsdkrebs
  • If you buy: $25 e-gift card
  • You get a free: One-topping large pizza with online promo code valid through Jan. 24
  • Offer expires: Dec. 27
  • For more info: papajohns.cashstar.com/gift-card/buy

9. Pei Wei Asian Diner

Pei Wei Asian Diner
Photo by Flickr user rayb777
  • If you buy: $25 in gift cards
  • You get a free: $5 bonus card valid Jan. 4 through Feb. 28
  • Offer expires: Jan. 3
  • For more info: peiwei.com/giftcards

10. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro

P.F. Chang's China Bistro
Photo by Flickr user ralphandjenny
  • If you buy: $100 in gift cards
  • You get a free: $20 bonus card valid Jan. 1 through March 31
  • Offer expires: Dec. 31
  • For more info: pfchangs.com/giftcards

11. Romano’s Macaroni Grill

Romano's Macaroni Grill
Photo by Flickr user gothgirl_1985
  • If you buy: $25 gift card
  • You get a free: $5 grazie gift bonus coupon valid Jan. 1 through Feb. 10
  • Offer expires: Dec. 31
  • For more info: macaronigrill.com

12. Ruby Tuesday

Ruby Tuesday
Photo by Flickr user jeepersmedia
  • If you buy: $50 in gift cards, or $25 in gift cards
  • You get a free: $15 bonus card, or $5 bonus card, respectively, both valid Jan. 2 through March 1
  • Offer expires: Dec. 31
  • For more info: rubytuesday.com/gift-cards

13. Souper Salad

Souper Salad
Photo by Flickr user edgarzuniga

14. Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes

Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes
Photo by Flickr user saechang

T.G.I. Friday’s

T.G.I. Friday's
Photo by Flickr user fanofretail
  • If you buy: $25 in e-gift cards
  • You get a free: $5 Bonus Bite card valid Jan. 1 through Feb. 29
  • Offer expires: Unspecified
  • For more info: tgifridays.com/giftcards

Which restaurant holiday offers will you be taking advantage of this year? Tell us in our Forums. It’s a place where you can swap questions and answers on money-related matters, life hacks and ingenious ways to save.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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