Freebies: Gift card deals and bonuses

WASHINGTON – With Christmas just one week away, many people will finish their holiday shopping by buying gift cards.

In fact, the National Retail Federation predicts 81 percent of holiday shoppers will buy at least one gift card this year.

With so many stores and restaurants offering holiday gift cards with bonuses and freebies attached, WTOP tracked down some of the best deals, and detailed them below.

The Federal Trade Commission recommends you only buy gift cards from trusted sources, and not online auction sites.

Also, read the fine print before you buy to determine whether there are any extra fees, such as shipping and handling, if you’re buying online.

Along with the gift card, be sure to give the gift recipient your receipt so he has it handy in case the purchase needs to be verified.

Rule changes that went into effect in 2010 mean gift cards can’t expire until five years after purchase at the earliest, and inactivity fees can’t be deducted from the balance until at least one year has passed.

Read more from the FTC here.


  • Applebee’s: Get a free $10 bonus card when you buy $50 in gift cards from Applebee’s, online or in restaurants.
  • Bonefish Grill: Now through Dec. 31, get a free $20 bonus card when you buy $100 in gift cards online from Bonefish Grill. The chain will ship them free, or you can pick them up at your local Bonefish Grill. Bonus cards are valid from Jan. 1, 2014 to Feb. 10, 2014.
  • Boston Market: Buy a $25 gift card from Boston Market and you’ll get a free $5 bonus card while supplies last.
  • Buca di Beppo: Buy a $50 Buca di Beppo gift card at a restaurant or online, and you’ll get a free $15 reward card valid Jan. 1, 2014 to Feb. 28, 2014.
  • California Pizza Kitchen: Get a free $20 promotional card when you buy $100 in gift cards at California Pizza Kitchen for the holidays.
  • California Tortilla: Buy a California Tortilla gift card worth at least $25 between now and Dec. 31, and you’ll get a coupon good for a free entr
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