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All the Holiday Gift Card Deals That Get You Free Food This Year

Get a little something for yourself while you're out getting something for someone else.

holiday gift card deal 2020
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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, dining indoors can be dangerous for you and the restaurant's employees. Check the CDC's Food Safety and Eating Out guidelines to understand the risks involved. Consider ordering food to-go or getting delivery to support your favorite restaurants.

The year hasn't been great. So, for the holidays, you might consider getting yourself a little something for getting to this point in one piece. 

I'm not going to tell you what to get yourself. Slippers, comic books, a backyard sauna, a giant jar of Nutella... it all sounds nice. But if you want to give yourself something that costs nothing, this is the time of the year that restaurants start doling out free gift cards. Tons and tons of restaurants want to cash in on your need to buy gifts for loved ones. So, they're offering a bonus gift card when you buy one for someone else. For instance, if you buy a $50 gift card at Chili's, they'll give you a bonus $10 gift card for free. These offers are all over the place. Even better, it's an easy way for you to get yourself a little something while crossing some names off your holiday shopping list. 

Here are the best gift card deals you'll find around the holidays. 

Gift Card Deals for the Holidays

Del Taco
The deal
: Spend $30 on Del Taco gift cards to get two free combo meal coupons. Or if you spend $100 on gift cards, you'll get eight free combo meal coupons. 
When: November 30 - December 1

Chili's
The deal:
Drop $50 on a gift card and you'll get a free $10 bonus card. The bonus cards are valid from January 1 to February 11, 2021.
When: Through December 31

The Cheesecake Factory
The deal:
Spend $25 on gift cards and egift cards to get a Slice of Joy Card, which is good for a free slice of cheesecake from January 1 to March 31, 2021.
When: Through December 31

Red Lobster
The deal:
For every $50 you drop on gift cards, you'll get two bonus coupons that can be used in January and February. The first is for $10 off two adult dinner entrées, and the second is for $10 off any To Go or delivery order of at least $30. Though, that delivery order has to be placed through RedLobster.com. 
When: Through December 31

Noodles & Company
The deal:
Drop $25 on a gift card and you'll get a $5 card for free. 
When: Through December 31

Culver's
The deal:
Get a free value basket when you buy a gift card for at least $30. 
When: Through December 27

Cousins Subs
The deal: 
Buy a $25 gift card and you'll get a gift certificate for a free 7.5-inch sub in a bowl. 
When: Through December 31

BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
The deal:
Treat others how you'd like to be treated yourself. Buy a $50 gift card for a loved one and BJ's will give you a free $10 gift card. Make it $100, and your freebie is worth $25 and you'll also get a 20% off VIP card. The bonus cards are valid from January 1 to February 13, 2021.
When: Through January 1

Juice It Up!
The deal:
Buy a $25 gift card and you'll get two free smoothies for yourself.
When: Through December 31

holiday gift card deals 2020
Photo courtesy of Pieology

Taco John's
The deal:
For every $25 you drop on gift cards, you'll get a $5 bonus gift card. There's no limit on the number of bonus cards. That's a whole lot of potato olés.
When: Through December 31

Shake Shack
The deal:
Get a free shake voucher when you drop $25 on gift cards. You'll be able to buy those online and in-store. 
When: November 27 - December 31

Grimaldi's Pizzeria
The deal
: Pass along the gift of future pizza to a loved one. You'll get a $10 bonus card when you buy $50. Though, the cards aren't valid at Grimaldi's Pizzeria To-Go locations.
When: Through December 31

Pieology
The deal: Buy someone else a $25 gift card and you'll get a free pizza bonus card that can be used anytime through January 31, 2021. Though, the bonus card isn't valid on the same day as the purchase.
When: Through December 31

Fogo de Chão
The deal:
You've got a few levels of bonuses at Fogo. Drop $125 on gift cards, and you'll get a bonus of $25. That rises to $75 when you spend $300, and $100 when you spend $400. The bonus cards are valid from January 4 to March 28, 2021.
When: Through January 3, 2021

Carrabba's Italian Grill
The deal:
Buy a $50 card to get a $10 bonus card for free. Pretty straightforward. You'll be able to redeem the bonus card from January 1 to February 7, 2021. 
When: Through December 31

Bonefish Grill
The deal:
A $10 card will wind up in your pocket when you buy a $50 gift card. That freebie will be valid from January 1 to February 7, 2021. 
When: Through December 31

McAlister's Deli
The deal
: For every $25 you drop on gift cards, you'll get a $5 reward card that can be redeemed in January and February of 2021. 
When: Through December 31

On the Border
The deal:
You get a $10 bonus card when you buy $50 or more in gift cards. That's available online and in-restaurant. The cards can be redeemed from January 1 to February 13, 2021, and it's only valid if you spend at least $20 on that order.
When: Through December 31

Photo courtesy of Taco John's

Jamba
The deal:
Drop $30 on a Jamba gift card to get two free $5 cards.
When: Through December 28

Logan's Roadhouse
The deal:
Spend $50 to get $10. Though, you can't get this offer at locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, or August, Georgia. Weirdly specific, but true.
When: Through December 31

Dickey's Barbecue Pit
The deal:
Snap up a free $5 gift card for every $25 you spend on gift cards.
When: Through December 31

Pie Five Pizza
The deal:
When you buy a $25 gift card, you're going to get hooked up with a free large one-topping pizza. Though, it's only good when you place the order in-store. Also, that free pizza can only be redeemed in January. 
When: Through December 31

Yogurtland
The deal:
For every $25 you spend on egift cards, you'll get a $5 bonus card you can use from December 1 to January 1, 2021. 
When: November 30

bartaco
The deal:
A $10 bonus is headed your way when you spend $50 on a gift card. The bonus is valid throughout 2021. 
When: Through December 31

Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom
The deal:
Grab a $10 bonus gift card for free when you buy a $25 gift card. 
When: November 27-30

Rock Bottom Brewery
The deal:
You're taking home a $20 gift card for free when you buy a $50 gift card right now. Though, the deal is only available if you buy the cards online. 
When: November 27-30

STK Steakhouse
The deal: A $50 gift card purchase will land you a $10 bonus (called Dining Dollars), and a $100 gift card purchase will get you $25 Dining Dollars. Those bonuses are valid from January 1 to March 31, 2021. Though, you can't use the bonus cash on Valentine's Day in 2021.
When: Through December 31

Kona Grill
The deal: Grab $10 Dining Dollars (like at STK) for every $50 gift card you purchase, and $25 Dining Dollars for every $100 gift card you purchase. Also like at STK, you can use the bonus cash from January 1 to March 31, 2021, with the exception of Valentine's Day.
When: Through December 31

Piada Italian Street Food
The deal:
Put $25 on a gift card and you'll get a coupon for a free entrée to use on your next visit. 
When: November 17 - January 4, 2021

Newk's Eatery
The deal:
Buy a $25 gift card from the Mississippi-based fast-casual chain to land yourself a free $5 bonus gift card. 
When: Through December 31

holiday gift card kickback
Photo courtesy of Abuelo's Mexican Restaurant

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
The deal:
Grab a free regular size drink when you buy $30 worth of gift cards. 
When: Through January 5, 2021

Penn Station East Coast Subs
The deal:
Grab a free small sandwich when you buy a $30 gift card. 
When: Through December 25

Fuzzy's Taco Shop
The deal:
For every $25 you drop on gift cards, you'll get a $5 bonus card that's valid on purchases in January 2021. 
When: Through December 31

Panda Express
The deal:
You'll grab a free bowl for yourself when you buy a $30 gift card. You can only grab the deal when you buy online, though. 
When: Through December 31

Miguel's Jr.'s
The deal:
Take home a $5 bonus card with every $25 card you buy in-store or online. 
When: Through December 31

Abuelo's Mexican Restaurant
The deal:
Get a $10 card for free when you buy $50 worth of gift cards. 
When: Through December 31

Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom
The deal: A $25 gift card purchase will result in you getting a $5 bonus card. 
When: Through December 31

Bennigan's
The deal:
A $50 gift card purchase will get you $10 on a bonus card that you can use on your next visit. 
When: Through January 4

Corner Bakery
The deal: Buy either $25 in gift cards or $19.99 in baked goods to get a free $5 gift card that can be used from January 1-21, 2021. 
When: Through December 31

North Italia
The deal:
 It'll set you up with a $20 complimentary bonus card when you buy $100 worth of gift cards. Plus, 2% of the proceeds on gift card purchases through October 31, 2021, will be donated to FoodCorps. 
When: Through December 31

Flower Child
The deal:
 A $10 bonus card is coming to you when you buy a $50 gift card to the restaurant that caters to vegetarians, vegans, and those with gluten restrictions.
When: Through December 31

Gordon Biersch
The deal:
Buy a $50 gift card online to get a free $20 gift card for yourself. 
When: November 27-30

Ledo Pizza
The deal:
You'll snag a free $5 return when you buy a $25 gift card. 
When: Through December 31

First Watch
The deal: You'll snap up $10 in Bonus Bucks for every $100 you spend on gift cards at the early-day restaurant. Those Bonus Bucks are available to use in January and February. 
When: Through December 31

Tarka Indian Kitchen
The deal: You're getting a $5 promo card for every $25 you spend on gift cards. The bonus card here can be used from January 1 to March 31, 2021.
When: Through December 31

Grass Roots Farmers' Cooperative
The deal:
You can cut $25 off any gift card purchase over $75. Pretty, preeeetty nice. 
When: November 30

Local Gift Card Deals for the Holidays

Davanni's - Minneapolis, Minnesota
The deal:
Grab a free $5 gift card when you buy a $25 gift card. 
When: Through December 31

Red Cow - Minneapolis, Minnesota
The deal: Spend $50 on a gift card for a friend to get a $10 bonus gift card for free. That freebie will be valid from January 1 to August 31, 2021. Not many bonus cards last that long. 
When: Through December 31

Want More Food Deals?

Here's our huuuuuuuge running list of all the free food you can get right now, as well as the best pizza dealsreward programs, birthday freebiesgift card offersdeals on food for kids, food delivery offers, and alcohol delivery deals you'll find. If you want a little more than, say a free taco, we also have you covered with a long list of meals you can get at fast food chains under $5. You're welcome.

Additionally, we've put together a list of places offering free food to healthcare workers and first responders during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow Dustin Nelson on Twitter.
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