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

The holidays are loaded with gift card deals that can get you a little something when you buy a present for someone else.

best holiday gift card deals
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

The holidays trick us into thinking that the entire "holiday season" is great. Most of December kind of sucks. It's cold, and it's just the start of winter. It's dark all the time. It's not great. 

So, as you prepare for the good part of the holidays, you might want to give yourself a little gift for weathering the start of winter. Every restaurant wants to be the restaurant where you buy a gift card for loved ones. Some of them will give you a bonus gift card to keep for yourself to lure you in. For instance, if you buy a $50 gift card at Grimaldi's Pizzeria, it will give you a bonus $10 gift card for free. It's alluring. So, to help you track down the spots that want to give you a little gift, we've pulled together all the restaurants that will give you a free bonus card when you buy a gift card from them.

Here are the best gift card deals you'll find around the holidays. Check back often. This list will be updated regularly all the way through the holidays. 

Gift Card Deals

White Castle
The deal: Grab a free $5 gift card when you buy $25 in gift cards. The bonus card will be valid from January 1 to February 28, 2022. 
When: Through January 2, 2022

Red Lobster
The deal: Spend $50 on gift cards in-restaurant or online and you'll get a coupon for $10 off an order of $30 or more. That discount will have to be used in January or February. 
When: Through December 31

The Cheesecake Factory
The deal: Buy $50 in gift cards to get a $15 card for your pocket. Bonus cards are valid from January 1 to March 31, 2022. 
When: Through December 31

Shake Shack
The deal: Get a voucher for a free shake -- that includes the new holiday shakes -- with every $25 gift card purchase. The voucher is valid through March 31, 2022.
When: Through December 29

Einstein Bros. Bagels
The deal:  Spend $25 on a gift card and you'll get a bonus card worth $5. That can go quite a ways at a bagel shop. 
When: Through December 31

Jamba
The deal: Drop $25 on a gift card and get a $5 reward card. The reward card will only be valid one time, has to be used in the Jamba app, and can only be used from January 3 to February 14, 2022. 
When: Through December 26

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
The deal: Get a free $5 gift card when you buy at least $25 worth of gift cards in-store or online. 
When: Through December 31

Auntie Anne's
The deal: Grab $5 in Pretzel Perks (one-time-only use) when you spend $25 on gift cards. The bonus cash has to be spent by March 27, 2022.
When: Through December 31

BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
The deal:
Buy a $50 eGift Card and you'll get a $10 card for free. If you buy a $100 card, you'll get a free $25 card and a VIP 20% off card.
When: Through January 1, 2022

Grimaldi's Pizzeria
The deal: Buy a $50 gift card and you'll get a $10 bonus card for free. That bumps up to $20 if you buy a $100 gift card.
When: Through December 31

Farmer Boys
The deal: Get a $5 voucher when you buy $25 in gift cards or a $25 voucher when you spend $100.
When: Through January 17

best holiday gift card deals 2021
Photo courtesy of Einstein Bros. Bagels

California Pizza Kitchen
The deal: Grab $20 on a free card when you spend $100 on gift cards. 
When: Through December 31

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse
The deal: Buy a $200 gift card and you'll get a $40 card for free. The bonus card can be used from January 1 to March 31, 2022.
When: Through December 21

Noodles & Company
The deal:
Purchase a $25 gift card online and you'll get a $5 bonus card that will expire on January 12, 2022. 
When: Through December 31

Chuck E. Cheese
The deal: Buy a $25 gift card and you'll get 250 e-tickets. Those will be valid from December 26 through February 28, 2022. So, you can't use them right away. 
When: Through December 25

Friendly's
The deal: Buying a $25 gift card in-store or online will land you a $5 bonus card. 
When: Through December 31

BurgerFi
The deal: Buy a $25 gift card in-store or through the BurgerFi app to get a $5 bonus card. You'll be able to redeem that bonus from January 1 to February 28, 2022. 
When: Through December 31

Miguel's Jr.
The deal: Grab a pair of $5 bonus gift cards for every $25 card you purchase online. If you buy a $25 gift card in-restaurant or at the drive-thru, you'll get one $5 bonus card.
When: Through December 31

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
The deal:
Get a $5 kickback card with the purchase of $25 in gift cards online or in-store.
When: Through January 4

best gift card deals 2021
Photo courtesy of Shake Shack

Bonefish Grill
The deal: If you buy $50 in gift cards, you'll grab a $10 card on the side. Though, there's a short window to use your bonus card. You have from January 1 to February 6, 2022.
When: Through December 27

Peter Piper Pizza
The deal: Get a $10 card when you buy a $50 card. You can only get this one online.
When: Through December 31

Pie Five Pizza
The deal:
Get a free personal pizza with up to five toppings or a signature pizza for every $25 in gift cards you spend. Those free pizzas are only redeemable in January. 
When: Through December 31

Fuzzy's Taco Shop
The deal: Grab a $5 bonus card with every $25 in gift cards you purchase. That bonus will be valid in January only. 
When: Through December 31

Marugame Udon
The deal: When you buy a $25 gift card, you'll get a coupon for a free bowl of Udon that will be valid through January 31, 2022. 
When: Through December 31

Miller's Ale House
The deal: Get a $10 bonus card when you buy $50. 
When: Through December 31

Grand Lux Cafe
The deal:
Buy $50 worth of gift cards in-store or online, and you'll get a $15 bonus card that can be used throughout 2022. 
When: Through December 31

Farm Burger
The deal:
Any gift card purchase this month will get an extra 20% added on. You can add that onto the gift card to make yourself look very generous. Alternatively, you can have that 20% dumped onto a separate gift card that you'll keep for yourself. Your call. 
When: Through December 31

Metro Diner
The deal: Buy $50 in gift cards to get a $10 card for free. 
When: Through December 31

Local Gift Card Deals

Lift Bridge Brewery - Stillwater, Minnesota
The deal:
For every $50 you buy gift cards, you can get a bonus $10. 
When: Through December 25

Revival - Minneapolis, Minnesota
The deal:
Spend $100 on gift cards to get a bonus card worth $20. 
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 offersfood delivery offersalcohol delivery deals, and perks for getting your vaccination against COVID-19. 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.

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

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