Thought I would bump this post up to the top for those of us who need quick last-minute gift ideas.
As the holidays approach, many retailers are offering a bonus with the purchase of a gift card.
Buy a gift for a friend or family member -- and get a little something on the side for yourself.
Here are a few of the bonus deals I've found:
Buy $50 in digital Applebee's gift cards and receive a $10 bonus digital card. Or buy the plastic version at an Applebee's restaurant. The bonus card expires Feb. 28.
Buy a $25 Boston Market gift card and get a $5 bonus card. Order online and also be entered to win $1,000.
The Carolina Brewery, with locations in Pittsboro and Chapel Hill, is enticing customers with gift card deal that gets more generous as your purchase increases. Buy a $50 gift card and get a $5 bonus, purchase a $100 gift card and get a $15 bonus or purchase a $500 gift card and get a $100 bonus.
At The Children's Place, you'll receive a free $10 digital gift card for every $40 in digital gift cards you purchase. The deal is good through Dec. 31.
Purchase $30 in Chipotle gift cards through Dec. 31, and redeem your receipt for a free burrito, bowl, order of tacos or salad. Be sure to get your free food by Jan. 31. Gift cards purchased online or at third-party retailers do not qualify. Gift cards must be purchased in a single transaction.
Buy a $25 gift card to Cici's Pizza and receive a coupon for a free buffet, which is valid Jan. 1 through Jan. 31.
Buy a gift certificate for a month's worth of lessons at the Eschler Music Foundation, 1201 W. Lenoir St. Raleigh, and receive 20 percent off that month.
Through Dec. 24, purchase $100 in gift cards to Fresh Market and receive a $10 reward to use in January.
Goodberry's Frozen Custard stores are selling $20 gift cards for $15 through Christmas Eve. The Triangle-based creamery is also selling a 2013 calendar containing 36 coupons, including 12 for completely free items, for $12. Click HERE to read my post on that deal.
Purchase a $100 gift certificate to Harmony Life, a holistic center at 915 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary, and receive a $20 gift certificate free.
Receive a free $5 bonus card when you purchase $25 in Longhorn Steakhouse gift cards. The bonus card is for $5 off the purchase of two adult entrees. (Since Longhorn regularly puts out coupons for $4 off two adult entrees in the Sunday coupon inserts, this deal isn't all that great.)
At Maggiano's Little Italy, you'll receive a $20 bonus card and a one-year subscription to Food & Wine magazine when you spend $100 in gift cards through Dec. 31. The bonus card, valid Jan. 1 through Feb. 28, must be redeemd on a food and drink purchase of $50 or more.
At select McDonald's restaurants, you'll receive a free Peppermint Mocha when you buy a $10 gift card. This deal is good only at corporate-owned locations. There are several in the Triangle area, including 869 E. Maynard Road, Cary; 1805 N. Harrison Ave., Cary; 4801 SW Cary Parkway, Cary; 3494 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary; 601 Corporate Center Dr., Raleigh; 1001 Morrisville Carpenter, Morrisville; and 5507 S. Miami Blvd., Durham.
EXPIRED: Great deal: Old Navy is offering an instant discount on gift cards through Dec. 8. Receive an automatic 10 percent discount off the price of a gift card. Or, if you happen to have a Gap/Old Navy credit card, you'll receive a 15 percent discount on gift cards, up to $250 in gift card value. Use coupons when using the discounted gift card for even more savings.
Through Dec. 31, receive a free $5 bonus card when you purchase $25 in Olive Garden gift cards. The bonus card, which will be emailed to you, is valid Jan. 1 through Feb. 13 for $5 off the purchase of two adult entrees. (Since Olive Garden frequently puts out coupons for $5 off two adult entrees in the Sunday coupon inserts, this deal isn't all that great.)
EXPIRED: Through Dec. 9, purchase $100 or more in Panera Bread gift cards and get a free $10 card, plus free FedEx Ground shipping. This deal is good online only.
Get a free $10 Rack Room Shoes gift card when you purchase a $50 gift card. This offer is good while supplies last.
The North Raleigh location of RightTime Kids is offering a free $10 gift certificate for each $50-plus gift card you purchase.
Buy a $25 Red Robin gift card and get a $5 bonus card, which is valid Jan. 1 through Feb. 28.
The Savory Spice Shop, 8470 Honeycutt Road, Raleigh, is offering a free $10 gift card when you purchase $50 in gift cards. Or, you can score a free $25 gift card when you buy $100 in gift cards. The deal is good through Christmas Eve.
Get a free meal pass for every $50 in gift cards you purchase online or in person at Sweet Tomatoes. The offer is valid through Dec. 31.
Buy $20 in gift cards at Taco Bell and get any menu item free, up to $5 in value.
Know of any other good gift card perks? Please post them in the comments section below.