I wasn’t happy as I walked into Applebees to purchase a $50 gift card. A well liked member of the staff at the elementary school where Vonnie worked was leaving and her coworkers had come up with the idea to have everyone pitch in and get a gift card as a going away present. Vonnie volunteered to get the gift card even though some people weren’t going to give her their share of the funds until the next day.
Past experience told me that we were going to get the shaft because someone wouldn’t pay up.
The bartender handed me my debit card as well as a green gift card with an apple on it. After I signed the sales slip I was surprised to have her hand me another card and said, “You get bonus $10 gift card with your purchase. Have a great day.”
The goal here is fairly obvious. Applebees wants me keep the $10 gift card for myself. The bonus card creates a good probability that I’m going to bring my family into the restaurant and certainly spend much more than the $10.
But then I thought to myself, if I really liked Applebees, what’s stopping me from purchasing a $50 gift card, getting the $10 bonus card, and keeping them both? I could come in at a later time and have $60 to spend, when I only paid $50.
Seems like a pretty good deal.
I wondered how many other restaurants have a similar deal I could take advantage of. My curiosity prompted me to call some popular restaurants in my area to find out if they had a similar bonus gift card deal.
- Applebees : Buy a $50 gift card and get a $10 bonus card.
- Outback : Buy a $50 gift card and get a $10 bonus card. (Just ended,coming again soon)
- Red Lobster : None right now, but they do commonly have a similar deal around Christmas
- Buffalo Wild Wings : Buy a $30 gift card and get a $5 bonus card.
None of these are earth shattering deals, but it’s easy free money that can be used towards an infrequent dinner out.
A word of caution, however, as there may be some special restrictions. For example, my Applebees bonus card explicitly says that it cannot be used on the same date it was purchased. If you do get your hands on a bonus card read the fine print carefully.
OK, EOD Nation, I have two questions for you:
- Do you think it’s ethical to purchase a gift card for your own use just to get a bonus card?
- Have you ever received a bonus gift card from a business? If so, help your fellow readers out by telling us about it!