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comments Gift Certificate Coupon Codes & Tips

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I remember when I first heard about a few years ago. Their offer back then is the same as it is now, you can buy a $25 Restaurant gift certificate for $10. Every few weeks, they run a 70% or 80% off promotion where you end up getting a $25 Restaurant gift certificate for two bucks. Two freaking dollars… three if you only use 70% off.

A few years ago, hardly anyone took them. You went on the site, did a quick search for your area, and chances are only a few obscure restaurants were available. When I first looked, I didn’t even recognize a single restaurant in the 15 miles around my zip code! That’s not to say there weren’t any popular restaurants, we just didn’t know about them.

However recently we’ve discovered two local restaurants that take the gift certificates, one of which accepts it for alcoholic beverages (it’s a local wine restaurant, Iron Bridge Wine Company), and that turns a non-deal into a deal.

Tips for Using Coupons

Here are a few tips we’ve learned:

  • Never pay full price: With some careful planning or internet searching, chances are you can find a 70% or 80% off coupon. If not, it’s still a pretty good deal but the huge discounts are almost always available.
  • Read the rules: Different restaurants have different rules for how you can use the gift certificate. Sometimes alcohol is excluded, sometimes there’s an automatic gratuity, sometimes there are date and time restrictions, so review everything before purchase.
  • Expiration period: They usually expire within a year of purchase, unless your state has gift certificate laws extending it (Gift certificates in Maryland can’t expire within 4 years). Since you can buy a gift certificate and print it out within minutes, I don’t see a point in stockpiling. Buy it if you have plans to go within a week.
  • Tip on the regular amount: Some places add an automatic gratuity and others don’t, but remember to tip on the original amount.
  • Use it to test out restaurants: If you’ve had your eye on a place, check if they offer a gift certificate through to try it out on the cheap. Review the menu first, we did this once the other way around (saw it on and decided to try it) and found the menu was slightly more expensive than we had anticipated (the gift certificate made it reasonable). Don’t do it the other way around! Coupon Code

I’m no longer updating the latest coupon codes, you can find the latest coupon codes here.


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74 Responses to “ Gift Certificate Coupon Codes & Tips”

  1. I’ve always been intrigued but was always turned off by the minimum order amount and drink exclusions. Unfortunately most of the places near us in Los Angeles are either chain restaurants or places that aren’t really all that greatly valued, so it’s like even at the price we’d end up paying we can almost find someplace that’s similarly priced without the coupon.

  2. zapeta says:

    I think is a great deal if there are any restaurants around you that participate. It is definitely a great way to try out restaurants in your area.

    You might also check to see if a local newspaper/TV/Radio station has a program where they offer cheap gift certificates. Our local newspaper has a deal where you can get 50% off of gift certificates for local businesses and restaurants. We use these all the time when we go out to eat.

  3. echidnina says:

    I haven’t heard of many of the restaurants in my area either, but this is a sweet deal if you pick ones without too many hoops to jump through. Thanks for letting us in on it!

  4. Chris says:

    I love this site. I use their coupons fairly often. I would like to see more restaraunts in my local area but there are some that I frequent so it would be stupid of me not to buy them. Usually the exclusions are things I would be doing anyways, like order 2 entrees.

    • Chris says:

      Also, make sure you are signed up for Upromise if you have someone to help save for college. Buy a $10 gift card for $0.80 then earn 2-8% Upromise savings when you dine there.

  5. jsbrendog says:

    there aren’t any good restaurants near me that participate in this. the only one that does only gives outsuch a limited number of certs that they’re gone before I even think about it

  6. DG says:

    I recently had a terrible experience with them. Through an American Express offer I had $50 of credit at I found coupons that interested me, but once I picked them I found that they could only be used one at a time (I had ordered 4 $10 certificates to a local restaurant assuming I could get $40 off). Their customer service phone number was out of service and no one responded to my email inquiries.

    Definitely read all the fine print before you order and don’t expect any sort of customer service.

  7. lostAnnfound says:

    Most of the ones from our area add gratuity and have some exclusions (25.00 GC with minimum 35.00 order), which are usually not an issue.

    Two or three months ago they had a wicked sale – $1.00 for a $25.00 GC! I picked up $100.00 worth of gift certificates for $4.00. Amazing!

  8. Genna says:

    These certificates are so great, and most restaurants are very familiar with them, so it is no trouble using them. Great way to have a “big night” for not a lot of money!

  9. Harsh says:

    Have used their coupons a lot around Richmond VA. As you mentioned its a great way to test out new restaurants.

  10. Izalot says:

    I’ve had mixed success with the coupons. The restrictions are usually the killer as some restaurants put day restrictions, besides the usual minimum amount and drinks.

  11. aua868s says:

    as pointed out, not many well known restaurants are part of the deal….also the min order amount turns me off…

    • echidnina says:

      Yeah, it should really be called a coupon instead of a gift certificate. In my mind, a GC ought to be as good as money. All the coupons have a minimum purchase required to use them… which is fine if you’re going to spend that much anyway, but for some of these restaurants it would be hard to spend, for example, $35 or even $50 on a couple dining out (especially for lunch!). Better for folks who dine out in bigger groups I guess?

  12. tbork84 says:

    I was able to pick up $100 worth of GC (or coupons if you prefer) for a restaurant that we tend to go to once every other month or so for only $8. Had no problem at all with the staff accepting and processing it at the end of the meal. All in all a great experience and deal.

  13. It’s definitely a great resource if you’re looking to dine out and keep some savings. When we do decide to dine out, we look for value. These coupons are a great way to venture out and experience new places. Would definitely recommend.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve had mixed results with and I totally agree that reading the terms is very important. I totally agree it is more like a coupon than a GC but I think there is a stigma some people have with “coupon” so they use another term. What I don’t like about buying the cert is if you want to buy a $50 order and your GC is 2x$25, they won’t let you combine it.

  15. Jim says:

    I recently used them for the first time and thought it was great. I got the $2 for $25 deal, and had no problem using it at the restaurant. We couldn’t use it for alcohol, but we’re not big drinkers, so it didn’t matter to us.

  16. I mentioned them in a post recently, the site is giving away $10 GC which you are supposed to “gift” to people that might enjoy the promotion “Feed it Forward”…I have sent out quite a few to friends and family.

  17. Chris says:

    I use one at least once a month for lunch with the wife.

  18. Seth @ Boy Meets Food says:

    I have used it a couple of times now (most recent being just last Friday night), and I have been very happy with the results. For the most part, I use it to get me to try new places that I would not ordinarily visit. One big complaint is that alcohol is not included… if you buy a $25 gift certificate, the minimum purchase is usually only $35. It’s usually not very difficult to hit $35 without drinks when eating out, but if that is a problem, take a 3rd or 4th person with you, or order extras for leftovers.

  19. ziglet19 says:

    I have used gift certificates a few times too, with no problems. I have the same problem as Seth through, I usually want to pick these up for my husband and I to go to dinner, and we often have a hard time getting to the $35 minimum for only two people.

    • Ashley says:

      That might be, but just order extra entree and have the server pack it up to bring it home to go! Let’s say you’d normally only spend $20 on dinner, and all you would get for that amount was dinner for two. Well, you could order an extra entree, spend $35, pack up one of the entrees, get $25 off the bill so the whole thing only costs $10 instead of the $20 you’d normally spend, plus you have lunch tomorrow too. You just saved $10 plus lunch tomorrow.

      You rarely end up spending MORE than you would have spent otherwise if you purchase the coupons when they have a promotion making them nearly free ($1 for $25 cards). Sometimes you need to buy an extra $10 to $15 of food to hit the minimum, but that gets you $25 off, so you’re still at a smaller bill (and you have food to take home).

  20. aua868s says:

    the conditions that come with the coupons turn me off!…maybe its just me!

  21. tennisguy says:

    As a recipient of a gift certificate, can you use the coupon codes toward the value of the restaurant certificate? For example, could I use a $100 gift certificate to redeem for a $100 restaurant certificate for $20, if I use the 80% off coupon code? Or are coupon codes not applicable to gift certificate redemptions?

    • Jim says:

      That I don’t know since I don’t have a gift certificate to test it with, but I imagine you should be able to. You can always put a certificate in your cart, use the coupon, and then try to pay with the gift certificate.

      • Just to clarify. No. My wife just received a $50 Gift card for and I wondered that same thing. Using the coupon only allows you to select their gift certificates totaling the same value as the amount of your gift card. So, we were only able to get 2 $25 certificates, even though we could otherwise login and purchase a $25 certificate for $2-$3 with the current promo codes.

    • Sean Callahan says:

      Your $100 gift card requires you to make over $200 in purchases before it can be applied. Anything less than $200 and they will not take it! Plus the 18% gratuity. Maybe they might let you use it for a gift card purchase for a $200 gift card, but you would also be made to pay the additional gratuity.
      I think the standard $10 for $25 is a great deal. The random 80% off is amazing. Long live! Also, long live Restaurant Depot!!

  22. vtomar says:

    thanks for the restaurant gift certificates. I did not know that such a thing existed

  23. eric says:

    It’s a mixed issue for me but overall I think it’s cool. Although I don’t use it (lack of restaurants, a few too many restrictions, etc.), I do recommend it to others who can take advantage.

  24. jess says:

    I received one for $100 from and I’m still not sure how it’s used. So, I have to spend $35 of my money then after that amount I can use my gift card? I don’t know I’m soooo confused with this. Thanks if anyone answers my questions!

  25. kat says:

    How can anyone have a problem with requirements imposed by the restaurant, including a minimum purchase? You’re getting $23 worth of food FREE with a $25 GC (if it was purchased when has them for 80% off, which is quite often). That translates into $13 for a $35 meal if your bill just meets the minimum. How can that be a bad deal? We’re lucky to have several participating restaurants in our area and my husband and I use them for lunch regularly. Can’t meet the $35 minimum purchase? Order dessert or an appetizer (or both!). In one case we ordered 2 entrees and a pizza and took quite a bit home for dinner. It’s a no-brainer. If you don’t like the gratuity being included, I have to ask what you normally tip. They impose the gratuity because some people don’t believe in tipping very well, or not on the original amount. Common practice is to tip on the amount prior to discounting. Since we’ve always done that we don’t have a problem with that condition of use. Bottom line is, if you don’t like the conditions of use, don’t buy the gift certificate. You lose, but at least you’ll be happy that they didn’t “take” you. Meanwhile, we’ll be eating quite well on less money. That’s a deal I won’t pass up.

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