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Restaurant gift cards

Credit Cards » Compare Gift Cards

Gift cards are getting cheaper to buy and they offer more protections. That's the conclusion drawn from Bankrate's 2015 Gift Card Survey, which found a decline in the number of cards that charge purchase fees and an increase in the number of cards that offer loss and theft protection.

Gift card with gold bow in a box © iStock

Using data we collected Sept. 14-21, 2015, we looked at the terms and features of 60 different gift cards, including general purpose cards, store-branded retail cards, restaurant cards, airline cards and gas station cards.

Using the chart below, you can compare these cards to find the one that suits your needs based on factors such as the amount you can load onto the card or whether it can be purchased on and downloaded to a smartphone. This way, everyone comes out a winner this season.

Select card features:
  • Expires
  • Inactivity fee
  • Loss/theft protection
  • PIN available
  • Reloadable
  • Mobile/e-card
  • Online balance check
  • Card shipped free
  • Purchase fees
  • Rewards

  • Brinker Restaurants

    (Chili's, Romano's Macaroni Grill, On The Border, Maggiano's)
    • Loading limits: Gift card: $10-$100. E-card: $5-$100.
    • Shipping fee: USPS: $1.95. UPS 2-day: $10.95. UPS overnight: $17.95. Additional design or upload image: $2.99.
    • To buy a mobile/e-card gift card, you must provide email address or phone number.
  • Darden Restaurants

    (Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Seasons 52)

    Loading limits: $5-$1,000.

    Restaurant gift card breakdown:

    • Darden: GC: $5-$250. E-card: $10-$250.
    • Olive Garden: GC: $5-$250. E-card: $10-$250.
    • Longhorn: GC: $5-$250. E-card: $10-$250.
    • Bahama Breeze: GC: $10-$250. E-card: $10-$250.
    • Capital Grille: GC: $25-$1,000. E-card: $25-$1,000.
    • Seasons 52: GC: $25-$1,000. E-card: $25-$1,000.
    • Eddie V's: GC: $25-$1,000. E-card: $25-$1,000.
    • Yard House: GC: $5-$250. E-card: $10-$250.
    • Wildfish Seafood Grille: GC: $25-$1,000. E-card: $25-$1,000.
    • Loading limits: $5, $10, $25, $50.
    • Cards can be purchased only in store.
  • OSI Restaurants

    (Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's, Fleming's)
    • Loading limits: $5-$250.
    • Card is handled by a 3rd party. Website says "treat card as cash."
    • Shipping fee: USPS: $1.95. UPS 2-day: $10.95; UPS next day: $15.95.
  • Panera Bread

    • Loading limits: $2-$200.
    • Can use mobile device as long as number is visible.
    • To buy a mobile/e-card gift card, you must provide email address or phone number.
  • Pizza Hut

    • Loading limits: Gift card: $10, $20. Purchased in store: $5-$100. E-card: $10-$200.
    • E-card may need to be printed depending on location/franchise.
    • To buy a mobile/e-card gift card, you must provide email address or phone number.
  • Starbucks

    • Loading limits: Gift card: $15, $25, $50, $100*. E-card: $5-$100.
    • Buying a card in store: Any amount between $5 and $500 (including change).
    • Adding a special greeting for a card can result in a $2.95 fee.
    • Starbucks allows customers to turn in a newly given card for the amount on the card.
    • E-reload can be done through the Starbucks App once card is connected.
    • E-cards can be used in store with the Starbucks App (must be connected to the app as stated above) or printed.
    • Rewards available, as long as card is registered online.
    • To buy a mobile/e-card gift card, you must provide email address or phone number.
  • Taco Bell

    • Loading limits: $10, $20 non-reloadable. $15-$100 reloadable.
    • Purchase in store or at stores that carry multiple gift card types.
    • Cards purchased in other stores that carry multiple business cards have reloadable Taco Bell cards.
    • Once a physical card is purchased, it can be transferred to the mobile app and used from there.
    • Cards purchased in other stores that carry multiple business cards may have a purchase fee.

Source: Bankrate.com

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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