Not sure what to buy someone this holiday season? Then consider a gift card. Because you can get some great bonuses for yourself with many of them,

When a sweater just does not work and you don’t want another slow cooker, go with a gift card! The best thing about buying one in December is that you can often get a bonus for yourself, and the recipient doesn’t even have to know.

A report in dealnews.com lists more than two dozen stores and restaurants where we give you a bonus this year.

Among them:

  • Applebees: Buy $50 get another $10
  • Chili’s: Buy $50, Get another $25
  • DSW Shoes: Buy $100, get another $25
  • Cheesecake Factory: Spend $50 get $15.

But from the doesn’t that stink file, buying a gift card that is already drained.

The Better Business Bureau warns you to look over every card carefully, for signs the cardboard was pulled back or that the bar code was covered with a new bar code.

Never buy one that looks that way. Finally, remember that bonus gift cards will usually have a short shelf life: you may only have a month to get that.

So, be sure to go for those gift cards, but inspect the carefully for any sign of tampering, and get a receipt, so you don’t waste your money.