Gift cards are a popular present, but many people admittedly forget about them, and that money goes unspent. In fact, according to the holiday’s founder, Tracy Tilson, about $3.5 billion in gift cards go unused each year. And according to the data analytics company InMarket, the average shopper spent 17.6% more on gift cards in 2020, compared with 2019. So gift card purchases were up, but does historical data reveal this might just mean more money left on the table?
National Use Your Gift Card Day is a great reminder to use your gift cards before they get lost in the shuffle. Tilson knew from her own experience of unused gift cards that a “remember to use” day would resonate with both consumers and merchants, as well as support nonprofits. At RetailMeNot, we’re all about saving money, so we’re obviously all about this holiday!
The Best National Use Your Gift Card Day Deals 2021
Many retailers and restaurants are participating in the second-ever National Use Your Gift Card Day. To help you maximize your gift card’s value, I’ve rounded up a list of those brands running the best deals on January 16. Remember, this event is only running for one day, so get shopping!
Applebee’s – When you use your Applebee’s gift card, you can enjoy menu favorites.
AMC Theaters: Hit play on exclusive offers when you use your gift card.
Bolay: Receive a free cookie when you use your gift card.
Bonefish Grill: Don’t forget to use your holiday bonus cards before they expire.
CardNow: Use your gift cards to get rewards, incentives and more.
Carrabba’s Italian Grill: Get a yummy meal using your holiday bonus cards before they expire.
Chipotle – Join Chipotle Rewards and use a gift card to earn points toward free Chipotle. You can also order delivery or pickup.
Macy’s: Use your Macy’s gift card to shop in-store or on Macys.com.
Outback Steakhouse: Don’t forget to use your holiday bonus cards before they expire.
PetSmart: Remember to use your PetSmart gift card and shop in-store or on Petsmart.com.
Rue21 – From January 16 through January 24, rue rewards members earn 2x points when redeeming a rue21 gift card.
Saks Fifth Avenue – Use your Saks Fifth gift card to shop in-store or online, and take advantage of the Designer Sale with up to 70% off.
Smashburger: Use your Smashburger gift card when you dine in or order takeout and save.
Soma: Use your Soma gift card, and receive BOGO 50% almost everything.
Topgolf: Your Topgolf gift card is redeemable on game play, food and drinks, Lifetime Memberships, lessons and gear. Be sure to use it!
White House Black Market: Redeem your White House Black Market gift card and receive 25% off your full-price purchase.
How to Donate Your Gift Card
If you’d like to use your gift cards for good, the site UseYourGiftCard.com is proud to partner with GiftCardBank.org, a nonprofit organization that helps you turn spare gift cards into meaningful change in your communities.
Gift Card Bank aggregates gift cards for essentials and then distributes them to low-income families in need. You can donate your gift cards to Gift Card Bank by clicking the donate link on the UseYourGiftCard.com website.