MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A growing number of companies are offering gift card bonus perks over the holidays, according to Twin Cities Frugal Mom blogger Lisa Baker.

Every year, she gathers the details of those perks from retailers and attractions onto a list. Jason DeRusha does the same for more than 100 Twin Cities restaurants.

A few of the perks Baker highlights include $5 in snack cash for every $25 gift card purchase at Marcus Theatres, a $10 off coupon with every $40 spent in gift cards at The Children’s Place, and a $10 gift card with every $50 purchase at LL Bean.

Baker also urges consumers look for deals beyond the store itself. Websites such as GiftCardGranny and Cardpool buy and sell cards at a discount.

“Between that, between store discounts, [and] subscriber lists, there are so many ways to save on gift cards that there’s never a reason to pay full price,” said Baker.

She says she pays close attention to subscriber lists, but only when she wants to.

“I’m on a ton of email lists…I think we all are,” Baker said. “And I have an account just for them, so it doesn’t bury all of my emails in my other account.”

While the gift cards themselves do not expire in Minnesota, the perks themselves typically do. For example, consumers have until Dec. 24 to buy Marcus Theatre’s promotional offer, and the snack cash is valid from Jan. 15 to March 31.

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