While restaurant coupons and discounts abound, sometimes you just want to go to that trendy new place you’ve been eyeing, or you’ve pissed off your significant other and need a table at a French restaurant, stat. Here are 10 tips on saving money in restaurants with or without coupons.
Upromise by Sallie Mae offers up to 8% rewards on over 10,000 restaurants – and you can get a full 12% if you use the Upromise MasterCard. Their searchable database of restaurants shows the average entrée price, which days the rewards are available, and the type of restaurant. If you register your debit or credit card with Upromise (it’s free) you’ll earn cash back at participating restaurants:
- 2% on spending up to $125 annually
- 4% on spending up to $300 annually
- 6% on spending up to $500 annually
- 8% on annual spending $500 and over
You can get an additional 4% cash back if you sign up for the Upromise MasterCard, which has no annual fee.
Restaurant.com often gives 2-for-1 or something-percent-off deals on its gift certificates, which are valid at any of its 18,000 affiliated restaurants. Check their website for voucher deals, or search for all available offers on our discount finder.
DealGator, a deal aggregation website that includes Groupon, LivingSocial and hundreds of other discount-deliverers, lets you search by location and keyword, avoiding the hassle of sifting through Amazon Local, Groupon Now and whatever else kids are calling them these days.
ShopDiscover is Discover’s online bonus mall – if you click through their portal to various merchants, you’ll earn anywhere from 5-20% off or more. For example, you can get 10% off Groupon vouchers by going through the ShopDiscover portal – discounts on discounts. You need a Discover card to access the portal, so we recommend getting a no-fee Discover card that will grant you access. However, most of Discover’s cards don’t stack up well for everyday rewards. Therefore, we recommend:
- Getting a no annual fee Discover card
- Using that card to purchase vouchers for Groupon, Restaurant.com, etc.
- Using other credit cards for daily spending to maximize your rewards
5. Yelp.com, squeaky wheel edition
While you can also use Yelp to find restaurants offering check-in discounts and coupons, complaining on the review site can get you free future meals and discounts. If you have a legitimate gripe about a venue (ie, you tried to resolve it reasonably and you aren’t just being a jerk), making your discontent known on the Internet can get speedy resolution and free foodstuffs. Yelp, Twitter, Facebook – all channels not only for local deals, but for providing patrons with a voice.