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8 Things You Should Buy at Your Credit Card Bonus Mall

Add It Up

Before you make your next purchase, you might want to spend some time perusing your credit card’s cash-back bonus center. As we’ve previously reported, these online malls actually earn credit card companies a percentage of their sales, which tends to lead to some pretty stellar discounts for customers.

Discover’s (Stock Quote: DFS) ShopDiscover bonus mall consistently offers the highest discounts and, according to Brian Meier, director of rewards marketing with Discover, the bonuses are not subject to any caps.

Other issuers follow a similar model where the bonus centers serve as earning enhancers, not subject to the same caps that the card may otherwise be. For example, some issuers cap the amount of bonus cash you can earn by making purchases with your card, but the online mall has no bonus limit. They’re also a great place to find coupon codes and special offers from your favorite retailers.

And while shipping and handling may influence cardholders to actually hit up a bricks-and-mortar store, there are certain product categories that are particularly lucrative when purchased through a bonus mall. There are also free shipping deals offered periodically that help you bypass potential surcharges. MainStreet rounded up some of the better – and more surprising – ones to check out.

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Flowers

Meier says that ShopDiscover’s 20% cash-back bonus at popular florist chains 1-800-Flowers, FTD and Telefora is featured year-round.  Chase (Stock Quote: JPM), Citi (Stock Quote: C) and Bank of America are all also featuring deals on flowers similar to the ones they were offering pre-Valentine’s Day in their respective bonus centers.

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Tax Software

Those who have yet to file their taxes can get back a buck or two on the software if they purchase it through their credit card company. Most major issuers have partnerships with H&R Block and/or TurboTax to offer discounts on online tax preparation services in their malls.

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Daily Deals

Daily deals offer people the opportunity to save on a variety of experiences, but you can reap even more rewards if you purchase one through your credit card bonus center. Chase, for instance, offers 12 points back on any dollar spent on a Groupon in its Ultimate Rewards mall and MasterCard awards varying amounts of its WowPoints when you purchase a deal from LivingSocial through its online marketplace.

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Travel Accommodations

If you prefer booking hotel and travel accommodations through a search engine, you should check to see which one partners with your credit card issuer. Discover offers 5% cash back on purchases made through Expedia, Hotwire, Hotels.com and Orbitz. It also offers 5% back on cruises with Carnival, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines. Meanwhile, American Express has package deals from Travelocity, Hotwire, Priceline and CheapTickets featured in its Deal Center.

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Car Rentals

You also may want to book a car rental in addition to your travel accommodations. MasterCard lets its online shoppers earn extra WorldPoints on rentals made at Enterprise Rent-a-Car and Thrifty Rent-a-Car System and features coupon codes for Hertz, Alamo Rent-a-Car, Budget Rent-a-Car and Avis. Similar discounts are available across other issuers.

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Magazine and Newspaper Subscriptions

Chase gives 40 points back on every dollar spent at Magazines.com, which also features separate discounts on popular periodicals, and 25 points per dollar spent at ValueMags.com, which follows a similar business model.And Bank of America has a promotion going on right now where cardholders can earn an extra 2,100 bonus points when they purchase a subscription to The New York Times through its WorldPoints mall.

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Eyecare

ShopDiscover offers 10% cash back on purchases from 1-800 CONTACTS that also features free shipping on orders of more than $50 and a special rebate offer of an additional $10 -$80 off your purchase if you order a year supply of contact lenses. Meanwhile, Citi offers 6% cash back on purchases made through EyeBuyDirect.com in its bonus center.

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Charitable Donations

OK, so issuers aren’t letting cardholders earn extra cash back when they make donations to charities, but they are making it much easier for consumers to work charity into their budget by offering certain nonprofit organizations the cash back instead. Amex, for instance, is currently letting its cardholders earn various amounts of cash back from the United Way on purchases made through its Deal Center. You can find some other ways your credit card can help you give back in this MainStreet roundup.

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The 7 Deadly Credit Card Sins

What should you not do with your credit card? Find out in MainStreet’s roundup of the 7 Deadly Credit Card Sins!

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