Double Your Credit Card Rewards With Online Malls

Friday, November 1st, 2013

One of the best things about using credit cards is getting cash back. Most cash back credit cards give a minimum of 1% cash back on all purchases, with 5% back in rotating categories each quarter. Some give 2% or 3% in a certain spending category, such as gas and restaurants, all year round.

But there is a way to get much more than that from your credit card’s cash back program. You can double your rewards, even triple them, by using your credit card’s online mall for certain purchases. This is a credit card secret that many people don’t know about—but once you do, you will never be satisfied with 1% cash back again.

Here’s how to rake in more rewards than ever before, using a credit card online mall:

First, go to your credit card issuer’s website. Log in to your account and look for the rewards mall. For Discover, this is called Discover Deals. Chase calls theirs the Ultimate Rewards Mall, and Citi has the Citi Bonus Cash Center. All of them give you the chance to shop for merchandise, charge it directly to your card, and earn extra cash back, miles, points or whatever rewards your card offers.

Here is an example: Discover Deals gives between 5% and 20% off at every retailer in their online mall. If you want to order flowers, use 1-800-FLOWERS or FTD.com and get a 15% cash back bonus. The Apple Store, Bloomingdale’s, Kohl’s and Macy’s all give 5% cash back on some of their most popular merchandise.

Many times, online credit card malls also have special offers that make shopping them even more rewarding. During the holidays, they may give 5% bonus rewards on all gift cards. The Citi Bonus Cash Center offers free shipping on purchases from select retailers year-round. Keep your eyes open for seasonal deals and bargains. Often Cyber Monday and Black Friday sales will extend to credit card malls. Piggybacking your rewards by getting a big discount on that flat-screen TV, then getting 10% or more cash back on top of that, is a great way to save.

If you prefer to do your shopping online than in a store, try going to your credit card’s online mall before you go to the store’s regular website. Many retailers, such as Bed, Bath and Beyond, Barnes & Noble, Gap and Old Navy, have the same items for sale on their website and on your credit card’s online mall. But when you buy it through your credit card, you get those extra rewards that double your cash back.

One thing to be cautious of: always double check the price. Sometimes the prices are different in store, online, and through your credit card mall. If the price at Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall is 10% higher than at the retailer’s own site, it isn’t worth getting the 5% bonus—in fact, you will lose money. So do be careful and comparison shop when you go to any of the credit card malls. There are great deals to be had, as long as you keep your eyes open.


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