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Credit Card Goodies


While credit card issuers have gotten busy figuring out ways to get around Congress' new rules, a savvy credit card holder can find many ways to tailor card use to get their hands on some perks.

Credit card companies have come in for some flak over the past year. After Congress passed a law restricting some of their more flagrant anti-consumer practices, credit card issuers got busy figuring out ways to get around the rules. But if you’re a savvy credit card holder there are ways to tailor your card use to get your hands on some perks. Depending on what cards are in your wallet, you can earn bonus reward points by choosing how you use your cards.

One example is Discover, which runs a 5% cash-back program on selected purchase categories, which change every three months. Through March 31, for example, you can get a bonus reward on charges you make in travel categories, including hotels, airlines, and car-rental companies.

To earn the extra rebates during Discover’s April-June promotion, however, you’ll have to sign up again. In addition, Discover is also offering 5% back on purchases made in grocery stores and drug stores during the month of March. Also, from now until the end of the year, every purchase with your Discover card will enter you in a daily sweepstakes to win anywhere from $25 to $500.

A 3% cash-back offer from JP Morgan Chase on education expenses paid from now to March 31 may look like an attractive way to shave dollars off a tuition bill, but make sure you check with the school before using plastic to pay the bill. Some schools will add the credit card processing fee (usually around 2.5%) to your bill, which would wipe out most of your savings. For culture lovers, Bank of America is giving its card members free admission to more than 100 museums around the country. The offer is good on the first weekend of every month this year.

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Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice
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