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2010 holiday credit card and debit card special promotions

Halls are decked with deals; where to get yours

By Erin Peterson

Editor's note: See the 2011 version of this story, "2011 holiday credit card deals and promotions" and its companion "Chart: details of 2011 holiday credit card deals and promotions"

Attentive shoppers know that retailers aren't the only ones rolling out the red carpet for consumers. Credit and debit card companies have announced an array of promotions that users can use to save big on their purchases through the end of the year.

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Play your cards right, and you'll be able to squeeze a bit more holiday cheer out of your budget.

American Express
The problem with Black Friday shopping is that it lasts just one day -- and you'll probably only snare that deal of a lifetime if you get up at midnight to wait in line, then fight your fellow shoppers for it. American Express sidesteps all of those problems with its Daily Wish online marketplace, which offers improved, limited-time deals just in time for the holidays.

For three weeks, starting on Black Friday and ending on Thursday, Dec. 16, cardholders can visit the American Express Daily Wish website to get deep discounts on must-have items for the season, including flat-screen televisions and diamond jewelry.

At the site, you can sign up for weekly e-mails with information on upcoming offers. See chart for details

Chase
If you're one of Chase's Ultimate Rewards members who has been dutifully collecting credit card points the way that that holiday fruitcakes collect dust, you'll have plenty of reason to redeem them now with offers through its holiday website.

Redeem 5,000 points in a single transaction on select merchandise through the Ultimate Rewards website, ultimaterewards.com, and you'll receive a $10 Best Buy gift card; redeem 10,000 or more and you'll receive a $25 card. With no limits on the number of gift cards you can receive, it's time to burn through that cache of points you've been collecting. The promotion runs from Nov. 14 through Dec. 20.

You can sweeten that deal even more just by waiting until Cyber Monday. Redeem your credit card points on Chase's Ultimate Rewards site on the Monday, Nov. 29, and you'll get a 30 percent discount on merchandise.

Once you've redeemed most of your points, it's time to load back up: Head to the Ultimate Rewards Mall and grab up to 8 bonus points for every dollar spent at select merchants between Nov. 26 and Nov. 30.

Finally, if you have a Chase Freedom Card, you'll want to keep the fourth quarter cash-back promotion in mind as you enjoy all the season has to offer. Customers earn 5 percent back on up to $1,500 in purchases at department stores, grocery stores and movie theaters through Dec. 31. See chart for details

Citi
Santa's sleigh full of goodies might look downright meager if you're lucky enough to take home a $10,000 prepaid card through Citi's Prepaid Card Sweepstakes.

Register your Citi credit card or CitiBank Debit MasterCard and you'll be eligible to win one of thousands of prepaid Citi cards ranging from $10 to $10,000. Each eligible purchase you make with your credit or debit card will give you an automatic entry, and the promotion runs from Nov. 15 through the end of the year. Registration for the giveaway program starts Nov. 15, and you must have had your card for a month to register. 

Even if you don't take home a prize, you can still grab a bargain through Citi's ThankYou Rewards Holiday Season Gift Card Sale. From Nov. 15 through the week of Dec. 13, a wide selection of $50 gift cards, normally available for 6,000 points, will be discounted to 5,000 points -- a 17 percent points savings. But check in early -- the gift cards, which are for major retailers including dining, retail and entertainment establishments, are offered in limited quantities. See chart for details

Discover
We're willing to bet that Santa's elves worked overtime to come up with the four great promotions offered by Discover this holiday season.

The company's Double Holiday promotion offers 2 percent cash back on up to $1,000 of purchases made between Nov. 15 through the end of December; enroll at Discover.com or by calling (800) DISCOVER.

If it's better bargains you're after, Discover's got that covered, too. Beginning Nov. 11, card members who shop through the ShopDiscover portal will find improved cash-back bonuses from 69 merchants and free shipping from many others. Among the participating merchants are Dell and Lands' End.

This year's fourth-quarter cash-back program also will be a boon for many holiday shoppers. Card members who enroll in the program (see details above) will receive 5 percent cash back on up to $300 of purchases at restaurants, department stores and clothing stores.

And if you want to find a way to redeem all those points you've been racking up through the various programs, check out the recently expanded reward program that includes more merchandise --  from Wii bundles to iPods -- and some exclusive Orange Bowl experiences. See chart for details

MasterCard
Santa may work all year long making toys, but thanks to MasterCard, he's covered if there's a last-minute emergency. Choose $75 of qualifying products from Amazon's Holiday Toy List and get free two-day shipping by using your MasterCard at checkout. If you're already an Amazon Prime member, you'll get a $10 credit on your account.

MasterCard doesn't specify an end date to the promotion (but the offer is limited), and you'll want to be sure to read through the restrictions on Amazon's site. See chart for details

Perkstreet
Use Perkstreet's Rewards Visa debit card and you'll jingle all the way to the bank. With a 5 percent cash-back offer on up to $5,000 in purchases from popular retailers -- including Babies R Us, Best Buy and Kohl's -- through the end of the year, you can save big on holiday doorbusters and get a tidy sum of money back to start your new year off right. Check out the participating retailers at Perkstreet.com. See chart for details

U.S. Bank
It's the season to give -- and not only to your friends and family. Charities will be making their biggest pitches to get your donations for their worthy causes between now and the end of the year. If you need an incentive, consider putting your donation on your U.S. Bank FlexPerks credit card, which now offers triple points when users put their charitable donations on the card. See chart for details

Wells Fargo
You may dread going to packed-to-the-rafters brick-and-mortar malls during the holiday shopping season, so avoid the problem by heading to the Wells Fargo Earn More Mall. Wells Fargo has enhanced the site to include more retailers and better deals.

Wells Fargo credit card and debit cardholders can earn up to 16 points per dollar spent at more than 600 name-brand online merchants, including Home Depot, Sears and Barnes and Noble. Retailers also offer hundreds of discounts, and free shipping offers that are updated daily, and a "deal of the week" that piles on even more rewards and savings.  See chart for details

See related: Chart: Card issuers roll out deals for 2010 holiday season, Gift cards 2010: More consumer-friendly, 9 tips for sticking to a holiday budget

Published: November 10, 2010


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