It's time for springtime dinner-and-movie dates for Discover credit card holders.
The credit card issuer said Tuesday that cardholders can sign up to earn an extra 5 percent cash back on restaurant and movie purchases (up to $1,500) from now through the end of June. Cardholders also can get 5 percent cash back on up to $300 in groceries during the month of May if they register.
That's a possible extra $90 of cash back in the second quarter. (Discover credit card holders regularly earn 1 percent back for every $1 they spend.)
Discover's announcement also underscores the need for consumers to stay on top of their credit card rewards programs to get the most bang for each swipe.
Many rewards credit cards have rotating bonus categories that offer the opportunity to earn double or even triple your rewards earning potential. Many times, these categories go with the season, such as gas during summer or travel during the winter holidays.
Wade through any emails or mailings from your issuer, or check your card's website for alerts about these rewards specials. In many cases -- and Discover is a good example -- you will need to register your card before you can start earning extra rewards.
Another good way to get the most from your rewards is shopping through your issuer. For example, Discover is offering vacation package deals in exchange for rewards. And most issuers have their own shopping portals, Discover included, where you can earn up to 20 percent cash back on purchases from partner retailers.
But before you go on a spending spree to rack up extra rewards points, make note of any restrictions or caps on how much you can spend. Also, be mindful of your own budget. Otherwise, you'll just be paying for your own rewards program, plus more.
What kind of rewards credit cards do you carry? How do you maximize your rewards earning power?
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