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The Credit Card Perks You Don't Know About

Nov. 1, 2012
3 mins
A pile of three credit cards

If you’re a regular credit card user, you could be cashing in on any number of discounts, freebies and special offers -- that is, if you know to ask.  

It’s a little known fact about the plastic you plunk down for your daily purchases, many credit card providers offer discounts galore for those in the know. Many of these credit card perks aren’t limited to rewards-specific cards either, or driven by points. You simply need to be a cardholder.

Stylish price slashing

For example, Toronto Mastercard users were treated this week to a barrage of discounted goods from a wide variety of local merchants. All they had to do was ask for their discount at the counter. Held by Stylicity in conjunction with the World Mastercard Fashion Week, the promo celebrates the local fashion scene with 20% off at over 150 retailers and restaurants including local delights such as Pam Chorley’s Fashion Crimes, Yorkville’s Sassafraz, Spice Route and the Drake Hotel General Store. Best part? It’s still running. So if you’re planning a shopping trip, squeeze that spree in before November 4, 2012.

How to hunt for perks

Most credit card companies keep these deals stashed on a section on their site - savvy deal hunters just need to know where to look. On Mastercard’s site, seek out the Ads & Offers tab, and voila - a multitude of offers for travel, and a slew of contests exclusive to  Mastercard cardholders. For example, a browse through their “World Offers” (open to World or World Elite holders) section presents 15% off Okanagan wine tours, complimentary stays at Relais & Châteaux's hotels (complete with champagne), and 15% off at the Cordon Bleu, among other offers. Mastercard also gets a bit more local with their rewards. Being situated in Toronto presented a variety of city-based activities for less, including 30% off on the CN Tower Edge Walk, an exclusive Park Hyatt Yorkville Package for the RCO, and  a full four-course meal for two at a discount at Kamasutra Restaurant, among others.

Visa perks not to be overlooked

Visa cardholders can get in on the freebie action too with Here, you can search a large variety of merchants for discounts ranging from 15% to 40% off, when purchased with any Visa card. The categories are quite varied, including household items, men’s and women’s fashions, food, travel and entertainment. If you’re a Visa user, check the site before you shop to see if there are discounts to be had.

Cash in at the mall

While the above tips are for cardholders in general, don’t be caught unaware should you carry a rewards-specific card.

For example, the MBNA Smart Cash Mastercard credit card actually comes with an entire online mall where you can earn increased cash back rewards at specific retailers. There are tons to choose from, including, and Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Penelope Graham

A first-time homeowner and newbie investor, Penelope Graham is the quintessential millennial, navigating the world of personal finance and wealth management. A self-professed monetary policy nerd, she follows the often-controversial housing market closely and specializes in mortgage, credit card and personal finance news.

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