By Jill Jaracz


5 Min. To Read

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Now that summer is in full swing, many of the major credit card brands are pulling out the stops on special offers and deals to help their cardholders enjoy the summer even more. Here's a quick look at some of the programs they have on tap.

Discover Extends Double Cashback Bonus, Continues 5% Offers

At the beginning of June I wrote about Discover It card's two-month double cash back promotion for new cardholders (and existing customers who signed up for the offer). Originally the promotion was slated to run until the end of July; however, Discover's opted to extend the deal until September 30.

The promotion aims to have more Discover It cards in wallets as it targets new cardholders with the lure of extra cash. Discover already offers one percent cash back on purchases. This promotion doubles that amount for the first twelve months you have the card with no limit on how much you earn.

Additionally, each quarter, Discover offers five percent cash back up to $1,500 on purchases made in select categories. Through the end of September, the shopping categories are home improvement stores, department stores and purchases. On September 1st you can activate your card for the last quarter's categories, which are, department stores and clothing stores.

MasterCard Expands Priceless Cities Program

MasterCard's Priceless Cities program aims to create one-of-a-kind opportunities for city dwellers and world travelers. The program, which offers special event access, unique experiences and special shopping deals, is now in 35 cities around the world.

In July MasterCard announced it's expanded the program in Europe and Asia by introducing Berlin and Japan to the platform. Japan has offers all around the country. For example, if you're a golf aficionado, you might want to take advantage of a special tour and fitting at the Honma Golf Club Studio factory and test center. You and up to nine other people get a tour of the facilities, lunch, a custom club design and a fitting session for about $1,300, including transportation from Haneda Airport in Tokyo.

Berlin also enters the Priceless Cities program with a bang, offering some really unique opportunities, including a five-hour workshop in October on how to create graffiti art with urban artist Christian Bergold. At the end of the day you'll be able to take home your own creation on canvas. This experience runs about $250.

American Express Partners with Best Buy on Points, Hosts National Parks Contest

American Express' has brokered a deal with Best Buy in conjunction with the card's popular Membership Rewards program. Now program members can use their points to pay for some or all of their purchases made at Purchases can be picked up at stores or delivered to their homes.

"Our Card Members love shopping at Best Buy and we wanted to provide them with more value, choice and flexibility each time they check out," said Leslie Berland, executive vice president, Global Brand, Marketing & Digital Partnerships at American Express, in a statement.

To pay with points, customers should enter their American Express card number at the online checkout. They'll be able to see their point balance and the equivalent dollar value. Then can designate how many points to put toward the purchase and check out as normal.

American Express is also celebrating the summer with America's National Parks by hosting a photo contest that will give three lucky winners a trip to one of three popular national parks.

The contest requires entrants to share a selfie or other picture that captures a special moment at a local or national park, upload it to and write a caption for it. You can enter up to five photos.

Winners will be able to win a three-night trip for four to Yosemite National Park, the National Mall and Memorial Parks or Grand Canyon National Park, including airfare, lodging and spending money.

The contest is open through 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on August 31. That's a little less than a month to get outside and capture your fun.

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