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EDITOR'S NOTE:  THIS OFFER WAS FOR THE 2006 HOLIDAY SEASON ONLY AND HAS EXPIRED.  Halloween hasn’t happened yet, but the television commercials are already pushing holiday spending. Another sign of the impending spending season: Discover Card is launching its "Make the Holidays More Entertaining" Get More program, which runs from October through December.

If you have a Discover Card, and sign up for its Get More program, you can get a total of five percent back on: purchases at certain stores and Web sites, movie tickets and rentals, as well as meals at specific restaurants. Some of the merchants who are participating are Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Circuit City, Crutchfield, Napster and Waldenbooks. (Cardmembers continue to earn up to a 1% Cashback Bonus on purchases in other locations.)

Some might say that the Get More program encourages over-spending. But according to Julie Loeger, Vice President of Rewards Marketing at Discover, it’s:


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"a free and easy way to build rewards even faster at locations where they [Discover cardholders] are already spending the most time and money. So ultimately, we're rewarding them on the purchases they're making during that particular time of year anyway."


Once you sign up for Get More, which is free to Discover cardholders, you’ll see that the businesses participating in the program change, four times a year, depending on the season. For example, in the fall, the merchants tended to sell back-to-school items, including clothes, shoes, and things you might need in a dorm room. In the spring, home improvement might be highlighted.

Why cardholders have to specifically sign up for Get More – since all Discover cardholders are eligible – puzzled me. So I asked Julie to explain why cardholders have to sign up for the program – as opposed to having it be an automatic feature of Discover cards. Here’s her response:


importantnotes"We view the Get More program as a great way for us to use Cardmember feedback on an ongoing basis. After each program we measure what Cardmembers like the most and design our next campaign with that in mind. We try to make these programs as relevant to our Cardmembers as possible, so by tracking various measures like enrollment figures, we're able to see what's working and what needs tweaking. So far this approach has been very successful – we've enrolled almost 20 million since our launch in January of 2005 and we continue to see positive trends."

Despite the lack of automatic enrollment, as far as I can tell, there are absolutely no hitches to signing up for this program and we have gotten very positive consumer feedback about the program on the CardRatings.com message board. If you have a Discover card, you have nothing to lose. Go to DiscoverCard.com and sign up for the Get More program. It’s a piece of cake … or should I say gingerbread?!?

If you don't have a Discover Card, you can apply for one online here. 5% savings is sure to make the holiday season even merrier.

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