Save on back-to-school prep by using your credit card

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School's out but summer won't last forever. Save money now on back-to-school prep by shopping smart with your credit cards.

By shopping now, you'll land some great deals and avoid the headache of shopping during the back-to-school rush.

Get a jump on that back-to-school wardrobe

Earn 3 percent cash back any time you shop for school wardrobe essentials with Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express at department stores including Bealls, Bloomingdale's, Dillard's, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus, Macy's, Sears and Kohl's.

Earn 5 percent cash back on summer clothing specials at Kohl's with the Chase Freedom® card from July 1 through Sept. 30, 2014. You can also be ready to pounce on deals on winter wear come Oct. 1, when, through Dec. 31, 2014 you can earn 5 percent cash back at Amazon, Zappos and department stores including JCPenney, Macy's, Nordstrom and Sears with your Chase Freedom card.

By shopping online through Cash Back Boost with a Chase Freedom, cardholders can earn an additional 10 percent cash back when you shop at JCPenney, an additional 5 percent cash back when you shop at Macy's, Anthropologie, Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom and Sears and an extra 3 percent cash back at Old Navy, Banana Republic, Gap and American Eagle Outfitters.

Discover it® cardholders can earn extra 5 percent cash back at Eddie Bauer, Lands' End, L.L. Bean, J. Crew, The Limited, Old Navy, Macy's, Nordstrom, Dockers and Neiman Marcus when shopping through the ShopDiscover.com website.

Cash in on school supplies

Shop online for school supplies over the summer and pocket a nifty, additional cash-back bonus.

When you shop online through Cash Back Boost from Chase Freedom, you will earn 2 percent extra cash back at Wal-Mart, 3 percent extra cash back at Target and 5 percent extra cash back at Kmart.

Discover it® cardholders can earn an additional 5 percent cash back at Wal-Mart and Target when shopping online through the ShopDiscover.com website.

Shop smart for computers

Get great cash-back deals on computers and accessories by shopping through online portals on credit card websites.

Shop online through Cash Back Boost from Chase Freedom and you can earn an additional 2 percent cash back at the Apple Store and Best Buy and an additional 5 percent cash back at Dell and Microsoft.

Use ShopDiscover.com and earn additional 5 percent cash back with online purchases from Microsoft, Dell, Best Buy and the Apple Store.

Choose a credit card with an extended warranty when making big back-to-school purchases such as a computer. That way you will have some added protection if something goes wrong with a son or daughter's brand-new laptop for school not long after the original manufacturer's warranty expires. Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card and Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express are among cards that offer extended warranties on certain purchases.

Save on school lunches

Keep the kids happy with their favorite summer treats and snacks and earn 6 percent cash back on supermarket purchases with Blue Cash Preferred from American Express. Scoop up that same 6 percent cash back savings come fall, when it's time to shop for and pack school lunches. Participating retailers include Whole Foods, Winn-Dixie and Foodtown.

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