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On Your Credit Card
Most credit-card companies offer rewards or loyalty points in exchange for every swipe, but about $1.6 billion goes unclaimed each year. In January, Discover launched a free "Cashback Concierge" service for anyone who holds its Discover card. The concierge reviews how you use its cards, then recommends the best ways to maximize your rewards and walks you through the whole process in an online tour. The card offers 5 percent cash back on a select group of items, but that selection changes every three months—April through June is for home-improvement purchases—and 1 percent on anything else.

Some cards keep the same cash-back benefits year-round. American Express' Blue Cash Everyday card offers 3 percent back at the supermarket and 2 percent back when you get gas or shop at select department stores.

Often, the biggest benefits can be gained using credit-card companies' shopping portals on their websites. Mastercard's MarketPlace functions almost like Groupon or LivingSocial. When users log in, they're instructed to type in their zip code, which will pull up the deals closest to them, like $30 for a car-maintenance package that includes three oil changes and two tire rotations, or $49 for $2,000 worth of Invisalign invisible braces and teeth whitening.

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