Earn credit card deals just for walking into the mall

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Whether you have an iPhone or a Droid model, here’s an app to download.

Shopkick is a program that gives you deals and rewards simply by walking into a retail store. Its big-name partners include Best Buy, Crate & Barrel and Target, and it recently announced a partnership with Visa to offer in-store deals for shoppers who pay with Visa cards.

With the new "Buy & Collect" service, you can link your Visa debit or credit card to the Shopkick app, then whether you’re walking on Main Street or around the mall, you’ll see a green payment icon on your "Nearby" screen to let you know there are deals and discounts nearby.

Tap on a retailer’s name, and you’ll see the buy-and-collect offer, such as "Spend $20, get 400 Kicks." (Kicks are Shopkick’s rewards points, and you can use them to get rewards like iTunes gift cards, restaurant vouchers and movie tickets.)

After swiping your Visa card to make the payment, you’ll get real-time notification from Shopkick that your Kicks reward points are banked to use down the road.

American Express also has partnered with tech companies, like Groupon rival LevelUp and Foursquare, a location-based social networking site, to offer deals when customers use their cards.

Link your AmEx and Foursquare accounts, then when you’re at a participating retailer, "check in" with Foursquare, pay with your American Express card and get a special offer, such as spend $50 at Sports Authority and get $25 back. The savings are automatically credited to your account within a few days.

To get the LevelUp deals, sign up at its website to link your AmEx card to a LevelUp account.

Then, once you purchase a daily deal offered by a merchant that takes American Express, you’ll see a button that prompts you to "load" your AmEx card with the deal, say spend $20 at the Levi’s Store and get $10 back.

When you swipe the card at the merchant, you’ll receive an immediate notification that the coupon was applied successfully. No need to pull out a printout or show your phone to the cashier.

As we spend more time surfing our phones for daily deals and store discounts, expect MasterCard, Discover and other credit card issuers to roll out their versions of reward-for-purchase program in the near future to keep you shopping -- and using their cards to seal the deal.

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