Discover Financial Services is offering extra cardholder benefits for the holiday season, the company announced Nov. 10.

Starting Nov. 15, Discover cardholders will earn double cashback-bonus rewards on up to $1,000 in holiday purchases on any online purchases they make through Dec. 31. Once they hit $1,000, cardholders still will earn 1% in cashback bonuses on all their purchases. They also will earn 5% in cashback bonuses on up to $300 in purchases at restaurants, department stores and clothing stores through December.

Through Discover’s online mall starting Nov. 11, more than 65 ShopDiscover retailers, such as Dell; Sears; and Lands’ End, will increase the cashback bonuses they offer by 5%. Those retailers already offer between 5% and 20% cashback for those purchases.

Discover also is expanding its redemption offers for the holidays, enabling cardholders to redeem cashback-bonus rewards for such merchandise as Wii Bundles, iPods, Blu-ray DVD disc players and high-definition camcorders. Shipping of purchased merchandise also is free.

Ramping up deals on card rewards is all about driving use of the card, one analyst notes. “We’re also talking about Discover here, [which] has lower market share” than other major card brands, says Ron Shevlin, analyst at Boston-based Aite Group. “So it’s important for them to come out first and put the stake in the ground.”

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