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Cupid carries credit cards, too

By Janna Herron · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Posted: 4 pm ET

It looks like this Valentine's Day will be a bit less lovey-dovey than last year's, according to a survey last week from Visa. Americans plan to spend $117 on their sweethearts this year, down 3 percent from $121 in 2011.

And ladies, the gentlemen are the ones ponying up the most. Men said they will shell out $149 this year for their leading ladies, up from $140 in 2011. Women, on the other hand, plan on a more budget-friendly Valentine's Day by spending $87 versus $101 a year ago, the survey found.

Of course, giving flowers will be a predictable favorite for many. Capital One said it sees a spike in bonus rewards earned by its flower retailers on its online shopping portal during Valentine's Day, according to company spokeswoman Sukhi Sahni.

The credit card issuer also is running a special offer for cardholders who shop at 1-800-Flowers through the portal or order over the phone. They get 20 extra bonus miles for every $1 they spend. Valentine's Day is the last day for the special, in case you're scrambling for a last-minute gift for your loved one.

If you want something different but are still coming up blank, consider calling your credit card's concierge services for help.

MasterCard spokesman Dwain Schenck says while not as busy as Christmas or summer vacation season, the company's service definitely sees an increase in requests leading up to Valentine's Day. Typical requests include ordering flowers, booking dinner reservations or buying theater or event tickets.

"Some customers, stumped for the perfect gift reach out to the concierge for unique ideas or to have us help track down hard-to-find items, such as a specific piece of jewelry," he says. "The concierge team has even helped customers plan the perfect marriage proposal from the venue to the flowers on the table."

Have you ever used your credit card's concierge services? If so, why? Знакомства с иностранцами

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron.

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