Art it for a Cause

213Bananas, milk, tuna fish, bread, magazine, yogurt, donate to your favorite art museum.

This could be your next trip to the supermarket, or to any other store that takes the new Sotheby's MasterCard.

Sotheby's, of course, is the New York auction house that's been busy lending its name to everything from real estate to diamonds. Now they've teamed up with MasterCard.

Great, another rewards card, you think. Throw it on the pile with the rest of them. But this rewards card has an interesting twist.

A cardholder who has charged $10,000, for example, can convert the 10,000 earned points into a $100 donation to one of 30 U.S. partner museums. Institutions that include the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

Like other rewards programs, you can still use Sotheby's points to buy things, many of which were chosen with art lovers in mind.

For example, say you go on a real shopping binge and charge $2.5 million. (Okay, so that's like a really big day at Marshalls but stick with me on this.) You can use the points you accumulated to book a Sotheby's specialist to conduct an auction for an event. Then you can finally find out just how much that old painting you found in the attic is really worth.