| January 26, 2012

Bank of America’s Groupon competitor rewards card use

These days, lots of Americans are joining social couponing services like Groupon or LivingSocial to get better deals in their day-to-day lives. But now Bank of America and other major financial institutions want to get in on the act.

Bank of America recently began testing a program known as BankAmeriDeals with its employees in North Carolina, South Carolina and Nevada and plans to roll the plan out to all its 275,000 employees within a few weeks, according to a report from The Associated Press. If it is successful, the program will be rolled out to customers who have debit or credit cards with the bank.

Through this promotion, consumers will be able to receive offers for deals based on purchases they have made in the past whenever they log in to their online banking accounts, the report said. When offered a deal, all the consumer has to do to accept it is click on a link, which automatically ties the promotion to the card. No printing or payments are required to activate it.

But the difference between BankAmeriDeals and other similar promotions is that consumers don’t get the discount at the time of their transaction, the report said. Instead, they’re all saved up over the course of the month and granted to the customer in a single lump-sum, cash-back payment. In addition, there’s no limit on how much cash back a consumer can receive for participating.

The promotion will be open to all Bank of America debit and credit cardholders, but those who don’t want to participate can opt out, an executive told the news agency. Customers will find the offers they receive to be more relevant to their interests and buying habits than those sent out daily by other social couponing services. In most cases, cardholders can expect to receive between 16 and 20 offers per month, but those who use the service more often will likely get more.

Other financial institutions, such as Chase and Regions Bank, will also begin offering similar discount programs to customers in the near future, the report said. Currently, Bank of America does not have a timetable for its own to be introduced to the public.

Banks are always looking for ways to incentivize the use of debit and credit cards. This is especially true now that consumers are more comfortable dealing with credit card debt as a result of the continuing economic recovery.

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