Social media and credit cards are teaming up again, as Chase Bank and popular daily deal website LivingSocial move forward with a partnership to offer the Living Social Rewards Visa Card. This will be the first credit card co-branded between a daily deals website and a credit card issuer, although companies like American Express already offer discounts through social media sites like Foursquare and Twitter.
Dan Dougherty, the director of Chase Card Services, said of the partnership: “LivingSocial provides a valuable service to consumers and we are pleased to offer social-buying enthusiasts a product that enhances their shopping experience with the ability to earn rewards for their purchases.”
LivingSocial is based in Washington, DC, and was founded in 2007 under the name Hungry Machine. In 2009 it launched its daily deals business and became LivingSocial as it is known today, with more than 65 million users in 22 countries. It`s the second-largest daily deals website, right behind Groupon, which has previously partnered with Discover Card to offer discounts, but has not yet offered its own co-branded credit card.
Three is the Magic Number
Living Social offers its members discounted deals, but they also give the opportunity for customers to get their deals for free. Here`s how it works: LivingSocial members are emailed offers each day and given the chance to purchase vouchers for everything from meals at restaurants, haircuts, and cupcakes to oil changes, cooking classes, and discounted hotel stays. They can get the deals for free by purchasing the voucher, then forwarding the offer to friends by email or posting to Facebook or Twitter. If three friends purchase the voucher through the referring link, the member then gets their deal for free.
Pay With New Credit Card, Then Pay With Deal Bucks
LivingSocial offers a reward program called Deal Bucks, which members can use toward purchases. Now, with the LivingSocial Rewards Visa Card, members will be able to earn the points needed to accrue Deal Bucks faster. Members need 100 points to earn one Deal Buck, and each purchase made with the Chase card will earn points. Points are earned at the following rate:
- For LivingSocial purchases, card members get five points for every dollar spent
- Any dining purchases earn three points per dollar spent
- All other purchases made with the card earn one point per dollar
Throughout 2012, a special promotion will give customers 10 Deal Bucks when they make 10 purchases in any given billing cycle.
Thinking Locally, Shopping Locally
LivingSocial deals are locally targeted to members, encouraging neighborhood commerce. Some have criticized them, as well as their competitor Groupon, of only encouraging people to visit local merchants when deals are offered, but Groupon and LivingSocial both say they want to create repeat business for the merchants they partner with. John Bax, Chief Financial Officer for LivingSocial, says, “LivingSocial constantly strives to find new ways to energize the connection between our merchant partners and members, and the LivingSocial Rewards Visa Card is another example of how we are leading the industry in providing new and useful ways to promote these interactions.”
Of this commitment to driving traffic to local merchants, Chase`s Dan Dougherty says, “The LivingSocial Rewards Visa Card is yet another extension of Chase`s support of small businesses within our local communities,” while LivingSocial`s Bax says, “Chase`s proven history and commitment to small businesses – the majority of our merchant base – makes them the perfect partner to offer this card with.”
Unlimited Savings, Unprecedented Discounts
By signing up for this new credit card and using it for all their LivingSocial purchases, as well as dining and other buys, LivingSocial members will quickly accrue Deal Bucks that will then be automatically used to pay for their voucher purchases. There`s no limit to the amount of points that members can earn, so members will get savings on top of savings, and plenty of opportunities to get deals for free, or very close to it.
The LivingSocial Rewards Visa Card will have no annual fee.