Bank of America, the second largest bank in the U.S., rolled out a new benefit credit card program to their employees in Nevada and the Carolinas that targets their spending habits to personalize the discounts. By partnering with Cardlytics, an innovative company that provides banking rewards solutions, will allow the bank to target discounts customers based on what they actually purchase.
Here’s how BankAmeriDealsworks!
Unlike Groupon, which requires their customers to sign up for coupons by email, BankAmeriDeals customers will log in to the bank’s website where they’ll find various coupon offers based on their spending habits embedded in their statement under a separate tab. Most cardholders will receive between 16 and 20 offers per month; frequent redemptions will mean more offers.
Customers can choose to receive discount offer alerts, see how much money they’ve saved or opt out of the service. Accepted discounts will be tied to the Bank of America credit or debit account. The discount will not reduce the purchase price; instead, the coupon value will be refunded back to the Bank of America account in the next billing cycle.
“As part of the service, the bank will not share customer data with third parties, including retailers,” said David Godsman, the bank’s online and mobile solutions executive. The service will highlight the bank's ability to track consumer spending, he acknowledged, but he said the bank hopes the relevance of the deals outweighs any customer concerns.
The program is paid for by the merchants making the discount offers, not by Bank of America and is a way for the bank to recoup losses from the reduction or elimination of debit card reward programs. By encouraging cardholders to use their cards more, the number of fees retailers will pay to the credit card issuer will rise.
While other banks, including Chase, already offer this type of discount service, Bank of America’s program will be the biggest name to enter the competitive field of online discounts. The program is conducted entirely on Bank of America’s servers, with no payments being received from merchants. No third parties will have access to cardholder’s payment information.
The bank is not disclosing participating retailers but said they include large discount department stores, fast food chains and local restaurants. By mid-February all of the estimated 275,000 employees will have access to the targeted online discounts but no date has been announced for their customers to sign on. The bank will be looking for feedback from employees on how they use the program, and will assess the redemption rate and acceptance of the program before opening it up to a broader customer base.
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