Just when you thought the daily deals pot was filled to the brim with players such as Groupon and Living Social, a company with a new twist takes the plunge. OfferLink Local, a new service targeting small businesses, enables merchants to create deals that are linked to credit and debit cards issued by banks and loyalty programs. When consumers redeem the deals, they receive their rewards as airline miles, cash back or points.
Local merchants who join OfferLink create offers, such as a 10 percent rebate per purchase, which are pre-loaded on the rewards credit and debit cards used by customers of bank and loyalty programs, including the American Airlines AAdvantage program, Barclaycard and United MileagePlus. The program is being introduced by Catera Commerce, a provider of card-linked marketing programs
Offers are marketed through bank and loyalty programs websites, emails, mobile apps, social marketing and other channels. Customers redeem offers by swiping their eligible credit or debit card in merchants' stores, and get rewards in their preferred currency: cash back or points in a bank card program or miles in their favorite airlines program.
Local merchants fund rewards only after sales occur, and get transaction-based reporting to show how many customers redeemed offers, how many were new, and how much they spent.
"Daily deals don't easily lend themselves to repeat business, can be a challenge to manage, and their long-term impact is hard to track," said Peter Krasilovsky, vice president and program director at BIA/Kelsey,a local media and advertising research firm. "Card-linked deals can overcome some of these issues and help close the redemption loop. What's more, consumers and merchants find them simpler to use."
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