Not to be outdone by Groupon's dabbling with a VIP program, rival Living Social has announced it will be launching its own credit card this spring to encourage repeat customers. What's the fuss? Reuters broke the news, and here's some more details on it:
Card holders who make 10 purchases a month with the card will earn 10 credits known as Deal Bucks. These can be used to pay for LivingSocial daily deals and other offers the company runs, such as discounted travel packages, [Chief Financial Officer John] Bax explained.
If you're a customer thinking of signing up, the Business Insider offered this warning:
Store credit cards are almost never a good value," Nerdwallet VP Anisha Sekar told Your Money. "Usually, they'll give 2-3% rewards at their own store, plus 1% elsewhere. Such a narrow bonus category is significantly limiting–not to mention that you often receive rewards in the form of a gift card that can only be used in-store."
While on the topic of loyalty programs, our very own Jabez LeBret recently served up a piece on how to use FourSquare as your very own loyalty program without investing in something like a VIP program or a credit card. Though, I suppose, the bigger question is whether this means deals sites recognize that the bubble is bursting and they need gimmicks to keep customers around? And the bigger question than that still is: Are gimmicks like these enough to keep customers loyal? Why does anyone need to stay loyal to a deal-slinger, because ultimately, of course, people just care about the deal -- not who's offering it.
Oh, also, in case you didn't hear: Groupon forewent placing a Super Bowl ad, perhaps to avoid another offending blow-up and recently got into hot water instead for selling a deal on a walking tour of where Jeffrey Dahmer met and hung out with some of his victims. Astonishingly, this upset some people, like the families of the victims.
Groupon's stock is at $19.22.
David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a columnist for EGM. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.