According to a 2016 Valassis study, 90% of consumers use coupons in some form, and not surprisingly, 89% of millennials are reported to use paperless discounts, along with 79% of Gen Xers and 54% of Baby Boomers. 1
It makes sense — coupons are a proven way to save money. Increasingly, though, they are shedding their traditional paper cut-out forms and embracing the digital age. Mobile growth is one example: Based on the outcome of the Valassis study, U.S. adults preference for mobile and smartphone coupons saw an increase to 32% vs. 24% in the previous year’s study. 1
Another shape of the modern coupon: discounts and deals offered by credit card companies to their cardholders online. These card linked offers are a potentially significant source of savings that too often go unused. Here’s how they work.
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What Are Card-Linked Offers?
Card linked offers are born from partnerships between credit card companies and retailers. A major flower-delivery company, for example, may partner with a credit card company to offer discounts on flower deliveries over a certain amount when purchased with that company’s credit card. Alternatively, cardholders may also be offered a flat (say, $10) discount on purchases over a certain amount, or extra rewards or cash back on the purchase.
These deals are posted to the credit card company’s website or emailed directly to cardholders, and cardholders are often expected to opt-in to the deal to activate it. Then — usually — when you make a purchase with the card, the deal is automatically applied to your statement or added to your credit card rewards balance..
How Instant Savings at Checkout Works
Some deals come in the form of instant savings at checkout, which provide savings in the form of a reduced purchase price at point-of-sale. Often, you may need to print these deals to present at checkout. Alternatively, you might be able to save the deal to your smartphone and show it to the cashier.
Some Deals Offer Extra Cash Back
Some deals come in the form of additional cash back rewards. These rewards are likely offered on top of the rewards you’d earn for standard use. Investigate how cash back works with your card. You may be able to redeem it for a statement credit, or use it to make purchases in your card’s rewards center online.
How to Find Card Linked Offers
How you track down your card’s deals depends on how your credit card provider chooses to offer them. Some offer a small number of deals every month; others offer a range of deals across a number of categories at any given time. Sometimes they turn up in your email inbox. Visit your credit card provider’s website to understand how their deals program works.
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Mobile Card Linked Offers
Many credit card companies make their deals accessible on customer-facing mobile apps. It goes without saying that these apps are likely available on multiple operating systems — whether you have an iPhone or an Android, for example — and will vary in terms of redemption policies and use from company to company.
Whichever credit card company you use, it’s a good idea to learn about these deals prior to making your next credit card purchase because you may be able to start saving money immediately.