Managing "backend" card rebate programs (AmEx Offers, Discover Deals, BankAmeriDeals, Visa Offers, others)

Managing "backend" card rebate programs (AmEx Offers, Discover Deals, BankAmeriDeals, Visa Offers, others)
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#1

Hello,

I had been thinking about posting about these programs for quite some time. Of course, the sudden forum changes made me hold off, but now I think it is time.

In just the past few years, credit card companies have realized that driving credit card volume has become trickier. For awhile it was category based, moving primarily cash/debit traffic over to credit (gas/groceries/etc.). More recently, it has become more merchant-based.

In general, the concept for most of these programs is as follows:
-A merchant offers a discount on a purchase that is done through a specific card type
-There is some sort of criteria setup and/or limit of sign-ups for the discount
-The marketing fee that a merchant has to pay on top of the discount is lower than other channels (it might even be free). This makes the cost of these programs lower than almost any other option.
-The verification of such purchases is much more trustworthy (because the transaction is visible)

Now, the reason why this is a Finance topic and not just a Hot Deal is because it is all about card management. One of the key aspects for these deals is stacking.

Here are two examples:

-Purchase at a certain chain restaurant

  • Use of a coupon for a discount off the meal (or a promo meal which can’t have a coupon)
  • Earn chain loyalty points
  • Use of the backend deal (credited when purchase posts)
  • Use of a restaurant rewards rebate (idine/rewardsnetwork/mogl/ebates)

-Purchase of certain merchandise or services online

  • Use of a click referral site for a rebate percentage
  • Earn company loyalty points
  • Use of a coupon code for purchase
  • Use of the backend deal (credited with purchase posts)

Now, there are some important considerations of the merchants that offer these deals:

  • Usually the merchant is not doing so well (casual dining, fine dining restaurants)
  • It could be the launch of a new merchant (dot com)
  • The merchant can’t publicly lower prices further or offer coupons due to image (hotels, luxury brands, airlines, etc.)
  • Some programs like AmEx Offers have bad loopholes that allow customers to have multiple offers for each card which means you have to be an early bird when the deal is posted to get a chance to add it to your account

I have had the chance to earn rebates on some pretty interesting things, but it has gotten harder to find good offers as I try not to purchase too many things outside of my normal patterns.

Here are some of the biggest programs out there:

-AmEx Offers (appears to be internally ran)

  • Very focused on T&E merchants
  • Has access to many high-end brand deals
  • Many deals are targeted based on spend history and locations
  • Very difficult to get high value deals due to sign-up limits
  • Sponsors a number of offers directly (no merchant sponsorship)

-BankAmeriDeals (powered by Cardlytics)

  • Primarily large chains with many locations or many regional locations
  • Deals tend to renew if you did not use them before expiration

-Chase (TrialPay by Visa) alive again

-Discover Deals (appears to be internally ran)

  • Primarily now focused on referral click cashback
  • Has almost entirely eliminated backend offers for discounts (not stackable)
  • Might have a patent licensing issues

For most offers, you can purchase gift cards to earn the rebate (rare for coupons and referral programs), but if you couldn’t find a way to make a purchase at a merchant, it might not be easier with a gift card (which favors the merchant the longer you hold it).

If you are not getting enough good offers, especially from AmEx, think about where you use the card. It is sometimes okay to split purchase at interesting merchants (like high end stores or certain high end malls) so that you get some exposure. It is also places you vacation or travel that help determine offers (New York, Las Vegas, hotel chains, etc.) which can all drive interesting offers.

Rasheed


#2

Good points. I don’t think split tender is used often enough as a tool in such gaming.


#3

Something basic that I try to do - and sometimes fail at - is check the various sites before I shop. I have a folder in my bookmarks called Cashback & Coupons. It contains links to Discover Deals, etc. and a couple of cashback shopping portals.


#4

Re: AXP sync offers and how to get multiple credits

I created separate log in for each card including all AUs. It’s inconvinient but very profitable especially if you find the juicy offers on each one. Whenever there’s a juicy offer I would like to jump in, I make sure I add them to each account because I found out that even if they’re available on each card but if I don’t save it to that account, the next time I look, it’s gone because sign ups for that offer has already been filled.


#5

Well, just when I complained on how Chase went to sleep on the backend deals, they have finally activated the program, but very selectively. This is not unexpected because the only card I got a test offer over a year ago was on the same co-brand and same promotions operated (Visa’s Trialpay).

So far, I have only found it on the Marriott co-brand: https://chase.visaoffers.com/marriott

I tried Disney, CSR, Freedom, Southwest and others, but no dice so far. Please share if you find other Chase cards that get turned on.

The “launch offers” are laudable:
-Whole Foods $10 off $25 in-store only (12/15/17)
-Nordstrom (NOT Rack) 20% up to $30 (12/15/17)
-Regal 10% up to $50 (12/15/17)
-Lowe’s $10 off $50 in-store only (12/15/17)
-Neiman Marcus (NOT Last Call) 10% up to $30 (12/15/17)
-Einstein Bagels 10% up to $10 (12/15/17)
-Poshmark 10% up to $10, must spend at least $50 (12/15/17)
-Olive Garden 10% up to $25 (12/15/17)
-Wingstop 10% up to $25 (12/31/17)
-Arby’s 10% up to $10 (12/15/17)
-Steak n Shake 10% up to $10 (12/31/17)
-Papa John 10% up to $25 (12/15/17)
-Denny’s 10% up to $25 (12/15/17)
-eBags $20 off $100 (12/31/17)
-Chilis 10% up to $25 (12/15/17)
-Staples 10% up to $20 (12/15/17)
-Texas Roadhouse 10% up to $25 (12/15/17)

Some players like eBags participate in other programs (AmEx) . Olive Garden has done offers on all three platforms (Cardlytics, TrialPay and AmEx offers). Regal was also an early TrialPay example.

Some additional notes:
-Completely separate site, NO SSO with chase.com which is silly.
-Does offer location based offers, but you can pick any location (would like to hear about other regional offers!)
-Does have access to your transactions both current and past 12 months (obvious)

It is branded as Chase Offers, but it really is Visa Offers.

Yes, you can stack offers. Such as at Chili’s you can accrue/redeem Plenti and also trigger the Chase Offer. Or you can use coupons with your purchases and still get the backend deal as long as your net purchase is above the minimum (as applicable).

Enjoy!

Rasheed


#6

https://chase.visaoffers.com/slate/

Slate also has been turned on.

Rasheed


#7

Only Slate and Marriott?


#8

Yes, so far only Slate and Marriott have microsites.

Rasheed


#9

Thanks.


#10

It seems these Chase Visaoffers are not popular, but after I have redeemed a deal and I get the actual credit email, I have been able to re-add the same deal again on the website.

I chalk this up to the deal is still available and has not met maximum sign-ups.

Interesting stuff.

Rasheed


#11

I do not have the Chase Disney no annual fee credit card but am interested in applying for the current $200 statement credit offer. people with the no annual fee card can an offer to get a $100 disney card for sharing with a friend. This is discussed on doctor of credit
and seen on https://www.chase.com/************/disney


#12

So, it appears Amex Offers is in full swing again. I highly recommend using your Amex card as a split tender or for small purchases in different markets/states or merchant types to get more interesting offers. Yes, you need to check for new offers everyday due to signup limits.

Cardlytics via BofA, SunTrust and others still does well too, but most of the best offers like AT&T only come once with no repeat after use.

Chase dumped Visa Offers/Trialpay. Not a good situation, but it appears they might get something going with their own digital wallet eventually (fuel for now, but groceries may come through).

I think Samsung Pay is the most lucrative digital wallet. Not really for its points program, but for its bonuses with Chase or PayPal as an example. Having the ability to use it at non NFC (pretty much any merchant where you can access the card stripe reader) is phenomenal. I just feel it is too slow versus the actual plastic card especially when it has to first try NFC then swap to MSD.


#13

Looks like Chase Offers came back.

https://www.chase.com/personal/merchant-offers

Looks like you need to use the mobile app or click the targeted email for no-login options.


#14

All of that data they collect via the mobile app is worth a ton.