It’s been a few years since daily deal sites exploded into the American Psyche, and LivingSocial is now taking the next step towards making sure they’re here to stay. Chase and LivingSocial are teaming up to offer a rewards credit card which exclusively offers rewards toward LivingSocial deals.
For those who find air miles, gas or cash back boring, the LivingSocial Rewards Visa Card offers the same excitement to daily spending that has LivingSocial deals junkies hooked. Unfortunately, when spending gets exciting, spenders tend to go overboard. Unless you pride yourself in being a LivingSocial cultural elite who can afford to routinely go overboard, this card is just another way to waste money on daily deals.
LivingSocial Rewards Visa Card: Your Perspective
Upon sign up, you get 30 Deal Bucks right away (more about “Deal Bucks” below). This is the equivalent of receiving $30, and is a nice change from the annual fees usually associated with rewards cards.
This is because LivingSocial knows that their rewards points are in themselves further buying incentives that profit their company. They keep giving more to taste so that you will keep paying for more full meals. While cash back rewards fit nicely into your pocket, you will only see your Chase and LivingSocial rewards online and only be able to use them to buy more LivingSocial deals.
The rewards system will certainly add more Deal Bucks on top of the promotional $30, but applicants must first ask themselves, “If my $30 in deal bucks contributes toward buying a $60 LivingSocial deal, am I $30 richer or — spending $30 I wouldn’t have otherwise?”
With some careful planning, card users will be able to earn more deal bucks with the LivingSocial Rewards Visa Card than they would earn, well, real bucks with any other cash back card. It depends on either perspective listed above that will ultimately decide the individual verdict for this rewards card.
How the LivingSocial Rewards Visa Card Works
Every 100 points earned with your rewards card will automatically transfer into a Deal Buck in your LivingSocial account. These Promotional Deal Bucks expire 5 years after being earned, so there’s plenty of time to use them (see the full Terms and Conditions). They will also be automatically applied toward your next purchase from LivingSocial unless indicated manually when you buy, so there’s no need to worry about losing track of the rewards, as long as you don’t lose track of your LivingSocial account.
The points language transfers to 5% back on LivingSocial purchases, 3% on dining and 1% on everything else. A 1% return from rewards can be beaten by the best credit cards for cash back rewards and will not leave you locked into spending more on daily deals, so the key is using this for dining and LivingSocial deals.
However, these are the most limited and indulgent parts of any budget. The person who will benefit most from this card is the one who already has a lifestyle that supports frequent fine dining and LivingSocial habits.
On top of the point-earning system, you will earn 10 extra Promotional Deal Bucks every billing cycle that begins in 2012, as long as you make at least 10 purchases. This is in addition to the 30 Deal Bucks received at signup by promotion but will only last for 2012.
Do Chase and LivingSocial Charge Fees?
The LivingSocial Rewards Visa Card boasts no annual fee, so there is no initial cost to make up with your rewards before you start coming out ahead. It can be exciting to think about the rewards you earn with daily purchases when there are no fees, but watch out for interest — the APR is 15.24%, close to the national average for credit card rates. The key with any rewards card is not stacking up interest. Otherwise, it will immediately zap any rewards that you take away from the deal.
It should come as no surprise that the extra bonuses of the first few months give the highest incentive and highest possibility of rewards earning. These rewards are a double incentive because they have you experiencing the good life though LivingSocial and recycling your rewards back into their purchases.
This can be great if your lifestyle and your budget make room for it. For most of us, this card is wishful thinking and fantasies until the interest rates hit.
It’s About Your Lifestyle
LivingSocial doesn’t just sell you a product — they sell you a lifestyle, one that we see like children with pressed noses up to a Christmas toy store window. While you start crossing items off your bucket list, LivingSocial cashes in on your dreams of premium dining, dance lessons, plastic surgery and jet-packing. You get these experiences at a great price!
They still have a price tag though, and one that can quickly add up, even more so with the added pressure of a credit card fueling spending. The question is: Do you take a periodic slice of the good life LivingSocial has to offer, or do you keep coming back for more? The LivingSocial rewards card gives you an incentive for indulging over and over again.
Chase and LivingSocial know that their business is about more than you becoming a customer. It is about you becoming a frequent user and a fan. If you are already a fan, the LivingSocial Rewards Visa Card may be worth a look. Be warned: It will most likely require you to take being a fan to the next level.
On the other hand, if you have unused LivingSocial deals from 6 months ago in a filing cabinet, this probably isn’t the card for you. Daily deal purchasers know the frustration of a deal’s expiration, and the thought of multiplying that pain with the interest from a rewards credit card and multiple unused deals should be a red flag to them. Indulging deals can be tempting, but make sure your expectation for using these deals fits reality.
Mac Hildebrand is a writer and credit card expert from CreditCardChaser.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MacHildebrand.