A guide to card-linked offer programs: A simple way to earn more rewards

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Guide to card-linked offers

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If you are looking for new ways to save, a card-linked offer
program can be a straightforward, hassle-free opportunity. Hunting for deals is
easier than ever, and discounts or rebates are automatically awarded when you
use your card. Even better, you’ll still earn any credit card rewards on the
purchase.

Card-linked offer programs bypass the need for paper coupons
and give users deals on a variety of everyday purchases – from dining to travel.
When you participate, you can automatically earn discounts or cash back rewards
at participating businesses without having to find a promo code or coupon.

Several issuers offer these kinds of programs, making it
easy to find a card to use for extra deals. For a more in-depth look at some of
the top offerings, check out our guides below.

How do card-linked offer programs work?

Card-linked offer programs let users earn merchant discounts
or cash back rewards when you use a qualifying card at a participating
business. Depending on the program, you’ll either automatically receive a
discount at the register or get a rebate in the form of cash back or a
statement credit.

Card-linked offers are much easier to use than a paper
coupon or online promo code, since you’ll automatically receive rewards on
qualifying purchases. Some programs require you to activate deals before using
them, so you might still have to select offers to link to your card via your
bank’s website or app.

It is easy to find great savings within all these programs –
often between 5 and 15 percent off – as card-linked offers benefit every party
involved. Consumers get great deals on everyday purchases, retailers can
attract new customers and card issuers see increased usage. Since everyone has
something to gain from these programs, they continue to grow and add more deals
every year.

The coupons offered by card-linked offer programs are
diverse and often tailored to the user based on their location and spending
patterns. Maribel Ferrer, Communications Director, Payments at Chase Offers
says “deals vary and there is something for everyone. They range from
offers at popular retailers, travel, restaurants, pet shops, hardware stores
and some of the most loved brands in the country.” It’s clear that almost every
card user has something to gain from taking advantage of one of these programs.

Which card-linked offer program is right for you?

For the most part, card-linked offer programs require that
any card you link is only being used on one program. To make sure you are
getting the best value, you’ll want to take a look at eligible cards, the type
of rewards you can receive and participating locations before deciding which
program works best with your everyday spending.

The most popular card-linked offer programs are presented by
the card issuer itself, making it easy to know which program you fit into. But
other programs are can be used with any credit or debit card. Offers and how
you earn discounts also vary widely between programs.













 Program Qualifying cards Types of deals How it works

BankAmeriDeals®

Bank
of America credit and debit cards (excluding ATM-only cards)
Travel,
dining, retail, entertainment

  • Link deals to your Bank of America cards online
    or on mobile app
  • Earn coins toward cash bonuses for redeeming
    deals
  • Use linked cards and automatically receive
    statement credit within 30 days


Amex® Offers

American
Express credit and charge cards (excludes prepaid cards)

Travel,
dining, retail, entertainment

  • Add deals to your American Express cards online,
    on mobile app or with Amex bot for Facebook Messenger
  • Use linked cards and automatically receive
    statement credit or Membership Rewards points within 90 days


Chase Offers

Certain
Chase credit and debit cards

Travel,
dining, retail, hardware stores

  • Link deals to your Chase cards on Chase mobile
    app or Chase Pay app
  • Use linked cards and automatically receive
    statement credit in 7 to 14 business days

Mastercard Easy Savings


Mastercard
business cards

Hotel
stays, dining, car rentals, business products, gas, vehicle maintenance

  •  Automatically
    receive rebates as a statement credit for qualifying purchases


Visa Savings Edge

Visa
business cards

Hotel
stays, dining, entertainment, car rentals, electronics, auto parts, business
equipment

  • Earn savings automatically with Everyday Offers
  • Activate offers for limited-time savings
  • Discounts applied as a statement credit


Shell Fuel Rewards

Most
credit and debit cards (special deals for Mastercard holders)

Dining,
retailers in Fuel Rewards Network online mall, travel (Fuel Rewards Network
travel portal)

  • Automatically earn 5-cents-per-gallon discount
    on enrollment
  • Use linked cards at participating Fuel Rewards
    Dining locations to automatically receive 10-cent-per-gallon discount for every
    $50 spent
  • Shop through Fuel Rewards Network online mall or
    Fuel Rewards Network travel portal to automatically earn 5-cents-per-gallon
    discounts on every $50 you spend

Visa Local Offers with Uber

Visa
credit and debit cards linked to Uber account

Dining,
retail

  • Automatically
    earn cash back as Uber credits for purchases at participating locations

MOGL


Most
credit and debit cards

Dining

  •  Automatically earn cash back for purchases at
    participating locations
  • Choose cash deposits, charitable donations or
    hotel or airline points

Rewards Network Dining programs


Most
credit and debit cards

Dining

  •  Earn miles or points with hotel and airline
    loyalty programs at participating restaurants
  • Typically a tiered system, with VIP members
    earning more per dollar

Card-linked offers for everyday spending

Card-linked offer programs directly from the issuer tend to
have the widest variety of available offers, making it easy to earn cash back
or points on the spending you already do every day.

All three of these programs (BankAmeriDeals, Amex Offers,
Chase Offers) require users to activate deals on each of their cards in order
to redeem an offer. You’ll scroll through promotions available to you on your
bank’s mobile app or website and link to the preferred card. Statement credits
are automatically awarded after the qualifying purchase.

For another way to earn cash back, BankAmeriDeals offers a
unique bonus system. You earn coins just for redeeming offers and work your way
up through levels to earn extra cash bonuses.

While these bank-offered programs take a little more effort
from the user, they offer the most potential value for general purchases.

Card-linked offers for business cardholders

The offers on both Mastercard Easy Savings and Visa Savings
Edge are tailored specifically for business spending and only available to
business cardholders. You can earn cash back on purchases such as car rentals
and business equipment.

Mastercard Easy Savings is a very straightforward program,
not requiring any sort of activation to redeem deals. You just have to link
your cards to the program and watch as statement credits roll in automatically.
Visa Savings Edge also offers automatic deals – called Everyday Offers – but
limited-time promotions require users to activate individual offers.

Offers for frequent Uber riders

Visa Local Offers can be redeemed on any Visa card you have
linked to your Uber app, but they come with a big drawback – cash back is
awarded as Uber credits. Unless you frequently ride with Uber or order takeout
using UberEATS, this can be very limiting.

In addition, deals seem to be more limited than bank
programs like Amex Offers. Remember, you can only have a card linked to one
offer program at a time in order to earn deals. If the limited offers from Uber
don’t fit your spending, you might be better off choosing another program. That
being said, Visa Local Offers earn cash back automatically and don’t require
you to activate deals.

Savings on gas

Like Visa Local Offers, discounts earned using Shell Fuel
Rewards have limited redemption options. All the savings you earn are applied
as a discount at a Shell pump. If you frequent Shell gas stations and are
looking for a program that can specifically help you save in this area, the
variety of offers in the Shell Fuel Rewards program is pretty good. Otherwise,
you might be better off sticking with a bank or dining program.

On top of dining rewards, members
of the Shell Fuel Rewards program can earn gas discounts by shopping through
the Fuel Rewards Network online mall and Fuel Rewards Network travel portal.
While going through these portals might limit your merchandise or travel
purchase options, they are another great way to rack up savings.

Tip: Shell Fuel Rewards operates through the Rewards
Network program. This means any credit or debit card you have linked to Shell
Fuel Rewards cannot be used to earn cash back or points on another Rewards
Network program, such as Hilton Honors dining. 
 

Savings on dining

MOGL is a very flexible card-linked offer program, allowing
users to link almost any credit or debit card. But deals are limited to dining
purchases, making it a bit more difficult to rack up rewards. While the return
rate on MOGL offers is typically pretty high (5 to 10 percent), the lack of
variety can be a big drawback. On the plus side, you don’t have to activate
deals. You also have the flexibility to choose from cash back, charitable
donations and points for how you earn your savings.

Earning airline and hotel rewards

Rewards Network is a service offering dining-focused,
card-linked offer programs tied directly to hotel and airline loyalty programs
such as American Airlines AAdvantage, Southwest Rapid Rewards and Hilton
Honors. You can only have a card linked to one Rewards Network program at a
time, so these offers are most valuable for users who are loyal to a particular
airline or hotel brand.

The programs in the Rewards Network are designed to reward
dining purchases, making it easy to earn around 5 points per dollar on extra
purchases. Plus, regularly participating in these programs can keep your miles
from expiring if you need to show regular account activity but don’t have a
trip planned in the near future.

See Related: How
to make the most of an airline dining program
 

How to get the most out of a card-linked offer program

Card-linked offer programs are rewarding for every user, but
following a few simple tips can help you maximize your rewards:

Combine card-linked offer deals with paper coupons and promo codes

While it takes a little bit of extra time, finding paper
coupons and promo codes for the same merchants advertising a card-linked offer
can ensure you boost your overall savings. Since cash back or points from
card-linked offers come just from using a particular credit or debit card, you
can usually still apply any other coupons you can hunt down.

Shop using cash back portals to stack offers

By using cash back portals to do your online shopping, you
can potentially stack multiple offers from the same site. By finding a deal at
your favorite retailer on a site like Ebates
or Mr.
Rebates
and then paying with a card including a card-linked offer, you can
multiply savings. Just be sure to read the terms and conditions of your
card-linked offer program carefully, as some prohibit this practice.

Keep a close eye on terms and conditions

No matter which card-linked offer program you use, each
individual deal typically comes with its own set of terms and conditions.
Before attempting to redeem a promotion, read carefully to ensure you meet any
purchase limits or expiration dates.

Bottom line

While choosing a card-linked offer program might be as
simple as using your bank’s offering, there are plenty of other opportunities to
maximize your savings. If you have cards from multiple issuers, you might even
be using more than one. Check out our guides to each program before deciding
which is right for you.



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