Is the new LivingSocial rewards credit card as good a deal as their daily deals?
Written by Geoff Williams
Posted On: May 4, 2012
So Chase Card Services and LivingSocial just debuted a credit card, which raises all sorts of questions. Should you get it? Should you not get it? Should you… uh… okay, not all that many questions. Still, if you're curious about the features of this new credit card, here's what you need to know.
Name of the card: LivingSocial Rewards Visa Card
What in the heck is LivingSocial? I imagine that virtually everyone reading this knows and is already skipping this paragraph to get to the next one, given how the website seems to be everywhere these days, along with its main competitor, Groupon. But if you're in the dark, LivingSocial is a web service that you can sign up for, and then every day, the site will send you a new discounted special that you can take advantage of in your geographical area.
For instance, some time ago, I signed up for LivingSocial, and in my inbox from the last few days, I see:
- A $19 three-course meal for two at a restaurant that would normally charge me $38.
- If I were someone who got manicures, I could have purchased one for $27 instead of $55.
- I could have spent $20 on three VHS, Super 8 or Hi8 to DVD transfers, instead of $60. (Hmmm. I could have used that.)
- Or I could have had my gutters cleaned for $49 instead of $115.
But that's my problem. The LivingSocial emails eventually become so innocuous, crowding for my attention along with email newsletters, email offers from other services I've signed up for, emails from stores I've given my email to, and actual emails from work colleagues, friends and family, that I hardly even notice them, even the deals I'm interested in. For me, a LivingSocial Rewards Visa credit card would probably be as useful as a box of empty Super 8 tapes. I think in the last two years, I've used a daily deal website once (Groupon), to get some discounted water park tickets for myself and my daughters.
But if you're a LivingSocial converts, and you thrive on the daily deal, the LivingSocial Rewards Visa Card may be well worth while -- provided you don't spend money you haven't budgeted for, and you don't carry a balance from month to month, in which case, the interest payments are going to eat into the savings you get with the credit card.
The perks of the LivingSocial Rewards Visa: If you do get the card, you can look forward to earning points, specifically:
- 5 points per $1 spent on LivingSocial purchases
- 3 points per $1 spent on dining purchases
- 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- 100 points equals one LivingSocial Deal Buck
There is, thankfully, no annual fee. The variable APR is underwhelming, which, again, is why you don't want to carry revolving debt on this card, especially since the aim of LivingSocial is to save you money. And speaking of saving money, throughout the rest of 2012, as a special promotion, if you make 10 purchases within a billing cycle, you'll get 10 Deal Bucks.
And what the heck are Deal Bucks? No idea. Let me Google it up, so you don't have to. OK, it's a type of LivingSocial currency that can be automatically applied toward your next purchase, according to the LivingSocial website.
Should you get the LivingSocial Rewards Visa Card? Some things to consider: Have you been using LivingSocial for some time now, and really getting a lot of benefit out of it? If so, this card, assuming the usual caveats that you use the card responsibly, will probably let you make out like a bandit.
Or have you just started, and you're all excited and possibly a candidate for someday having this credit card. Then I'd wait awhile and see if your passion for LivingSocial cools down or heats up. After all, the card is designed to make it easier to use LivingSocial and thus spend more money, and rightfully so, it rewards you for doing that.
But it's only going to pay off if you're a true LivingSocial disciple. After all, there's a cottage industry that's been created around people who use daily deal sites like LivingSocial and Groupon but don't actually use their coupons. That's right, if you have LivingSocial or Groupon buyer's remorse, you can go to websites like DealsGoRound, CoupRecoup and Lifesta, where you can sell your daily deal and get some of your money back.
Capitalism is a strange and beautiful thing.
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