By Jeffrey Green (@epaymentsguy)
A major issue affecting coupon and other discount offers is the difficulty consumers often have tying them to specific cards and automating redemptions.
To address this problem, two companies, American Express and Coupons.com, this week announced initiatives designed to help streamline the redemption process and tie offers to payment cards consumers generally use when shopping. Their efforts join those of other companies, including Cartera, Cardlytics and edo Interactive, that aim to address similar redemption issues.
American Express card members now may earn couponless savings via statement credits from Amex Offers merchant partners under a new one-stop-shop initiative the company announced April 8.
More than $15 million in statement credit savings are available, Amex said. Since launching Amex Offers, card members have redeemed some $75 million worth of offers.
When visiting the newly launched amexoffers.com account dashboard, customers may sign in using their existing Amex user ID and password to review and select available merchant digital offers to their eligible Amex card. Then when they use the card at the qualified merchant, the discount savings appear as statement credits on their bill.
The program is designed to help merchants attract new customers and generate repeat business by serving up targeted offers. The amexoffers.com hub consolidates all offers to deliver them to card members through their channel of choice, Amex said in the announcement.
The card company curates and ranks Amex Offers based on individual relevance, considering the card member's spending history and location. Through the online account dashboard, card members also may track which they have saved and view personal savings based on offers redeemed to date.
Amex also is using social media to tie in the savings. To receive offers via Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter or TripAdvisor, card members connect their eligible card to their channel of choice. They then may review the offers available and follow the prompts to save the offers to the card.
Examples of merchants offering statement-credit savings through the program include BP (spend $30, get $5), Brooklyn Industries (spend $75, get $15). Crate & Barrel (spend $50, get $10), Elie Tahari (spend $300, get $75), Fig & Olive (spend $100, get $20), Lowes (spend $50, get $10), PetSmart (spend $25, get $5), and Zappos (spend $150, get $30).
Meanwhile, at Coupons.com, which earn $168 million through an initial public offering last month, has begun offering card-linked offers that can link to any branded cards, including Amex cards. In that sense, Amex’s discount deals tied to statement credits appear antiquated in today’s market.
Through the Coupons.com initiative, consumers select which card to receive automatic coupon discounts when used to initiative the payment. Unlike waiting for credits to appear on statements, however, the savings show up automatically when paying.
Some 12 offers currently are available, including $20 cash back from Travelocity when spending $200 with the company, $15 back when spending $100 at Vitamin World and 6 percent cash back when spending $50 or more at Athleta. Other participating merchants include Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Tilly’s, The Body Shop and others. Coupons.com sends an email or text message confirming the discounts when redeemed.
Coupons.com cites savings, convenience and information security as being among the chief benefits from the card-linked discount offers.
The company reportedly built the new service, called CardLink IQ, using technology it acquired from its acquisition of Yub last year.