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LivingSocial adds credit card

By Janna Herron · Bankrate.com
Monday, March 5, 2012
Posted: 4 pm ET

Here is LivingSocial's deal of the day: a new credit card.

The second-biggest daily discount website is launching a co-branded credit card with Chase, according to an interview the company's CEO gave Reuters last week. The no-annual fee card will carry Visa's logo and be available to all LivingSocial's subscribers.

Cardholders can earn 10 credits called Deal Bucks after they make 10 purchases a month on the card. Those credits can be used to pay for daily deals from LivingSocial plus any other offers the site lists, such as discounted travel packages.

So why is LivingSocial getting into the credit card biz?

One reason is to appease retailers who complain that daily discount sites don't actually encourage repeat customers. Shoppers wait for a deal on LivingSocial before coming back to the store to shop.

LivingSocial's CEO told Reuters that the card will allow small- and medium-sized businesses to offer benefits like those given by co-branded or store loyalty cards to their customers. The exec didn't go into details, but did note those types of programs generally offer deferred interest and rewards for shopping with the retailer.

This move by LivingSocial isn't out of the blue. Last year, a survey by Lightspeed Research found that more than a quarter of LivingSocial subscribers would be interested in a branded credit card. More than a third of subscribers to Groupon, the largest daily deal site, said they'd sign up for one.

Still, adding a LivingSocial credit card to your wallet should take more thought than clicking on one of its daily deals. If the co-branded card is similar to store credit cards, the interest rate will probably be higher than bank credit cards. Most store credit cards have interest rates that run into the 20s, even if you have good credit.

Also, opening another credit card account will dent your credit score because the lender will need to pull your credit report.

Last, you may get great promotional deals through your LivingSocial credit card, but make sure to weigh that against other credit cards that offer extra perks. For example, if you purchase a LivingSocial deal with a rewards card, you could end up getting more bang for your Deal Buck.

Would you consider a LivingSocial credit card or a Groupon credit card if it existed? Tell me why or why not.

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron.

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