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Companies Developing “Social” Credit Cards

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As consumers become more reliant on social media every day, many companies are looking for ways to incentivize use of credit cards in conjunction with this purchasing method.

Businesses such as LivingSocial – the world’s second-largest daily deal social couponing service – and American Express are now working independently to encourage more use of their products by offering consumers more incentive to get involved.

For LivingSocial’s part, it is introducing a credit card that aims to encourage consumers to frequent the same businesses over and over again in an effort to earn special rewards, according to a report from Reuters. The card, which will be issued by Chase and carry the Visa brand, will be offered to all of LivingSocial’s users in the U.S.

The reason shoppers who frequently use the program to make purchases will be incentivized to adopt the program is that those who make 10 purchases with the credit card in a given month will receive 10 “Deal Bucks,” which are credits issued by LivingSocial, the report said. These Deal Bucks can then be put toward future LivingSocial daily deals and other offers, including discounted travel arrangements. The upside for merchants to encourage use of the program, at least initially, is that they will receive a small amount of funding from the social couponing company.

“We will use this as a platform to encourage people to come back to merchants,” LivingSocial chief financial officer John Bax told the news agency. “Small and medium-sized local businesses will never be able tohave their own credit card or loyalty program. We will be able to bring them the benefits of that.”

Meanwhile, American Express recently announced plans to launch its own daily deals service in what it called an effort to turn America into a “couponless nation,” according to a report from Daily Finance. The program encourages users to sync their AmEx credit cards with their Twitter accounts, then use special hashtags in their tweets that will automatically link their account with special deals offered by a number of business partners, including Best Buy, H&M, Ticketmaster, Whole Foods Markets and more.

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Businesses are now looking for a larger number of ways to incentivize credit card use, as consumers may still be somewhat cautious in returning to this type of purchasing in the wake of the recent recession.

Image: orphanjones, via Flickr

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