Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Places for Coupons!

By Renee Hanson, Private Wealth Advisor, Ameriprise Financial

Don’t be surprised if you begin to see coupons for the places you frequently shop on your online bank or credit card statements. Available in the coming weeks to more than 8 million bank and credit card customers, Statement Rewards is a new service that is both a loyalty program and a daily deal.

How it works

When you view your online bank or credit card statement, you’ll see links to participating vendors where you can redeem coupons and loyalty rewards. These offers are based on the frequency with which you’ve shopped and the amount you’ve spent at a particular store. For example, if you’re a regular at Starbucks, you may receive a $5 coupon if you’ve spent $100 there in the past month.

When you click on the reward link, an expanded window with full reward details will appear. Then, you’ll have the option to “purchase” the reward with the card that corresponds to your Statement Rewards account. If you choose to take advantage of the offer, you’ll receive a receipt for the reward and instructions explaining how to redeem it.

In addition, you can choose to be notified on your smart phone of how close you are to receiving a discount when you’re at or near your favorite stores. The smart phone opportunities may offer even greater savings than the online reward because you’re closer to the store.

Pros and cons

The obvious benefit for marketers is that Statement Rewards enables businesses to target known customers with relevant and personalized deals.

As a consumer you’ll benefit by having opportunities to save at the places you already shop. Plus, the rewards may be available from small local businesses you frequent, not just large national retailers. What’s more, instead of multiple rewards cards, your debit or credit card becomes your master loyalty card.

Yet, if you are wary of aggressive marketing techniques, advertisements on your bank and credit card statements may seem intrusive. If this is the case, you can opt out of the program.

Other considerations

A deal is only a deal if it saves you money on something you already planned to purchase. In other words, if you find yourself purchasing more than you regularly would to earn the reward, it’s probably not money well spent.

Do you want more helpful financial tips? Log-on to www.WeHelpWomen.com to take our interactive courses on everything from budgeting, saving and living rich on a small budget.

Renée A. Hanson, CFP®, CEP®, CDFA™, CFS, is a private wealth advisor with Hanson, Ayala & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Her passion is in helping women achieve their dreams and financial goals, regardless of life’s many obstacles. Renée is licensed/registered to do business with U.S. residents only in the states of AZ, CA, CO, GA, IA, IL, MI, MN, MT, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, PA, SC, TX, VA, WA, WI. Please visit: www.reneehanson.com to learn more. Ameriprise Financial does not provide tax or legal advice. Consult your tax advisor or attorney. Brokerage, investment and financial advisory services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC. Some products and services may not be available in all jurisdictions or to all clients.

© 2011 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.

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