Prefer using debit cards over credit cards, but miss earning rewards? Some debit cards offer cash-back rewards – either as a straight points-based redemption program or as a perks-based program directed at purchases with specific merchants. You may have debit card cash-back benefits through a perks-based program and not even realize it.
Cardlytics is one of the largest of the perks-based programs, having paid over $200 million in cash-back rewards to debit card holders. They have relationships with over 2,000 financial institutions across America, including large banks such as Bank of America, PNC, SunTrust, and Regions.
Essentially, Cardlytics offers cash-back rewards programs through the banks' online user interfaces in exchange for information on your spending habits. Their approach of targeted cash-back rewards allows you to easily redeem offers at merchants you already use.
When you shop at one of the many retailers partnering with Cardlytics – including major brands such as McDonalds, Starbucks, Whole Foods, and Hilton Hotels & Resorts – you'll receive cash-back offers on future purchases from those vendors or similar vendors within their network through your online banking apps.
Your purchase may be made either online or at a physical store location. When you make the future purchase and redeem the cash-back offer, the money is deposited into your bank account.
The Cardlytics website claims relationships with 20 of the 25 top U.S. restaurant chains according to Restaurant News, 23 of the top 50 U.S. retailers according to the National Retail Federation, 3 of the top 5 cable/satellite TV providers, and 3 of the top 4 wireless carriers. Given the wide variety of vendors across merchant types, you shouldn't have any trouble finding offers that you can use.
Banks are happy to adopt Cardlytics, since this allows them to offer a cash-back program funded through advertising – avoiding the need for fees or other income sources. In turn, Cardlytics benefits from their vendor partnerships and the information it acquires on your spending habits.
Merchants are happy to participate because the cash-back offers increase customer loyalty and lead to greater overall sales. Consumers benefit by collecting cash-back rewards without having to incur potentially high-interest debt or risk hurting their credit score to do so. You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes using Credit Manager by MoneyTips.
Since Cardlytics utilizes data on your spending habits, security is essential. The Cardlytics program is set up to not receive or share personally identifiable data. However, if you're concerned about the use of your data, you may want to investigate points-based alternatives. Both Discover and American Express offer debit cards with straight cash-back rewards programs that are independent of the items purchased, and various bank cards across the nation have similar offers.
As you evaluate options, don't focus on rewards to the exclusion of other account perks. Consider any associated fees or limitations associated with the card and the corresponding rewards programs. Do they compare favorably with Cardlytics? Do a thorough comparison to make sure that you find the best debit card option for your needs.
Whether or not you choose to give up credit, debit card rewards programs are available to help you make the most of your purchases. Check the debit card reward options provided by your bank – and if you don't like those options, look for competing offers at other financial institutions. Why not get the most out of all your financial accounts?
If you want more credit, check out our list of cash-back credit card offers.