If you're a fan of social deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, you can now multiply those bargains by using your credit card. Today, Chase introduced the new LivingSocial Rewards Visa Card, the first credit card to partner with an online deals site.
With more than 65 million members in 22 countries, LivingSocial has become one of the most popular and fastest-growing sites of its kind. One reason it's caught on is that it allows you to plug into deals not just in your own metropolis, but your particular neighborhood (assuming you live in a fairly populated area).
Along with the usual half-price deals on restaurants and weekend getaways–hotels and B&Bs within driving distance–you can find bargains at LivingSocial on everything from car detailing and teeth whitening to fitness boot camps and zoo admission. Quite often, prices offered are a fraction of standard rates, the idea being to introduce you to local businesses and hope you'll come back for more.
This Visa offers consumers the ability to earn LivingSocial "Deal Bucks" at an accelerated rate, with no annual fee. Cardholders can earn five points per dollar spent on LivingSocial purchases, three points per dollar spent on dining, and the standard one point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
To put this into perspective, 100 points equals one LivingSocial Deal Buck, which means the more you buy into LivingSocial's deals, the more of their deals you can purchase. If you eat out a lot, using this card at restaurants can also net you a lot of points fast. There are no limits on the amount of points you can earn and Deal Bucks are automatically applied to a card member's next eligible purchase on LivingSocial.com.
As a special promotion for 2012, card members will receive 10 Deal Bucks after making 10 purchases each billing cycle.
Fodors.com contributor Cathleen McCarthy is the rewards expert for CreditCards.com and covers hotel and travel deals in Northeast cities on her own network, Save on Cities. Her stories have appeared in The Washington Post, WSJ, Amtrak ARRIVE, Town & Country, and inflight magazines.