Aug 22, 2006

Discover discovers cash back, and offers a truly boring promotion

How about this for the main theme of your next advertising campaign: "Earn cashback rewards that never expire." This theme was advertised all over the Gaylord Opryland Mall in Nashville (right next to country music's legendary Grand Ole Opry).

Zoom in on the fine print at the bottom right of this huge banner. It says, "Earn up to 1% Cashback Bonus on each purchase. Rewards have no expiration date; however, certain circumstances, such as Account closure and inactivity for more than 36 months, could result in forfeiture of of some or all of your Cashback Bonus."

The credit card industry has come to the point where cards are so much alike that banks get excited about even the slightest differentiation. Cashback that never expires? There have got to be more exciting ways to market credit cards.

Another thing: you walk around the mall and you see "buy 1 get 1 free" this, "20% off" that, and all kinds of other promotions. In comparison, Discover's 1% Cashback looks miserable. Even if the 1% doesn't ever expire. Buy a new flat screen TV at 20% off today, and you could probably save as much in that single transaction as a year of 1% Cashback!


Ling said...


Next, pls?

Anonymous said...

Actually, there is quite a practical variety in cash back credit cards. Many of them offer quite lucrative rewards in various categories (gas, restaurants, travel, grocery, utilities, etc.).

The cash back reward you can earn from credit cards depends on your particular spending profile -- especially how much you spend in various categories.

The reward calculator tool at makes choosing the best cash back card (or mix of cards) easy. Given your spending pattern, it calculates your expected annual rewards for each of the leading cash back credit cards and even for your best mix of cards. See the tool at .