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Earn Discounts Though Your Credit Card

swipe credit card storeCoupons.com and American Express have come up with new free services that let consumers link their credit and debit cards to coupons to earn automatic discounts, gift cards and statement credits when they use their cards.

Both services are similar to Target’s retail store card, which gives customers an automatic 5% discount on in-store and website purchases. However, the Target card can’t be used outside its stores.

Only a handful of offers are available through Coupons.com’s service, called Card Linked Offers, and only three of the four major card brands – Visa, MasterCard and American Express, but not Discover – are eligible.

To use the Coupons.com service, shoppers register their card – either a debit or credit card – through the Coupons.com website or mobile apps. The cards can be issued by any bank as long as they’re branded by one of the three participating networks.

Consumers then use the linked payment card to make the purchase. No coupons or mobile codes are required.

Customers get a text message or email notification confirming the coupon was accepted. Cash discounts are credited directly to the consumer’s card account and settled within a few days. In the case of a gift card reward, redemption codes are sent within a few minutes.

A dozen offers are currently available, such as $5 off a purchase of $10 or more at Denny’s, 6% cash back on $50 or more at the GAP and Old Navy, and $20 cash back when spending $200 at Travelocity. Other offers are available from Banana Republic, the Body Shop and other retailers.

Meanwhile, American Express has launched a similar free service called Amex Offers that lets its cardholders earn savings in the form of statement credits by shopping at selected merchants.

Using their existing Amex user ID and password, customers sign in to review current offers at amexoffers.com and select available merchant digital offers to their Amex card. Then, when they use the card at the merchant, the discount savings appear as credits on their next statement.

More than $15 million in statement credit savings are currently available on Amex’s site. Current offers include $5 off a $30 purchase at BP gas stations, $10 off $50 of spending at Lowe’s and Crate & Barrel, and $5 off $25 of purchases at PetSmart.

Amex says its service manages and ranks offers based on the customer’s spending history and location.

Through the online account dashboard, card members can track which offers they have already saved to their card and view their personal savings based on offers they’ve redeemed to date.

Amex customers can also receive offers and connect their eligible card through Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter or TripAdvisor.

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