Because between the existing glut of daily deals websites is apparently not sufficient, and because we aren’t already inundated with complaints about Bank of America, the nation’s second-largest but most-reviled financial institution has decided to branch out into the online deals business with BankAmeriDeals.
With a name that catchy, you just know it’s going to be successful.
The service, which starts testing this week, lets customers earn savings at various retailers based on spending patterns. The bank claims that neither the retailers nor the customer pays anything to BofA; it’s just banking on the hope that the offers will get consumers to use their fee-laden Bank of America cards to make the discounted purchases.
Reuters describes how it works:
When customers log in to Bank of America’s online banking site, they will see discount offers — a percentage off the amount spent at a retailer — embedded in their statement and under a separate tab. They can accept the offers they want to use.
When customers make their purchases, they pay full price, but at the beginning of the next month they receive cash back in their accounts. Customers can only use Bank of America debit or credit cards to trigger the savings.
The bank admits it will earn some revenue during that period of time during which the transaction is being settled, but this extra cash is not part of its’ “core strategy.” Honest to god. They swear it. It you believe that, you might also believe the bank’s claim that it won’t share any of your information with third parties.
Bank of America employees — a group that continues to shrink in size — will be the first ones to try out the service. There is currently no set date for when we will start receiving complaints from the general public about BankAmeriDeals.