Multiply savings with new LivingSocial Visa credit card

Starting today, you can ramp up the bargains on by using your credit card – that would be the new LivingSocial Rewards Visa, first credit card ever to team up with a deals site. Chase just introduced their newest rewards card today. (Can Groupon be far behind?)

The LivingSocial Visa card comes with no annual fee and, as an incentive for signing up, card members receive 10 Deal Bucks after making 10 purchases each billing cycle throughout 2012. Cardholders can earn five points per dollar spent on LivingSocial purchases, three points per dollar spent on dining, and one point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Launched a year ago in Washington DC, LivingSocial has become one of the fastest-growing social deal sites, with 65 million members. Metropolitan areas covered have rapidly expanded beyond the DC metro area to 67 cities in North America – including New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco – and 74 cities in Europe.

One reason Living Social has taken off is that it makes it easy to find not just generic online discounts but deals specific to your neighborhood – often businesses ten minutes away that you didn’t know existed. In Philadelphia, for example, you can buy an annual membership to Morris Arboretum for $27 right now. I paid nearly twice that last year.

Along with daily deals and half-price vouchers for local restaurants and hotels within weekend getaway range, you can find bargains on everything from mani-pedis and spa treatments to full-scale vacations via LivingSocial Escapes – all at bargain prices. The theory is to lure first-time customers and get ’em hooked. But there’s enough on offer to skip around grabbing bargains for quiet a while – and it’s a great excuse to explore your turf.

The LivingSocial Visa card is designed to encourage spending on the LivingSocial site, of course – thus, the five points per dollar there – but dining out can rack up points fast as well. To translate, 100 points equals one LivingSocial Deal Buck. So if you spend $100 on LivingSocial, you earn 500 Deal Bucks – which equals $5 more to spend on LivingSocial.

As with any rewards card, this one will produce valuable rewards only if you’re already charging a lot on these particular purchases – in other words, if you’re already an online deals fanatic, especially at LivingSocial, and eat out a lot. There are no limits on the amount of points you can earn with the LivingSocial Visa credit card and Deal Bucks are automatically applied to a card member’s next eligible purchase on LivingSocial.

Cathleen McCarthy is the rewards expert at and covers travel rewards for Fodor’s Travel Blog. Note: LivingSocial is one of many affiliate partners of Save on Cities.