|by Mr Credit Card|
We continue our series of online shopping portal review with Bank of America’s Add It Up portal. Unlike other credit card online shopping portals, Add It Up is available to those with a simple BOA checking account (that means you do not need to get their credit cards to have this feature). If you do not have a BOA credit card account, you simply use your debit card that is given to you when you open a checking account.
Here are instructions on how to access the BOA’s Add It Up program. Firstly, you have to log into your account and you do so by going to www.bankofamerica.com and logging into the account. In this example, I am actually using my account. You can go to the Add It Up site from the link (shown in the orange arrow).
Once you get to the Add It Up home page, you will see several offers. If you look at the left navigation, you can see that you can search their online retail partners by category. There are also “limited time offers” searches and there are also “recommendations for you”!
To demonstrate how this works, we will be using dell.com as an example. Let us assume that we are going to buy something from dell.com. We’ll click on the dell.com link on the previous page and it will take us to this page (below) where the terms and conditions are listed. In dell.com’s case, the special offer is an addtional 3% rebates on top of the regular 2% rebates, making it a total of 5%. The offer is limited until the end of February.
But to be sure there are no surprises, you should actually click on the “blue terms and conditions link” and check out what it has to say. And true enough, there are more terms that you should be aware of. The first thing it says is that if you call dell for customer support and service (with any questions), you may not receive you add it up cash back. They also list several types of purchases like gift cards or purchases from auctions@DellExchange that are not eligible to earn the cash back from Add It Up. It also says that you can only earn cash back from 2 orders a month and the shipping has to be within the 50 US States and the District of Columbia. It further says that you will not earn cash back from Dell Small Business website if you click the tab on dell.com. You have to go to the Dell Small Business website (also a Add It Up partner) directly from the Add It Up menu.
So as you can see, it pays to read the terms and conditions before making your purchases. Once you are ready, just click the shop now button and it will take you to Dell.com where your purchases made with your BOA debit or credit card will be tracked.
Like the Citi Bonus Cash Center and Capital One Perk Central, Add It Up also has “in store” or “off line sotre” partners. If you click “instore” on the left navigation bar, it will take you to the following page (see below).
Once again, we will use a merchant as an example to see how this works. We will choose FTD. By clicking on the FTD link, it takes us to this page (below) where it list certain terms and conditions. It turns out that you can receive rebates from FTD even if you order by phone. They even listed the coupon code that you have to use with it together with their home iphone.
Key Statistics of Add It Up – Compared to other credit card online shopping portals, the Add It Up program has got the second most number of partners (behind Citi Bonus Cash Center which has the most). In total, they have 528 partners (as of our last count in January 2012). Out of the 528 partners, 246 partners offered either the highest rebates, matched the highest rebates or were exclusive merchants.
The other key difference between this program and others is that you do not need a BOA credit card to use it. As long as you have a checking account, you can use your BOA debit card and earn cash back from your online and off line shopping.
Opinion – The Add It Up is a pretty decent online shopping portal. Among the five major credit card issuers that we studied, the Add It Up portal has got the second largest number of merchant partners (behind Citi Bonus Cash Center). That means it has more partners than Capital One’s Perk Central, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Discover. It also has off line partners where you can also shop over the phone and earn rebates (though Citi also has catalog partners).
For us, shopdiscover still remains our Editor’s Choice because the minimum payout is 5% (the highest minimum level compared to everyone else) and the Citi Bonus Cash Center has more partners than any other portal and comes in a close second place. This puts BOA’s Add It Up slightly behind Citi but ahead of Perk Central and Ultimate Rewards.
I wouldn’t rush out to get a BOA card simply because of Add It Up. But if you have one of their cash back cards or a checking account, you might just want to check it out the next time you shop online. It might earn you some cash rebates and save you a few bucks.