“Which of my credit / debit cards can get me the best deal on an online or offline purchase?”
This is a question all of us grapple with in the quest to maximise rewards and discounts from almost everything that we shop for now. Besides a plethora of loyalty cards from various stores, it is quite common for consumers to have more than one credit / debit card. How do you decide which card is the best to use, and where?
That is the dilemma Cardback aims to solve. It is a recommendation engine which displays the best offers and savings that are possible with the cards you hold.
Had chanced upon the app sometime towards the end of last year during my usual “app-hunts”, but it wasn’t of much use then since physical locations in Pune weren’t covered. Now that they are, I decided to try it out. Besides Pune, establishments in Delhi – NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad are covered.
At first glance, the permissions needed by the app as well as their terms and conditions are daunting and somewhat discomforting, regardless of the explanations given but good that it is mentioned here.
The main screen has three tabs;
- ‘Explore’ – which lets you decide on a course of action among the 9 specified (online as well as offline)
- ‘Smart Pay’ – where you specify how much you’d like to spend, and where. Based on the cards you have, the app suggests which one gets you maximum bang for the buck
- ‘Card Holder’ – which displays the cards you’ve added and allows further additions
The best part is that there is no need to add any actual card numbers at all, only the card type, so none of your financial information is being accessed here. Most of the major card issuing banks are included, along with Paytm, Citrus, and Mobikwik among wallets.
While the app mostly works as it should, there are some quirks and mismatched data, like:
- under Pay Bills, it has “Citibank Online Bill Pay” with “Use HSBC Platinum Visa Credit Card” and 1-2 similar ones
- under Movies, it shows offers from “The Economist”, “Open Magazine”, “Fortune India”, “India Today” etc
- while most of the locations were nearby (<5 kms), it did go off tangent at times, showing places > 10 kms away
It also takes too much time – right from loading initially to displaying recommendations. I tried it offline at a couple of places and it took a fair bit of time to show me the best offer at those places, which can get irritating. Not too many physical establishments with offers are visible currently for Pune, although I expect that scenario would improve over time.
There’s a tab for the Menu, which lets you log in via Twitter and Facebook. The app can be used without logging in too, which is good. Settings option lets you specify your interests as well as whether you’d like to receive notifications. Funny thing is even though I checked all, I don’t recall ever seeing any notifications. They also have a tie-up with Uber where you enter a code and get two free rides worth Rs 300 each (for first time users only).
The FAQ appears to be designed in a hurry and is all over the place with text overlapping across two screens.
Overall, it’s an interesting and useful app to have if you use multiple credit / debit cards & wallets and are always looking for the best offers and deals on those cards.
It’s available for download on Android, iOS and Windows Phone.