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3-On Your Side: Digital Coupons

jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s a time honored tradition, cutting coupons out of the Sunday newspaper.

Now, you can leave that wallet stuffed with paper at home, thanks to coupons going digital!

As 3 On Your Side consumer reporter Jim Donovan tells us, all it takes to rake in the savings is the click of a mouse and a swipe of your plastic.

Mother of six, Meghan Caron spends most Sundays clipping coupons.

“It is a massive undertaking. I really anticipate the Sunday paper coming,” said Caron.

But keeping tabs on all those offers isn’t easy so Meghan hopes to cut back on clipping by using digital coupons.

They’re promotions or discounts that are automatically loaded on to your debit card, credit card, or store loyalty card.

Simply use your plastic in-store or online to redeem the savings.

“It is convenient. Consumers don’t have to stuff their purse or their wallet with a bunch of paper coupons, and they don’t have to worry about forgetting them, because it’s linked to their card,” said Jenna Herron with BankRate.com

Some e-coupons can be found directly on your credit or debit card statement.

Others are available through third party web sites.

“Typically, you register your debit card, credit card, or store loyalty card on either the third party web site or your bank issuer’s web site. And then, when you see a coupon that you want, you just click on it,’ said Herron.

And soon you’ll be able to download deals via billboards, magazines, and television, too!

“You scan a QR code, or you type in a star-star code on your mobile device, and that offer is linked right to your card,” said Tom Burgess with Linkable Networks.

While e-coupons can save you dollars, most services monitor your purchase history, so you can receive targeted coupons.

So be sure that you read the privacy policy before signing up for these services, that way you’ll know how the information is gathered, what is collected, who it’s being shared with.

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