- Few Website Revamps – Only two firms overhauled their sites during July. BB&T and Merrill Edge both redesigned their private sites. BB&T incorporated elements of responsive design to their website and mobile platforms,as the main navigation menu and browser windows now automatically adjust according to the device being used to access the site.Meanwhile, the Merrill Edge private site now features a simplified, action-oriented navigation experience.
- Abundance of Cash Back Promotions – Four firms announced new cash back promotions during July. Discover launched Discover Deals, a new rewards program that allows customers to earn cash back bonuses of up to 20%. TD Ameritrade, ShareBuilder, and TradeKing are offering between $1,000 and $2,500 for opening or funding a new or pre-existing brokerage account.
- Responsive Design is Trending – Keeping up with trends in the digital media market, two firms added elements of responsive web design to their sites and mobile applications. Fidelity added elements of responsive design to its public brokerage site, which now accommodates smaller screen sizes. BB&T’s responsive design improves the display as it pertains to the main navigation and browser windows.
Firms Complementing Full Sites with New Microsites
Two firms in our coverage group released new microsites in July. Northwestern Mutual unveiled their new Spanish language microsite that provides basic information on financial planning, products, and careers within the firm. Chase’s Ink from Chase sitelet offers information on three of the firm’s Ink credit cards: Ink Cash, Ink Plus, and Ink Bold.The site also includes a tool that helps small business owners decide which card would work best for them.
Ink from Chase MicroSite
GEICO added a new tool to its public site that is run by GasBuddy, a website that tracks the price of gas at fueling stations. The tool requires users to enter their ZIP code to search for the nearest gas stations and their respective price per gallon. Additionally, in order to retain interest in the tool, Esurance also revealed a sweepstakes through its Fuelcaster tool, which is a gas pricing tool also run by GasBuddy. The firm is giving away $100 gas cards to five daily winners and a $1000 gas card grand prize to five recipients.
GEICO – Find Local Gas Prices
Discover introduced a new rewards program – Discover Deals – that allows customers to receive additional cash back bonuses of up to 20% when shopping for certain sets of products at participating merchants, both online and in-store. Barclays reduced its initial spending bonus for the Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard from 30,000 award miles after spending $5,000 in the first 30 days of account opening to earning 15,000 award miles for the same initial spending. New Chase Freedom card holders likewise now earn a reduced $150 cash back bonus instead of the previous $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Finally, U.S. Bank Perks+ Visa Signature card holders now receive two points for every dollar on net purchases made at gas stations and grocery stores for the first 12 billing cycles. This replaces the previous 10,000-point initial use bonus when spending $500 in the first 90 days on the Perks+ card.