At a time when most U.S. bank credit cards seem to be stuck in a competitive rut, Sina Weibo, China's popular micro-blogging site, may have just created, as The Next Web reports, the world's first "social" credit card. able to link a user's online social identity with his or her financial activity.
Here's how it works: After a user has confirmed their identity, provided a mobile phone number and profile picture, and established that they have a minimum number of followers, they can start receiving offers related to their online interests or begin leaving real-time direct messages to the merchant about their most recent shopping experience.
The idea is not entirely novel, since both Citi and American Express have experimented with "social" credit cards that give users offers and discounts after they've linked their Facebook or Twitter account to a credit card. In fact, as WUSA9 has reported, "going social" is now a big push among credit card competitors, with recent deals involving Facebook, Zynga and Living Social. However, with Sina Weibo's card there's a twist in the form of a "shared bonus system"as TechRice has termed it, which allows users to earn credit card rewards faster by being active on Weibo. Or, put another way: The more you tweet, the faster the rewards pile up.