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Small Business Discounts: Rewards Programs at Community Banks

Nov. 16, 2012
Personal Finance
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Black Friday may be getting all the buzz, but when do you show love for the local economy? On Small Business Saturday, of course. This year, when you’re doing your holiday shopping, be sure to support local businesses: restaurants, gift shops and community banks! When you open an account at a community bank, you not only support a local business. You also support every other business in your community. Community banks lend out approximately 66% of their assets to small businesses, way more than any big bank.

Community bank discount programs: give a little, get a little

All community banks make small business loans, but some of them give back to businesses (and you) in another way: local discount programs. That’s right: just by being a bank customer, you might be eligible for special discounts that aren’t available to anyone else. There’s never been a better reason to shop local, and bank local, too. Check out NerdWallet’s favorite community bank discount programs below. They’re perfect for Small Business Saturday, the holiday shopping season, and every day of the year.

Mechanics Bank (Mansfield, OH) – “The Good Life” Discounts

At Mechanics Bank, it pays to live the good life (literally). If you’re a member of their Good Life Club, you’re eligible for discounts at nearly a hundred local businesses. Whether you’re looking for gifts and jewelry, or something more practical like hardware or home improvement services, you’ll find a coupon for exactly what you need. Most businesses listed will offer you 5 – 20% off your purchase, or a complimentary item or service, when you present your Good Life Membership Card prior to purchase. Mechanics Bank customers 50 or better with $5,000 or more in total deposits qualify for membership in the Good Life club, which also includes special access to trips and tours, networking opportunities, free financial education and unique volunteer opportunities. Mechanics Bank has branches in Mansfield and Lexington.

Burke & Herbert Bank (Alexandria, VA) – Partner Discounts Program

Just for being a Burke & Herbert Bank customer, you’re eligible for discounts at more than 200 local merchants and service providers. Most merchants offer at least 10% off a certain good, service or purchase, and a few of them offer as much as 25 – 50% off. Some of the more unique businesses on this list include pet sitters, architecture firms and tickets to the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra. Burke & Herbert Bank has 25 branches throughout Northern Virginia.

First Reliance Bank (Florence, SC) – Local Business Discounts

First Reliance Bank currently offers discounts at 8 local merchants, including 3 local artists, a chiropractor and a fishing charter company. They’re actively looking to expand this discount list, so if you have a local business, contact them to add your discount free. First Reliance Bank’s local business discount program is available to all bank customers. Still need to switch banks? We recommend taking a look at their Simple Green Checking account, which is free with e-statements. First Reliance Bank has branches in Florence, Lexington, West Columbia and Mount Pleasant.

American Trust & Savings Bank (Dubuque, IA) – Merchant Discount Program

American Trust & Savings Bank’s partner merchants will offer you discounts when you present your debit card, credit card or checkbook at the time you make your purchase. Save an average of 5 – 20% on apparel and footwear, food, gifts, beauty services, fitness, photo services and much more. All bank customers with a bank credit card or deposit account qualify for the discount program. Take a look at their REWARDChecking account if you’re still looking to switch banks. This free account offers 3.01% APY on your balance up to $15,000 when you meet some basic monthly requirements. American Trust & Savings Bank has branches in Dubuque, Dyersville, Farley and West De Moines.

Community First Bank (Boscobel, WI) – GenGold Rewards Program

The GenGold Rewards Program is Community First Bank’s optional $5 per month add-on to their otherwise free Classic Checking account. In addition to identity theft protection, cash back rewards at national online retailers, and travel and health discounts, this program also makes you eligible to participate in Community First Bank’s local rewards program. Check out the current list of participating local businesses, organized by city. You’ll save an average of 5 – 25% on food, clothing, entertainment, and other goods and services. Community First Bank has branches in Boscobel, Blue River, Muscoda, Richland Center, Reedsburg and Baraboo.

Damascus Community Bank (Damascus, MD) – Prime Time Club

Damascus Community Bank’s Prime Time Club is open to all customers 50 or better who maintain a combined total of $10,000 in deposits. In return for your investments, you’ll enjoyed discounted rates on trips and outings, discounted bank services, higher yields on CDs and IRAs, plus access to exclusive discounts at local participating merchants. This list includes legal services, car repair, music, pizza and gifts, just to name a few. Damascus Community Bank has branches in Damascus, Laytonsville, Clarksburg, Monrovia and Mount Airy.

First Community Bank of Joliet (Joliet, IL) – Loyalty Club

The First Community Bank of Joliet created the Loyalty Club, a client rewards program, to help local businesses overcome economic challenges. To date, over 80 local businesses participate in the discount program. Unique services include catering, horseback riding lessons, drivers training and childcare. Visit the Loyalty Club Partners page and click on each business for a description of the discount. Any customer can join the program by requesting a Loyalty Club card, which you’ll need to present to the merchant before making your purchase. First Community Bank of Joliet has branches in Joliet, Channahon and Naperville.

Community State Bank (Ankeny, IA) – Member Privilege Discount Program

Select 50 Plus is Community State Bank’s suite of programs and services for customers 50 or better. It includes special accounts, discounted travel and event programs, a friend referral program, and discounts at participating local merchants. Just use your Select 50 Plus debit card to make your purchase, and you’ll be eligible for a free product and service, or 5 – 50% off your purchases. Save money on your next trip to the golf course, racquetball center or bike shop, or spend time inside getting a tan, enjoying a fabulous dinner, or getting your hair done. Community State Bank has branches in Altoona, Ankeny, Des Moines, Johnston, Pleasant Hill and Waukee in Central Iowa.