Discount card launches as iPhone appFeature Story Thursday, August 9th, 2012
Offering a discount to support a social cause is certainly nothing new in commerce or politics; and one where both business and cardholder can come together in support of such a worthy cause as equal rights is obviously a win-win for all parties.
One spin on that tried-true-model is The Pride Card, a keychain discount card that gives more than 8,000 consumers special deals at restaurants, shops and other businesses, while simultaneously providing contributions to non-profits that serve the LGBT community.
The card, founded by Bo Andras in July 2009, and launched at the San Diego Pride festival that same year expanded its reach just in time for Pride, with the launch of a new iPhone Pride Card mobile application.
The Pride Card allows businesses to show their support for equal rights, while offering special discounts to cardholders for goods and services. All the cardholder has to do is show her card when checking out.
Says Andras, “In May 2011, I partnered with Stampp Corbin, publisher of San Diego LGBT Weekly, and we restructured The Pride Card and rebranded it into the LGBT Weekly Pride Card.”
According to Andras. The Pride Card mobile app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch was approved and launched July 18. The Pride Card mobile app for Android is planned.
The Pride Card is also an integrated part of a popular new location-driven iPhone app called OutRightNow. Says Andras, “This app with GPS, informs the user of anything happening in San Diego that is a LGBT event – for example, a happy hour bar, a weekend activity or a bar event, as well as non-profit events. In this app The Pride Card is listed as Pride Card discounts and it contains the same information and style as The Pride Card app will have. We have partnered with OutRightNow and are co-branding the app.”
The Pride Card app is GPS-based and shows the logo, address and contact information, as well as “share” or “add to favorites” functions for the closest Pride Card business to the users current location.
“You also have the choice, with a drop down menu, to search by category of what business you are looking for,” Andras said. Once you find the business, just click on it and it will bring you to The Pride Card discount and let you know what it is and if there are any restrictions – just like the Web site listing does. You can also click on the business Web site and can go directly there for additional information. In the OutRightNow app, if a business listed is a Pride Card business, The Pride Card icon will appear to let you know that this business has The Pride Card discount.”
The Pride Card currently has more than 100 businesses that offer discounts for goods or services. While the card is based in San Diego, and a large majority of the businesses that support it are in the San Diego area, Andras points out that, “We are distributing The Pride Card in Oceanside at the NCRC, in Vista and in San Bernardino/Riverside through Inland Empire Pride. We will also start bringing on businesses in those areas once we get the cardholder level up to where it will benefit those businesses.”
One such local establishment that supports the card is Baja Betty’s. Says the bar’s Courtney, “We love The Pride Card. It is an opportunity to attract in new guests who may not have heard of Baja Betty’s, and we accept it because it is a great program based in the gay community.”
Adds David, manager of Crypt on Park, another business that supports The Pride Card, “It brings in people who also support equal rights, increases traffic to our business through The Pride Card Website, and keeps customers coming back since we offer a 20 percent discount to cardholders on their most expensive item.”
Expansion is on the cards. Adds Andras, “I am constantly being contacted by people and businesses from all over the country wanting to join and be a part of The Pride Card. I have also been contacted by a few places in Baja, Mexico, that are interested. We are looking to expand The Pride Card into more areas. That will come in time and after we make sure we are doing it right, here in San Diego.”
Continues Andras, “The biggest task is to get The Pride Card in the hands of local customers so that the local businesses can benefit. If it’s a business that wants to draw Pride cardholders from San Diego, then it could be a business that can come onboard sooner, instead of waiting for us to expand to them – for example, a tourist destination or a hotel or vacation venue wanting to offer a discount.”
What are the benefits to cardholders? Says Baja Betty’s Courtney, “The benefit for the cardholder is, first, saving a little money. Also, it is a nice way to say thank you for choosing Betty’s as your bar/dining experience for that time.”
At The Crypt on Park, David said of cardholder benefits, “Twenty percent off one item per person, per day, and the peace of mind of knowing that our business caters to LGBT community members.”
Obtaining a card is simply a matter of stopping by one of 12 designated distribution locations and providing a name and email. The card received is already active. Shortly after getting a card, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the cardholder receives an email announcing any new businesses and the discounts they offer. The email also highlights existing businesses that already support the card and extra discounts or coupons the cardholder can receive.
As to why businesses accept the card, Crypt on Park’s David, says, “We support the LGBT community, equal rights for all, and that no discrimination of any kind will be tolerated. Those are our values and that of The Pride Card, hence we love accepting it.”
A complete card distribution location list – which includes The Center, Mankind and the Postal Annex in Hillcrest – can be found on The Pride Card Web site at thepridecard.com
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