Birch Looks to Optimize Your CC Rewards

canstockphoto24552253Confused as to which credit card best fits your needs?  A Gainesville, Fla.-based startup says it will help you decide, by analyzing shopping behavior and optimizing credit card rewards.

Birch, launched last week,  integrates with credit card providers and banks to track users’ shopping habits. The app then suggests which credit cards to use, so that users optimize their cashbacks or reward points from various retailers. Here’s how it works: the platform identifies how frequently you shop at Target, for example, then calculates the rewards you are missing out on, by not using Target’s REDCard.

The platform also features Mint-like budgeting tools, like spending alerts or savings recommendations. On average, Birch users can potentially increase their rewards earned by 30% to 50%, without having to change their spending habits, Birch founder Alex Cohen told Bank Innovation.

Early adoption has been really great for us. It’s true that a lot more people nowadays are not actually opening credit cards at all. So we are trying to excite them around this idea, and give them value. The problem with personal finance apps, The millennial generation doesn’t really trust FIs or banks, so personalization and customer interaction is key for any finance app.

In the next couple of weeks, the company plans to add a “Goals” feature to the Birch platform. The feature will allow users to set travel, or purchase goals, and Birch will then suggest and set up a rewards roadmap. “You tell us that you want to travel to L.A. We will sync up with your cards, and figure out, based on your past spendings, how you should optimize your credit card portfolio to gather the 90,000 points needed for the travels,” Cohen said. “It’s the reward aspect of it that I think will incentivize millennials.”

The company is planning to launch its iOS app by the end of the summer. Birch raised about $150,000 in two rounds of funding so far.

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