Birch Helps You Maximize Credit Card Rewards
Birch is an app that helps consumers manage their rewards programs and points across multiple credit card and banking accounts. After it links to a user’s account and analyzes their spending habits, the program recommends what cards the user should sign up for or which cards they should use to maximize their returns. The only information uploaded to the system is spending habits, and Birch does not interact with other parts of a user’s bank account.
“I started reading through a bunch of blogs and forums when I was doing credit card research and was thinking, holy crap this takes forever,” co-founder Alex Cohen said. “Others were complaining about how not really knowing how rewards programs work and applying for the first cards that look good, and when they had them they didn’t know how to redeem points properly. That’s when I had that a-ha moment, we need to talk to some people and see if people will actually use this thing.”
The service isn’t intended to make consumers sign up for more credit cards, according to Cohen. The theory behind Birch is that, by efficiently choosing cards, users can earn free flights and other rewards more quickly.
The company hopes to eventually integrate flight booking into its system so that users don’t need to leave Birch to redeem their points. For now, the app lets users set goals to reach their rewards targets.
While other companies, like Mint, also offer money management applications, Cohen said Birch is the only service that allows users to manage all aspects of their credit card rewards.
“Everyone else is sort of passive, they show your accounts, we want to show you how to turn that into rewards.”