Today, it's not uncommon to have some sort of social media account. In fact, 56% of Americans have a profile on a social networking site, whether it's Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, or any of the numerous others. This trend isn't just for individuals. Nearly every major credit card company has a presence on major social media sites. But should you follow or friend your credit card company?
Why Social Media?
Credit card companies use social media as another way to connect with their customers. Some of the information they post includes:
- Updates relevant to cardholders. For example, after recent data breaches that affected cardholders, Chase posted frequent updates on their Twitter accounts. They may also use their social media accounts to keep customers updated on maintenance to their websites or apps. General information like this is useful and can be seen directly from a Twitter or Facebook feed, so you don’t have to call in and wait to speak to a customer service representative.
- Answers to questions. Credit card companies also encourage members to Tweet or send messages via social media accounts. Information regarding personal account information, however, is not addressed on social media sites. However, general questions about rewards, interest rates, or fees can be answered via social media.
- Contests and giveaways. Following your credit card’s social media account may also give you a chance to win prizes or enter contests that are only available to followers and social media friends.
- Credit and financial education. Card issuers also use social media to link to studies, articles, and information that can be helpful to their customers, such as smart credit card use, credit scores, budgeting, or debt management.
- Feedback and suggestions. Many customers also turn to their credit card’s social media accounts to offer feedback and suggestions about products and services.
Using Social Media for Credit Cards
If you plan on following your credit card’s social media accounts, keep these general guidelines in mind:
- Never post account information. Companies keep their social media feeds public so everyone can see them. This means anything you post to them can be seen by the public. Keep all sensitive information, including account numbers and personal information, off of social media.
- Never post photos of your card. Yes, this happens. Sometimes, people like to show off a new card by posting a photo of it. They’re also posting a photo of their card number, which can lead to fraudulent use.
- Keep it clean. Even if you’re providing negative feedback, avoid abusive or vulgar language, which violates most social media terms of service and could get you banned from their sites altogether.
- Continue to contact customer service departments. You don’t have to rely on social media for everything. Even if you follow your credit card company, specific account related questions should be handled directly by your company’s customer service department.
By using common sense and keeping your personal information private, following your credit card issuer on social media can be a great way to stay updated on the latest news and information.