Sotheby’s announced it will launch premium credit cards later this spring that will offer cardholders extraordinary access to the art world: the Sotheby’s World Elite MasterCard and Sotheby’s World MasterCard, from GE Money in the United States. Partnerships with prestigious museums and a suite of luxury experiential rewards make this program unlike any existing premium credit card offerings in the marketplace today. “With the Sotheby’s World and World Elite MasterCard, cardholders will have access to a range of unique cultural and luxury choices that will also afford the satisfaction of supporting America’s great cultural institutions,” said Bill Ruprecht, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sotheby’s. “This is a very exciting and innovative initiative for cardholders, for Sotheby’s and for our partners.”
The museum partnership is an important part of the Sotheby’s MasterCard program. Cardholders for both Sotheby’s World Elite MasterCard and Sotheby’s World MasterCard will receive gratis admission for up to four visitors at participating museums, including important institutions such as the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Significant museums all over the United States will participate in the program, including: the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC; the Asia Society and Museum in New York, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; the National Museum of Women in the Arts; The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan; the Miami Art Museum; the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; Winterthur Museum & Country Estate; the Norton Museum of Art; the Delaware Art Museum; the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; and The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, comprising the de Young Museum and the Legion of Honor. Additionally, cardholders will earn one point for every dollar spent, which can be redeemed for a wide array of benefits. The points have no expiration date and can be redeemed online or with the help of a dedicated “Rewards Concierge.” For example, cardholders may:
— Make philanthropic commitments by converting their points into cash donations to partner museums which will support a broad range of organizations in the arts.
— Have the opportunity to host events or to arrange private tours of many museum partners’ collections or special exhibitions.
— Have Sotheby’s auctioneers or specialists assist in their private events. Options would include a Sotheby’s auctioneer as host of a cardholder’s charity auction; or a specialist from Sotheby’s Wine department hosting a local wine tasting or providing advice about stocking a cardholder’s cellar.
— Attend Sotheby’s special events and receive framing, lighting and restoration services. A trunk show for a group of up to twelve to try on jewelry from Sotheby’s Diamonds will also be available.
— Visit prominent contemporary artists in their studios or tour major art fairs.
— Have access to a vast range of luxury opportunities, such as cruising the Mediterranean on a chartered yacht, renting a villa in the South of France, private flight time through our partner Marquis Jet, a round of golf with a PGA star or selecting jewelry from Sotheby’s Diamonds.
“We are delighted by the enthusiastic response this has received from the museum community,” Mr. Ruprecht continued. “They recognize that the philanthropic donations have the potential to be extremely meaningful and that the program will provide new and unique ways for them to enhance their relationships with important clients and patrons.”
“We’re very pleased to partner with Sotheby’s and MasterCard to offer a unique luxury credit card to consumers who value the unique offerings inherent in the Sotheby’s brand,” said Mark W. Begor, President and Chief Executive Officer, GE Money – Americas.
“We continue to expand our position in the affluent segment by providing payment products that resonate with today’s premium cardholders,” said Gary Flood, President, Global Key Accounts, MasterCard Worldwide. “The Sotheby’s brand is built on prominence and prestige, and we’re excited to work with GE Money to develop a card that exemplifies these characteristics.”
The Sotheby’s World Elite MasterCard is available by invitation only. Cardholders will receive an exclusive set of premium travel benefits from the Virtuoso network of travel consultants at over 300 elite agencies in 22 countries.
All cardholders will have the option of choosing either a standard issue card or a work of art depicted on their card from a selection of paintings by artists such as Claude Monet, Rene Magritte, Frida Kahlo and Canaletto. The cards can be used at any of the over 25.3 million locations worldwide that accept MasterCard.
To learn more about the program, go to http://www.sothebysmastercard.com.
Sotheby’s is a global company that engages in art auction, private sales, dealer and art-related financing activities. The Company operates in 35 countries, with principal salesrooms located in New York and London. The Company also regularly conducts auctions in 13 other salesrooms around the world, including Australia, Hong Kong, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Singapore. Sotheby’s is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BID. For more information, go to http://www.sothebys.com.
About GE Money
With more than $190 billion in assets, GE Money, a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is a leading provider of credit services to consumers, retailers and auto dealers in 54 countries around the world. GE Money, based in Stamford, Conn., offers a range of financial products, including private label credit cards, personal loans, bank cards, auto loans and leases, mortgages, corporate travel and purchasing cards, debt consolidation and home equity loans, and credit insurance. More information can be found at http://www.gemoney.com.
About MasterCard Worldwide
MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes over 16 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial institution customers and merchants. Through its family of brands, including MasterCard(R), Maestro(R) and Cirrus(R), MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to http://www.mastercard.com.