Coinstar Offers Blackhawk eGifts

Blackhawk Network, Inc, announced a new partnership with Coinstar to offer Coinstar customers a selection of certain Blackhawk Network’s popular eGifts for no fee when they cash in coins via the Coinstar coin-counting kiosks. The eGift codes can then be easily redeemed at issuing retailers – either in-store, online or via mobile devices. With approximately 20,300 kiosks conveniently located across the US, Coinstar makes it simple for consumers to convert their spare change into a cash voucher, for a fee that varies by location, or load these funds onto their choice of NO FEE gift card or eGift.

GE Capital to Provide Toys”R”Us Credit Card Program

GE Capital Retail Bank announced a definitive multi-year agreement to provide the consumer credit card program in the United States and Puerto Rico for Toys”R”Us. GE Capital’s Retail Finance business, the operating entity that provides financial solutions to retailers to help grow their customer sales, will manage the Toys”R”Us relationship and service the account. The Toys”R”Us credit card program launches in June 2012 and includes a private label credit card and a co-branded card, providing qualifying cardholders with benefits and convenience, as well as the opportunity to earn special rewards for purchases made at any one of the 879 Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us stores nationwide or online at Toysrus.com.

Toys”R”Us Offers Discounts to KB Toys Cardholders

Toys”R”Us announced a “Gift Card Exchange Program” for the holders of KB Toys gift cards to exchange the gift card
for a coupon valid for 15% off any one toy item at Toys”R”Us. Due to a recent bankruptcy filing, KB Toys announced that it is no longer accepting
its gift cards at KB Toys stores. The gift card exchange can be made at Toys”R”Us stores’ Guest Service Center. KB Toys Gift Cards must be surrendered at time of purchase and only
one 15% Toys”R”Us coupon will be granted per gift card surrendered.

Membership Rewards Adds 7 New Partners

The American Express “Membership Rewards” program has added point redemptions for Apple “iTunes.” The music download service is one of several new options in the 2006 American Express “Membership Rewards” program. Other new partners include: Blockbuster, Cole Haan, L’Occitane, Talbots, AirTran Airways, Loews Hotels and Preferred Hotel Group. The program has more than 140 redemption partners. Last year, the program introduced a new benefit enabling cardholders to book travel using “Membership Rewards” points instantly on the American Express travel Web site without blackout dates or restrictions for airlines, hotels or cruises.

AmEx Adds New Membership Rewards Partners

American Express has added the “Universal Golf Ticket” to its “Membership Rewards” program offering access to more than 1,600 golf courses throughout North America. In the retail category, AmEx has added partners Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon and Spa; ESCADA; Molton Brown, and, Fortunoff. In the dining & entertainment category, enrollees can now redeem points for entertainment events through Telecharge.com and New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival; fine Hawaiian Fusion cuisine at Roy’s; meals at Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Inc., an operator of independent restaurants throughout the Midwest; and upscale dining at McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants. AmEx also recently added space experiences through partner Space Adventures.

AmEx Home Improvement Rewards

American Express has added a home improvement reward category to its “Membership Rewards” program following a deal with The Home Depot. The Membership Rewards program is the world’s largest card-based rewards program, with more than 4 million U.S. enrollees and more than 9 million worldwide. The program allows Cardmembers to earn one point for virtually every dollar charged on eligible, enrolled American Express(R) Cards.

College Savings

Citibank has joined with several other top U.S. companies in a new college savings program officially announced yesterday by MA-based Upromise Inc. Citibank will contribute 1% of purchases made on certain enrolled Citi credit cards for a $24.95 annual fee. Other companies, including AT&T, Coca-Cola, CVS/pharmacy, ExxonMobil, General Motors, McDonald’s, Toys”R”Us, AOL, Borders, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA, Countrywide Home Loans, Staples, and Starwood Hotels will also contribute a percentage of a customer’s spending to an Upromise college savings account. Anyone who enrolls in Upromise, via its Web site, will have a portion of his or her spending with contributing companies deposited in their Upromise college savings account. Families can multiply Upromise college contributions by building their own savings network of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends, all directing their contributions to a child’s account. The Upromise service also offers the option of investing the contributions in a “529” college savings plan managed by Salomon Smith Barney or Fidelity Investments. Citibank is offering the program on its ‘Citibank Gold’, ‘Platinum Select’; ‘Driver’s Edge’; ‘Dividend’; ‘Premier’; ‘Citimiles’; ‘Sony Card’; ‘Citibank Visa Signature’; ‘Jack Nicklaus Cards’; and ‘Click Citi Platinum Select. Cardholders may earn up to $300 per year for their Upromise savings accounts. The Citibank Upromise annual fee is required for each enrolled Citibank card.

Toys “R” Us VISA Upgraded

Chase Manhattan Bank and Toys”R”Us have enhanced the rebate structure of the Toys”R”Us Visa Card from Chase, making the card even more rewarding. Beginning in October, cardmembers of the Toys”R”Us Visa Card from Chase will earn a 4% rebate, up from 3%, each time the card is used for purchases at Toys”R”Us, Kids”R”Us, and Babies”R”Us. Cardmembers will continue to earn a 1% rebate on all other purchases everywhere Visa is accepted. As an added benefit, cardmembers will now have the flexibility to choose when and how to use the rebates. For every $10 earned in rebates, cardmembers will receive a Geoffrey Reward coupon. Geoffrey Reward coupons can be used at any of the “R” Us family of stores for savings right at the register. Cardmembers can even collect their coupons for holidays, birthdays and special occasions. The coupons are good for one year from the date of issuance.