BMW Bank of North America is re-launching a new, three-tiered BMW Credit Card program with an expanded Visa credit card collection. The BMW Card, the BMW Signature Card and the BMW Ultimate Card – issued by the BMW Bank targets existing cardholders, introducing them to the new program and, where applicable, inviting them to upgrade to another tier, all without changing their account numbers. Cardholders will have access to a range of premium reward redemption options developed from customer feedback and realigned with the BMW brand, including enhanced point earnings and a broader array of redemption levels.
CreditCardCompare.com.au have just launched the latest version of its website after listening to feedback from its visitors. There’s considerably improved functionality, more choice and freely available data for people to review before they apply for a new credit card. The new website makes it easier and faster for people to switch credit cards in order to save money or simply optimise their plastic by upgrading to a better performing card. One of the things that Credit Card Compare are keen to explain is that these changes are a direct response to the requests that our visitors. The new Credit Card Compare continues to offer general advice on the Credit Letter Blog.
MasterCard Worldwide and Barclaycard US have re-launched their
rewards card program with Best Western International. Cardholders can
now earn five Best Western Rewards points, up from the 3.3 points earned
previously for every $1 spent at Best Western and one point for every $1
spent away from Best Western. The Best Western Rewards program also
features unique point redemption options in addition to hotel stays such
as gift cards, Best Western Travel Cards, dining rewards, theme park
awards, gas and auto rewards such as car rental certificates and
charitable contributions. In addition, the card program now features
other World MasterCard benefits, such as up to 5,000 bonus points for
balance transfers for new cardholders; 0% on balance transfers for the
first six months for new cardholders and exclusive point redemption
discounts and offers. Travelers who sign up for the card and use it once
will receive 16,000 bonus points, which is enough for a free nightâs
stay at roughly half of Best Westernâs 2,200 North American hotels. In
addition, cardholders who use the card for $6,000 in purchases within a
calendar year will earn an upgrade to Elite status in the Best Western
Rewards program, which entitles them to at least a 10% point bonus on
all Best Western hotel stays.
The Microfinance Information Exchange has re-launched the “MIX Market”
global platform for micro-finance data, analytics and business
information through a partnership with The MasterCard Foundation. Developed to help improve transparency in the rapidly growing but diverse
microfinance industry, MIX Market is an online marketplace for data,
benchmarks on the institutions that provide financial services to the
world’s poor. The data base is the deepest in the industry, with financial,
operational and social performance data on more than 1400 microfinance institutions (MFIs)
throughout the developing world.
The website was redesigned and the underlying database rebuilt to allow for
the rapidly expanding network of microfinance institutions and their broader array
of products, services and metrics. The new platform also provides increased
functionality and tools for all users. MIX Market now includes the
availability of all content in English, Spanish, French and Russian, with Arabic content
coming online in early 2010.
Advanta has re-launched “KivaB4B.org”, an online community for small business owners share best charitable
practices, highlight their philanthropic models and develop new ways to
give back. The Project also helps small business owners increase the impact of
actual grants â large and small â to entrepreneurs in developing countries through
Kiva.org. If a small business owner uses an Advanta credit card to make a grant through
Kiva to an entrepreneur, Advanta matches the grant, dollar for dollar, up to $200 per account,
per month. KivaB4B.org provides participating small businesses with information and
resources to market their philanthropic activities to their community. In
addition, every week the site profiles a business owner who supports entrepreneurs in the
developing world through Kiva. Advanta recently released a new KivaB4B credit card for business
professionals who donât own a business entity.
Capital One and Orbitz have teamed to launch a new card that offers triple travel rewards. The new “Orbitz Visa” with Capital One “No Hassle Rewards” offers one point for every purchase dollar and three points for each dollar spent booking travel on Orbitz.com. Cardholders can redeem points for travel on Orbitz.com, cash, gift cards and name brand merchandise. Orbitz previously co-branded a “Platinum MasterCard” with Juniper Bank in 2002. Under the Juniper card deal, cardholders received two Rewards points for every dollar spent on airline tickets purchased on Orbitz and one point for every dollar spent everywhere else. Launched in June 2001, Orbitz now offers consumers the power to search more than 80,000 suppliers worldwide including airlines, hotels and car rental companies.(CF Library 9/19/01; 5/14/02)
In response to research showing that there have been 27.3 million victims of identity theft since 2003, costing over $56 billion per annum, Affinion Group global affinity marketer has relaunched a more user-friendly version of its PrivacyGuard.com website. The website provides consumers with an ID theft protection service, reiterated by its new product tag-line, “Don’t be caught off-guard”. The website allows users to determine their individual vulnerability with an ID Theft Quiz, access to expert fraud prevention consultants, ID theft tips and its “PrivacyGuard ID” theft protection service, which provides daily credit monitoring, fraud resolution support, fraud insurance, credit report access and online financial tools. Affinion provides services to its nearly 5,200 partners worldwide and employs nearly 3,000.
American Express re-launched its real-time, online auction that allows “Blue” cardholders to bid for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Through the “Blue PLAY” site, “Blue” AmEx cardholders, who are enrolled in the “Membership Rewards” program, can use their points, rather than money, to bid on experiences — from front-row tickets to a premiere fashion show, to flag-to-flag excitement at the motor raceway, to romantic vacation packages and exclusive shopping extravaganzas. There is no fee to bid, and points are deducted from the winner’s rewards account after the close of an auction. Upcoming “Blue PLAY” auctions include two tickets to next month’s TOYOTA “Indy 300,” with private tours of the garage and pit areas at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, and a ride in the pace car on race day. Another auction is for five nights in New York City with all-access entry into star-studded film premieres and exclusive parties. According to a “Blue PLAY” survey, 40% of adults have bid at least once for merchandise or experiences through an auction, with nearly three-quarters of those bidders having won an auction.
Chase has introduced the “Circuit City Rewards VISA” card after acquiring the co-branded program from Circuit City on May 25th. The new card program offers five reward points on all Circuit City purchases and a one reward point on all other purchases. Rewards are redeemable for store certificates starting at $5 in exchange for 500 points. Customers who do not qualify for a “Circuit City Rewards VISA” card may qualify for a Circuit City private-label card, which offers the same rewards program. Chase says Circuit City stores will continue to accept existing Circuit City cards and “Circuit City Plus VISA” cards. However, eligible consumers can choose to upgrade their existing Circuit City cards to the new card. In May, Richmond, VA-based Circuit City sold its $1.8 billion private-label credit card operation, including both its private-label Circuit City credit card accounts and its co-branded “Circuit City Plus VISA” credit card accounts, to Bank One, now part of Chase. Circuit City also became an agent of Chase/Bank One under a seven-year contract. (CF Library 1/21/04l 5/27/04)
Today in the nation’s capital where — President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton have made reading a national priority — Visa U.S.A. is launching “Read Me a Story,” a national program designed to help address America’s reading crisis. The program, now in its second year, benefits Reading Is Fundamental(R) (RIF(R)), America’s oldest and largest nonprofit children’s literacy organization, with a guaranteed $1 million minimum contribution, based on Visa(R) card sales transactions from November 1 through December 31, 1997.
Why reading? It’s been documented that to succeed, kids need to read. According to recent studies by the U.S. Department of Education and the Carnegie Corporation,
* More than 40% of fourth graders read below the basic level for their grade (A)
* Reading aloud to children helps stimulate brain development, yet only 50% of infants and toddlers are routinely read to by their parents (B)
Visa U.S.A.’s president and chief executive officer, Carl Pascarella, said “Visa is proud to promote a program that we believe will truly make a difference for our children’s and our nation’s future.”
Today, Anthony Edwards, one of the stars of the hit television series “ER,” will participate in a special program to announce America’s First Reading Checkup and kick off the second annual nationwide musical performance tour of ten of America’s favorite storybook characters who will perform today for 800 local Washington D.C. children at the Andrew J. Mellon Auditorium.
VISA INTRODUCES AMERICA’S FIRST READING CHECKUP GUIDE
This year’s Visa “Read Me a Story” campaign features the introduction of America’s first “Reading Checkup Guide.” Developed by Visa and RIF in consultation with some of America’s leading educators and reviewed and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Visa “Read Me a Story” “Reading Checkup Guide” covers six stages of early reading development and is designed to give parents and caring adults practical information about how to help their children grow up reading.
“The AAP endorses the ‘Reading Checkup Guide’ because we feet strongly that parents should have all the tools they need to help their children become strong readers,” said AAP president Robert E. Hannemann, M.D. More than seven million copies of the Reading Checkup Guide will be distributed through AAP pediatricians’ offices, Visa member financial institutions and select merchant locations, at Visa “Read Me a Story” tour performance sites (see below), and through the “Read Me a Story” web site at .
“Far too many children are growing up without the reading skills they need to succeed in school and in life,” said Dr. William Trueheart, president of RIF. “The reading crisis in America exists in every community in the U.S. With Visa’s help, and the ‘Reading Checkup Guide,’ our aim is to reach children and families across the nation.”
NATIONAL VISA “READ ME A STORY” PERFORMANCE TOUR
This year’s expanded Visa “Read Me a Story” program includes three performance tours simultaneously visiting different regions of the country bringing a dynamic, 30-minute live performance with original songs and a special story-reading to thousands of America’s children. The tour will visit schools and malls in 24 major cities across the country, as well as many smaller cities and towns from October 29 through December 21. The tour will also spotlight a whimsical “reading doctor” character named Dr. Readwell, who will perform reading checkups using the “Reading Checkup Guide.”
In addition to Dr. Readwell, the Visa “Read Me a Story” performance tour will feature ten of America’s favorite storybook characters, including Angelina Ballerina, Babar, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Curious George, Jesse Bear, Little Red Riding Hood, Lyle the Crocodile, Mother Goose, Peter Pan, and Pippi Longstocking.
VISA MEMBERS & MERCHANTS PARTICIPATE IN THE “READ ME A STORY” PROGRAM
The “Read Me a Story” program is a multi-million dollar integrated campaign, making it Visa’s largest-ever national cause-related marketing program. Visa is supporting this program with a $20 million advertising campaign designed to build awareness of the reading crisis and the “Read Me a Story” program.
Visa member financial institutions and select merchants are also supporting the campaign through 50 million cardholder statement inserts, point-of-purchase signage, and sponsorship of reading events nationwide.
The cast and crew of the Visa “Read Me a Story” Performance Tour will travel via United Airlines, the official airline of the tour, and stay at Choice Hotels International, the official hotel of the tour. United’s involvement will include a variety of in-flight promotions, and special appearances of the “Read Me a Story” Performance Tour characters at select Choice Hotel locations. For performance information and tour dates, call 888-703-READ (703-7323) or visit the Visa web site at .
Reading Is Fundamental is the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit children’s literacy organization, dedicated to inspiring children to read. Serving more than 3.74 million children through local projects conducted at more than 17,000 sites in all 50 states, RIF has the help of more than 219,000 volunteers. RIF supplies children with more than 10.5 million books annually and has provided families with more than 173 million books since its founding in 1966.
Visa is the preferred payment brand and the largest consumer payment system worldwide. It plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions, their cardholders, and the global economy. Visa is the only consumer payment system to facilitate $1 trillion worth of purchases of goods and services in a fiscal year. Visa’s nearly 600 million cards are accepted at more than 14 million worldwide locations, including 370,000 ATMs in the Visa/PLUS Global ATM Network. Visa’s Internet address is .
(A) NAEP 1994 Reading Card for the Nation and the States, U.S. Dept. of Education, 1996.
(B)Starting Points, the 1994 report of the Carnegie Corporation