Ticketmaster’s ReserveAmerica unit has teamed with National City Bank to launch a rewards credit card for the outdoor recreation market and its 65 million campers. The new “VISA Platinum Camping Card” will offer cardholders with 10 points for all net purchases and 1,000 bonus points for camping reservations made with the card online at ReserveAmerica’s Web site. Under the “ReserveRewards” program, cardholders can redeem points for free camping and other items such as kayaks, GPS units, tents or clothing. Consumers can choose from a card with a scenic park picture or a family RV picture. The primary pricing for the card is a 1.9% intro APR for first 6 billing periods, then Prime +7.4% thereafter. The company said that when it surveyed a select group of its members, 87% of those that chose to respond to the survey expressed an interest in joining a “ReserveAmerica” rewards program where they could earn points for making camping reservations and 56% of that group had an interest in applying for a “ReserveAmerica” branded credit card.
USA Interactive and LendingTree announced a merger yesterday in a transaction valued between $626 million and $734 million. It is a stock-for-stock transaction. LendingTree has more than 200 participant lenders and has facilitated nearly $48 billion in closed loans since 1996 including credit cards. The deal represents USA’s entry into financial services and real estate verticals. USA has an existing base of nearly 40 million unique monthly Internet users. Doug Lebda, Founder and CEO, and Tom Reddin, President and COO, will continue in their current positions, as will other key members of the senior management team. LendingTree says its senior management team will have a significant ongoing economic interest in the upside of LendingTree, after USA recovers its acquisition costs with a rate of return, which is designed to incent and retain LendingTree’s strong management team over the long term. USA Interactive’s brands include HSN, Home Shopping Europe, Ticketmaster, Match.com, Citysearch, Expedia, Hotels.com, and others.
Hotel Reservations Network the leading provider of discount hotel accommodations worldwide, and MasterCard International announced a strategic alliance, naming the payments association the preferred global payment brand for three of its wholly-owned hotel booking sites, [http://www.hoteldiscount.com] , [http://www.180096hotel.com] , and [http://www.travelnow.com] .
Under the terms of the agreement, MasterCard and HRN will jointly develop and promote special hotel offers available exclusively to MasterCard cardholders. The first promotion currently underway, for example, offers consumers a rebate of $25 when using a MasterCard card to purchase a minimum 3-night stay at any of the 4,500 global partner properties available online through HRN. HRN is the Internet’s largest source of discount accommodations worldwide, providing access to more than 4,500 premiere properties in more than 178 major destinations in North America and Western Europe.
“MasterCard enjoys a long and successful history of bringing the benefits of our global brand to our cardholders, member financial institutions and merchants, such as Hotel Reservations Network,” said Fred Gore, senior vice president of North America Acceptance, MasterCard International. “Our alliance with HRN will provide MasterCard cardholders a vast, worldwide selection of differentiated lodging properties and a consistent value when they pay with their MasterCard card on the Internet.”
“The agreement is a great opportunity for MasterCard cardholders to take advantage of HRN’s incredible hotel values in great locations, as well as our availability of rooms during popular sold-out periods,” stated Bob Diener, president of Hotel Reservations Network. “We are happy to be able to help travelers lower their costs, not only by offering the lowest available rates, but also by extending MasterCard cardholders the first of many exclusive promotions, a further $25 rebate on any stay of 3 nights or more when they use their MasterCard card.”
As part of the agreement, HRN will promote MasterCard as its preferred payment brand through its communications vehicles to consumers, including point-of-sale materials as well as through its websites. In addition, MasterCard will promote HRN’s 4,500 properties on its website.
The alliance with HRN represents a key addition to MasterCard International’s travel category strategy. Over the past five years, MasterCard has created an impressive network of partners that provide consumers with a wide variety of options when purchasing travel, both online and at the retail merchant. This latest agreement solidifies MasterCard’s continued commitment to working with the travel community to uncover new ways to deliver MasterCard cardholders greater choice and value.
About Hotel Reservations Network
Hotel Reservations Network, a majority-owned subsidiary of USA Networks, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: USAI) Interactive Group, is the leading provider of discount hotel accommodations worldwide, providing service through its own Web sites (http://www.hoteldiscount.com , [http://www.180096hotel.com] , [http://www.condosaver.com] , [http://www.travelnow.com] , [http://www.acenethotels.com] , and [http://www.allluxuryhotels.com] ), more than 23,000 affiliated Web sites, and three toll-free call centers (1-800-96-HOTEL). HRN provides travelers with a one-stop shopping source for hotel pricing, amenities and availability. HRN also specializes in providing travelers with accommodations for sold-out periods.
About MasterCard International
MasterCard International has a comprehensive portfolio of well-known, widely accepted payment brands including MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro. More than 1.7 billion MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro logos are present on credit, charge and debit cards in circulation today. An association comprised of more than 20,000 member financial institutions, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses, both large and small, in 210 countries and territories. MasterCard is a leader in quality and innovation, offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and traditional worlds. MasterCard’s award- winning Priceless advertising campaign is now seen in 80 countries and in 40 languages, giving the MasterCard brand a truly global reach and scope. With more than 22 million acceptance locations, no card is accepted in more places and by more merchants than the MasterCard Card. At September 30, 2001, gross dollar volume exceeded US$704 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at [http://www.mastercard.com] .
American Express has added its second application to the translucent ‘Blue’ smart credit card. Using the smart chip, ‘Blue’ cardholders purchasing “Summer Concerts in Blue” tickets with ‘Blue’ at ticketmaster.com will pick up the tickets the night of the show at a special ‘Blue Will Call’ window.” These box office windows will be equipped with the ‘AmEx Blue’ smart card reader which verifies the cardholder’s order. Upon confirmation, the concert tickets are printed and handed to the cardholder by the box office attendant. The first application introduced with the card’s launch in Sept. 1999 involves online security. The smart chip application on ‘Blue’ is used to provide extra security while shopping online by using AmEx’s smart card reader that plugs into the user’s PC. The personal card readers are available free to new cardholders through August. Yesterday American Express, SFX, and Ticketmaster, jointly launched the “Summer Concerts in Blue” program. Under the special program, participating cardholders receive a free compact disc featuring the artists who perform the concerts they are attending. The promotion, which runs until October 15th, is valid for concerts at SFX amphitheaters in 12 markets nationwide.
American Express has signed a content licensing and distribution agreement with Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch. AmEx will use citysearch.com content in its new travel and entertainment resource section of americanexpress.com. CitySearch.com will provide AmEx with local dining, shopping, arts, and entertainment information for more than 70 major U.S. cities from its city guides, which the card issuer and travel agency will make available at americanexpress.com. American Express customers will be able to use the information to plan for trips, researching and booking dining and entertainment outings and travel planning.