Marquis Jet Voted Best of the Best

Marquis Jet was recognized as the “Best of the Best” by Robb Report in its 19th annual “Best of the Best” issue. The Marquis Jet Card program was named “Best Flight-Card Program: Fractional,” based on combining the simplicity and low financial risk of a jet card with many of the advantages of NetJets fractional ownership program and additional attractive benefits provided by Marquis Jet’s alliance partners. In this year’s “Best of the Best” issue, Robb Report cites a number of exciting and exclusive Marquis Jet Card Owner benefits, including access to nine jet types from the industry-leading NetJets fleet; combination cards that provide flight time in two different NetJets Aircraft; and special access to top Sotheby’s events and a $3,000 certificate towards the purchase of Judith Ripka jewelry.

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MBNA/AMEX/AOL REWARDS CARD

BMO Bank of Montreal has added “AIR MILES” to its debit cards starting today. In addition, BMO customers who have a “Mosaik MasterCard ” with an “AIR MILES Reward Option” can also increase their monthly reward totals by as much as 30%, simply by doing more business with BMO. For example, BMO will increase the value of rewards earned each month by a multiple of 10%, 20% or 30% depending upon how many BMO banking products and services customers have in their portfolio of bank business. The program is a move by BMO to capture the personal banking
business of “AIR MILES” collectors who currently represent nine million active collector accounts or approximately two-thirds of Canadian households. BMO noted that since 2002, debit purchases in Canada have grown 73%.

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Magnum to Use the PaySimple Gateway

PaySimple is partnering with e-commerce systems provider Magnum for retail and restaurant establishments to process ACH direct-debit and credit card transactions through the PaySimple payment gateway. Magnum’s product offering includes a variety of systems ranging from e-commerce enabled websites to restaurant POS systems, all of which can be integrated with the PaySimple payment gateway. All functionality from the PaySimple gateway â” including reporting, recurring billing, and ACH direct-debit and credit card processing â” is transferred through to the Magnum system interface. From the interface, a business can automate and manage all of its retail processes with the combined functionality of the two systems. PaySimple is a provider of payment management solutions. Magnum is an e-commerce systems provider for small to medium sized retail and restaurant establishments.

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Emirates Bank Launches VISA Infinite

Emirates has launched the “Infinite” Visa, offering a range of customer
privileges and discounts. The new card also offers a high credit limit and a
concierge service, “Infinite Concierge”, with global resources to ensure
customers receive good service. The new card will also offer free access
to lounges in the Dubai and Abu Dhabi international airports, travel and
medical insurance options, roadside assistance, purchase protection and
special offers on retail, dining and travel.

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RBS Lynk Inks Alon USA Energy

Dallas-based Alon USA Energy has selected RBS Lynk as its new credit card processor. RBS Lynk will manage credit, debit and gift card transactions for Alon’s distributor network of FINA-branded convenience stores including Alon’s wholly owned subsidiary Southwest Convenience Stores, LLC, the largest 7-Eleven licensee in North America. RBS Lynk will process both pay-at-the-pump transactions and in-store card sales. Alon’s conversion to RBS Lynk is expected to commence in fourth quarter 2007.

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NBD Launches a High-End Platinum VISA

National Bank of Dubai has introduced a “Platinum VISA” credit card
targeting high net worth individuals. The new card offers a promotion of
5% cash back on all purchases until August, thereafter cardholders
receive 2% cash back on retail purchases. “NBD Platinum VISA”
cardholders have access to a local concierge service tailored to meet
customers needs within the UAE, valet parking service at selected malls
and exclusive discounts at premium restaurants in the UAE, complimentary
room upgrades at leading hotels, attractive retail discounts, special
rates on car rentals and personalized golf trips within the UAE and
around the world. In addition to the financial benefits, NBD’s
“Platinum” cardholders will receive special benefits on other NBD
services such as “RAC,” “Travel Insurance,” “Ultra Shield,” “Travel
Express,” “NBD Installment Plan,” “Dial-a-cheque,” “NBD Mobile,” “NBD
Online,” and “Cash Withdrawal.’

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BofA/MBNA Launch an AmEx AOL Card in the UK

BofA’s MBNA Europe and AOL have launched the “AOL Rewards American Express Credit Card” in the United Kingdom. Cardholders earn one “MBNA Rewards Point” for each GBP1 spent on card purchases and up to three “Reward Points” when shopping with “MBNA RewardPlus” partners. In addition, if the card is used for retail purchases within the first 90 days of the account being opened the cardholder will receive 1,600 bonus reward points. Additionally, cardholders will have the opportunity to enter prize draws to attend AOL Sessions and O2 Events. AOL is a founding partner at The O2 and has access to tickets ranging from family events such as “Disney on Ice” to top sporting and music events. The new card carries a 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 12 months from the date the account is opened, plus 0% on card purchases for the first 3 months.

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Points International Inks With Alaska Airlines

Points International has announced a partnership agreement with Alaska
Airlines until the end of 2009. Points International operates through its
website, Points.com. At this website, consumers can swap, earn, buy,
gift, share and redeem miles and points from more than 25 of the world’s
leading reward programs. These programs include Alaska Airlines “Mileage
Plan”. Alaska Airlines serves 90 cities in North America.

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Capital One to Reshape U.S. Debit Cards

Capital One’s new co-branded decoupled debit MasterCard has the potential to reshape the card-issuing landscape. The patent-pending product enables both PIN and signature debit transactions from checking accounts at other institutions and offers a high-value rewards program. A new report from Boston-based Aite Group says the revolutionary Capital One product delivers reward value at least two times the amount delivered by traditional debit card reward programs. The study found that Capital One wants to become a top 10 debit card issuer and is willing to operate with narrower profit margins on the product by betting on scale. Cap One also bets on a proprietary processing and risk management infrastructure that allows it to operate with lower costs than traditional debit card issuers. Aite Group says PayPal, which is the fifth largest issuer of VISA small-business debit cards, has been the most successful non-bank debit card program. Other debit card-issuing initiatives from organizations that don’t control checking accounts include programs operated by Tempo Payments, First Data, and TSYS. Aite says the progress of those organizations has remained limited thus far.

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Citibank Launches Cash Back Card

Citigroup has introduced the “Cash Back Gold Card” offering
cash back as high as 3.88% and 24-7 “Gold-on-Call” customer
service. The card also gives customers cash on a monthly, credit card
spending based on a tiered rate every month. The “Citibank Cash Back
Gold” card offers 0.50% cash back if they have carried forward balance
of less than RM5,000; 2.00% for a carried forward balance between
RM5,001 – RM10,000; and 3.88% for amounts above RM10,000.
Also, the “Gold Travel Service”, allows cardholders to make
travel arrangements through Citibank’s travel hotline, and includes free
one-way airport transfer. Furthermore, customers will also have free
travel insurance of up to RM500,000 when the airline tickets are charged
to their card.

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$6600 is the Median Card Debt Per Household

There has been much debate about the definition and calculation of U.S. credit card debt. However, an online poll of 55,000 consumers conducted by CardTrak.com found that the median amount of credit card debt carried by Americans is about $6,600 per household while the mean (or average) credit card debt load is nearly $9,900 per household. Of cardholders carrying debt, over 64% had balances under $10,000. However, 13% of the same group said they carry total credit card balances in excess of $25,000. The response confirms industry figures. At the end of 2006, Americans owed $745 billion on general purpose credit cards and an estimated $105 billion on limited purpose cards or store/gas credit cards. Of the $850 billion in credit card debt, about 18% is paid-off each month without incurring interest charges and about 3% is revolving business credit card debt. Discounting interest-free and commercial debt, Americans are revolving about $672 billion on all credit cards. Of the nation’s 111 million households, about 7% have no credit cards and 21% do not have a general purpose or major credit card. Discounting those who have no credit cards and those who only have a low balance store or gas credit card, there are 88 million households using credit cards today. Therefore, average credit card debt is $9659 per household. If the universe is limited to households that carry balances forward each month, then the assumption could be made that 61% of the 111 million households, or 68 million, revolve their credit card debt monthly. In this calculation the average credit card debt is $9882 per household.

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First Data To Continue Dresdner Bank Processing

First Data has announced its renewal of the Dresdner Bank card
processing contract until 2012. First Data will process transactions for
the banks’ classic, gold and business cards as well as co-branding cards
with Allianz. The transaction processing company and Dresdner Bank
first signed agreements in 1999. First Data serves 5 million merchant
locations, 1,900 card issuers and their customers. Dresdner Bank is
subsidiary of Allianz Group and is represented with 902 branch offices
in Germany and 50 global branch offices.

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