Credit Card Grrl

The 411 on the marketing side of the credit card industry

20051028

Citi reporting update

Sent to a subaffiliate network:

You may have recently noticed that the reporting on the Citi offers has slowed down. Our Citi rep informed us that the application/approval process has been delay a bit due to their application/approval processing center located in Florida is recovering from the recent set of hurricanes that hit that area. They anticipate on being back up to 100% shortly at which time they will get back on track for more timely reporting. Sorry for any inconveniences this has caused, but unfortunately we do not have much control over good old Mother Nature.

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Please note that any links directly to card product offers are provided for informational purposes only. Any descriptions within this post about an offer may not necessarily align with the offer to which these links connect.

20051024

Continental Airlines World MasterCard(R) from Chase

Got a direct mail solicitation for the Continental Airlines World MasterCard(R) from Chase.

OE:
  • Special Enrollment bonus for OnePass(R) Members Enclosed
  • Get 15,000 OnePass bonus miles!
  • 5% Discount on Continental fares.
  • 0% Introductory APR
  • Plus, a special Value Pack offer (Details inside).


Black and white matte paper APR detail terms and conditions insert.
Full color insert detailing the Skyteam(TM) / OnePass(R) alliance stuff
Black and white matte paper postage paid return envelope

Four-fold letter:
  • Red sticker: 15,000 OnePass(R) Bonus Miles Plus Value Pack!
  • URL reply mechanism small, in black and white, and difficult to see
  • Bonus miles credited to your account upon first purchase
  • 5% discount on tix good when you book at continental.com and use code ONEPASS for up to one year from account opening
  • 0% APR is for six months
  • Value Pack is a $99 one-time Companion Certificate for travel within the continental U.S. with the purchase of a RT ticket of $298 or more. Eligible when you spend $5000 in purchases. Also includes 2 Presidents Club(R) passes and 2 Travel Discount Certificates every year after your one-year anniversary. There's a lot of restrictions on the discount certificates.


Online application:
Continental Airlines World MasterCard(R) from Chase

Continental Airlines World MasterCard(R) from Chase

Not a terrible piece, but it would have been more impactful if I had any idea what my OnePass account balance was.

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Please note that any links directly to card product offers are provided for informational purposes only. Any descriptions within this post about an offer may not necessarily align with the offer to which these links connect.

20051022

LIBOR changes

From a subaffiliate network:

Dear Valued Affiliate,

Citi has just informed us that the LIBOR rate has changed from 3.79% to 3.98% for Citibank AT&T Universal cards. Here is the new information;

AT&T Universal Platinum
Balance Transfer and Purchase APR: 10.47%
Cash Advance APR: 21.47%
Variable default: 30.97%

AT&T Universal Rewards
Balance Transfer and Purchase APR: 12.47%
Cash Advance APR: 21.47%
Variable default: 30.97%

Please make sure that you are checking your sites to ensure the card names are being correctly spelled and matching up to the landing pages. Please update your site(s) as soon as possible. Citi is continuously checking sites.

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Please note that any links directly to card product offers are provided for informational purposes only. Any descriptions within this post about an offer may not necessarily align with the offer to which these links connect.

20051021

Shell MasterCard & Citi Professional Card

Sent to a subaffiliate network:

Great News - Citi has just added the Shell MasterCard® from Citi® Cards offer ($40.00 per approval). We have also increased the payout on the Citi® ProfessionalSM Card offer to $75.00 per approval. You might want to start pushing this offer. The banners and approved text are now available in your --- Member's Area for the Shell offer.

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Please note that any links directly to card product offers are provided for informational purposes only. Any descriptions within this post about an offer may not necessarily align with the offer to which these links connect.

20051018

AmEx sends a broken email

Just got a loyalty email from American Express, and none of the links worked. Smooth move.

From: "American Express"
Subject: Take Advantage of Our Exclusive Vacation Offers

===========================================================
MEMORABLE VACATIONS DON'T JUST
PLAN THEMSELVES.
===========================================================
Turn your next vacation into the trip of a lifetime
with these great travel offers.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Explore the turquoise seas of the Caribbean. Indulge
yourself at a luxurious spa. Yacht around the Greek Isles.
Now, these are the vacations you cherish. And starting
October 10, 2005, American Express will be offering unique
travel experiences exclusively to Cardmembers.

Simply visit
<< broken link >>
and check out exclusive savings on vacations like these and
other great travel offers. Use your American Express(R) Card,
and in no time at all you can enjoy the trip of a lifetime.

Explore unique Cardmember-only travel offers now.
<< broken link >>

Copyright 2005 American Express Company. All rights
reserved. v2 BLUE

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Please note that any links directly to card product offers are provided for informational purposes only. Any descriptions within this post about an offer may not necessarily align with the offer to which these links connect.

20051013

Vendare = Spam

Oh, the irony! A writeup about how difficult it is to unsubscribe, right on top of an ad for Vendare.



Rumor has it that Vendare is on the short list of companies that the IAB wants to kick out. Given what I know about their backend operations, yes, it's true that you can't unsubscribe, and yes, the IAB should definitely kick them out.

Might be a good media to test for sub sub sub prime credit cards, though ...

20051012

Branded term keyword restrictions

Interesting post on affiliate and keyword bidding

I've seen a lot of big dumb banks restrict their affiliates from bidding on branded keywords and/or using keywords in their copy. I think it's dumb, and I maintain that it's dumb. I've also gotten wind that for some big dumb banks, different divisions are faxing requests to Google to get them to restrict keyword bidding. When the affiliate marketing teams find out, they go apeshit -- you get different arms of the many-tentacled Fortune 100 beast and you begin to strangle yourself.

Aww, poor corporate marketers! Boo hoo!

Anyone else have any experience with this?

20051009

I luv balance transfer offers

I've never taken advantage of a 0% APR balance transfer / introductory period offer. Ever. Not once in my illustrious 12 years of credit card usage.

I just transferred a couple grand from my USAA Visa, Blue from American Express®, & American Express® Rewards Gold Card to my Citi Professional Card. When I applied for the Professional Card, the offer was 0% for 12 months on BTs from the date of the first BT, with no BT fees (HOT!). I believe the offer is different now (I got an iPod shuffle as well; now it's 10,000 ThankYou points plus 9 months on the BT offer -- still pretty hot).

Either way, what I should have done was gone crazy with the cheez whiz and done some fall wardrobe replenishment first. Ah well.

Don't you love gaming the system? :)

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Please note that any links directly to card product offers are provided for informational purposes only. Any descriptions within this post about an offer may not necessarily align with the offer to which these links connect.

20051007

Citi Secured MasterCard

The Citi Secured MasterCard offers individuals with little or no credit history the opportunity to start building one while gaining access to credit. Secured by an interest-earning 18-month certificate of deposit (CD), the Secured card makes it easier for those who are new to credit, new to the country and need to establish credit in the U.S., or for those who want to control their credit line to now enjoy the benefits and convenience of credit card membership.

A deposit, which is placed in an 18-month CD, with a minimum of $200 and a maximum of $5,000, secures the Citi MasterCard and becomes the amount of the customer's credit line. Unlike some secured cards, the deposit earns interest, currently at 4% APR*. If payments are made on time, and the account is kept in good standing for a full 18 months, customers may be eligible for an unsecured Citi credit card as well as other financial products.

*The minimum deposit is $200. As of Oct. 1, 2005, the interest rate of our CD was 4% with an annual percentage yield of 4.07%. You must keep your CD account open for 18 months. If you close your CD account before the 18 month period is completed, any interest earned up to that point will be posted to your CD account. However, your credit card account will be cancelled and your CD will be applied against your outstanding credit card balance. Like all CD accounts, this account has a penalty for early withdrawal which could reduce the earning on the CD account from the APY stated above. There are no additional fees on the CD account other than this early withdrawal fee.

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I saw some offline materials for this but I haven't seen anything online for it yet. Anyone else see anything for this card out there?

20051005

UAE: Visa Names Citibank No. 1 Credit Card Issuer, First in Retail Spending

Dubai, UAE-Citibank, a member of Citigroup, ranked first in number of credit cards in use as well as No. 1 issuing bank in the UAE market for retail spending across all categories of credit cards, according to Visa International's quarterly member bank statistics issued for the period ending 30 June 2005. Citibank has maintained this position consistently during the last four quarters according to the same statistics.

"These figures, released by Visa, reinforce our consistently leading position in the UAE market," said Rajeev Kakar, Regional Head for Citibank's Consumer Bank in Turkey, Middle East & Africa, who is based in the UAE. "Our focus remains ‘excellence in service & delivery' through sustained investment in state-of-the-art infrastructure, technology and systems, and the creation of strategic alliances to ensure value-added services to our customers at all times."

Most recently, readers of UAE Digest Magazine, nominated the Emirates Citibank co-branded card "Best All-round Card," while in 2004 the card won Credit Card of the Year Award from the GCC Banking Awards 2004 program run by Banker Middle East Magazine.

Citibank's consumer offer provides tailor-made banking solutions to a diverse clientele. During the past 24 months, the bank introduced the pioneering 8-8 branch hours, personal loan and auto loan products, investment as well as insurance services, and Wealth Management plans. The bank is currently a major player in the UAE's credit card market and a leading provider of consumer credit services. The personal banking offer is backed by the sophisticated CitiPhone Banking service, a virtual branch meeting all banking needs over the telephone.

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Has anyone been to the United Arab Emirates? How prevalent is credit card usage there? Do a lot of merchants / restaurants / etc. accept credit cards? How mass is the market? Do most households have one or is it an elite thing to have a credit card in your wallet there?

20051004

Australia: Citibank Introduces Cash Back Card, Redefines Personalized Rewards

Sydney – The Citibank Cash Back® Card launched today introduces a whole new product category that redefines the concept of personalized rewards.

Roy Gori, Citibank Director of Cards said customers are always on the look out for a better deal. They have told us that they want instant hassle free rewards and that they want to be rewarded with cash.

The Citibank Cash Back Card is designed to respond to this growing demand.

"Instead of providing a vanilla card to all of our customers, we have reevaluated our offerings to ensure that we are providing our customers with choice and the Citibank Cash Back Card provides us with a competitive product in the non points based rewards segment," Mr. Gori said.

"Around 40% of all credit cards in the United States are now offering cash rebates to customers and this is also a growing trend within Asia and the United Kingdom.

"There is definitely an appetite for cash back in Australia. We have been offering cash back as an option within our free rewards program for two years, with up to one in five points now being redeemed for cash.

"Cardholders are now driving the credit card agenda and there is definitely a segment of people who want to be rewarded but they don't necessarily get value from accumulating points or selecting items from a rewards catalogue. People are now clearly telling us what motivates them and therefore what card would be best suited to them, be it a low rate, rewards or cash.

"The Citibank Cash Back Card is dedicated to automatically rewarding cardholders monthly with cash back on their monthly spend and is based on a tiered rate.

"Customers can enjoy tangible and instant cash rebates between 0.5% to as high as 4% in a month. What this means to customers is that savings on interest payments is immediate such that you are able to reduce your credit card bills monthly. Your cash back amount is credited to your account at the end of your statement period before your minimum monthly account balance is calculated, thereby reducing your outstanding balance.

"If you take advantage of our competitive balance transfer rate of 5.90%, which applies for the life of the balance, your first cash back amount will be calculated on the balance you have transferred ensuring you are being rewarded straight away," said Mr. Gori.

The cash back rate is determined by taking your opening balance (less payments and credits) for the statement period. This rate is then applied to all new purchases and bill payments (BPAY or otherwise) made on your card during that statement period. The amount is credited directly to your account the following month.

Even if you pay off your total balance each month, with the Citibank Cash Back card you will get 0.5% on the total dollar amount of your purchases for the month.

For example, if the opening balance (less credits and payments) on your monthly statement for October is $4,000, you are eligible for 2% Cash Back on any new purchases you make in that statement period. So $3,000 of new purchases in October will get you a $60 credit on your statement the following month (2% x $3,000 = $60). If this pattern was continued for 12 months, you could earn $720.

Hidden credit cards numbers for online shopping

'Virtual card' shields buyers: Online program issues 'limited use' numbers to keep details confidential

AmEx, Citi, MBNA apparently all offer this but very few cardmembers actually use it. It's a hard concept to explain; AmEx even discontinued it because so few used it. Although, why not record a video for it, plop it online, and have interested consumers play it online? Content on demand is such a given these days; seems it would be a perfect way to explain the concept, demo it, etc. Costs would be amortized over the years ...

20051003

AmEx Gas Rebates

Whoever's running the affiliate marketing program for American Express may be a day late, but they're not a dollar short. They sent the following copy to their affiliates in order to leverage the rising price of gas across the US. Smart move.

Monday, October 3, 2005

**AMEX**

American Express has sent us some new bullet points with gas-related benefits to add to your text (see attached). Cards with gas benefits are doing extremely well right now, so please add this text to your offers. Also attached is some new recommended text from American Express for three of their top performing business cards.

Gas Benefits

Consumer Cards
Double Points Offers: Several cards have double points or miles offers for gas station purchases. This benefit is usually listed with other eligible purchases, but you may highlight the gas benefits using the sample bullet points below.

Rewards Gold:
• Earn 2 points at supermarkets, gas stations, drugstores and more

Green Cards:
• Earn 2 points at supermarkets, gas stations, drugstores and more
CCGRGR00001249

Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card:
• Always earn Double Miles on every eligible dollar you spend at supermarkets, drugstores, gas stations, home improvement and hardware stores, and the U.S. Postal Service.
• Earn Double Miles on every eligible dollar you spend at gas stations.

Hilton Hhonors® Platinum Credit Card:
• Earn five HHonors bonus points for using the Card to stay at any Hilton HHonors hotel and for eligible purchases at supermarkets, drugstores, gas stations, dining establishments, the U.S. Postal Service, and for wireless phone bills.
• Earn five HHonors bonus points for eligible points at gas stations.

The Platinum Business Credit Card

0% Introductory APR for purchases*
No Annual Fee*
Option to enroll in fee-free rewards program!
Earn points toward rewards from 20 major airlines, 150 hotel properties, more than 50 of the finest names in shopping and entertainment.
Access to the OPEN Network (sm) - provides the resources to help you run your business

Small Business Platinum Cash Rebate Card

0% Introductory APR for the first six months*
No Annual Fee*
Get the credit you deserve, with up to 10% cash back! Up to 5% cash rebate on purchases and no cash back limit!*
Extra cash rebate from September 1 - November 30 2005 *
The Platinum Business Cash Rebate Card comes with the very best Card protection and services to make it easier for you to concentrate on running your business.

Blue Cash® for Business Credit Card

0% Introductory APR*
No Annual Fee*
Up to 5% Cash Rebate and there's no limit on the cash back you can earn!*
Earn cash rewards on the purchases made by additional cardholders
Access to the OPEN Network (sm) - provides the resources to help you run your business

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Please note that any links directly to card product offers are provided for informational purposes only. Any descriptions within this post about an offer may not necessarily align with the offer to which these links connect.