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VISA Gift Card

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MasterCard GiftCards are not the only game in town. This week New York City-based Extrameasures rolled out a new VISA GiftCard in denominations ranging from $25 to $500. The new card goes head-to-head with three serious MasterCard GiftCard competitors this holiday season. Extrameasures is offering the card directly to the public via a toll-free phone number (1-888-Extramoney) and a Website (www.888extramoney.com). The card is issued by BankOne Michigan. Last week the firm made a direct mail pitch to Inc. Magazine subscribers offering a $5 discount, per card, if three or more gift cards are purchased. The firm, which has a processing center in Lansing, MI, is charging a $9.95 shipping and handling fee for each card. Among the four major gift card players this year, only the ‘OmniGift MasterCard’ offers a “good-thru” term of one year and automatically refunds any remaining balance after the expiration date. Extramoney’s card term is four months and SwiftGift’s card term is three months. Extramoney and SwiftGift do not refund unused balances. Newport Beach, CA-based CardEx markets its MasterCard GiftCard exclusively through cobranded relationships or in quantity to corporations. CardEx charges 6% of the face value plus a $5.00 handling fee per card to its corporate clients.

                                     How The Cards Stack Up
                       1999 VISA/MasterCard Consumer Gift Cards
                                      (cost per denomination)

Product                      $25         $50        $100      $500      $1000

Extramoney VISA             $34.95     $59.95     $109.95    $509.95      NA

OmniGift MasterCard         $30.95     $55.95     $105.95     $517.95   $1028.95

SwiftGift MasterCard        $31.95     $57.45      $108.45      NA        NA
                             Source CardWatch (www.cardwatch.com)

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