Payment Card News

Card Wars

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The battle between Bankrate.com and Creditcards.com over the online credit card marketing channel continues to build. After acquiring Nationwide Card Services in December, Bankrate announced a deal last week to acquire the one-full-time employee Web site of CreditCardGuide.com for $32 million in cash, plus $10 million in earn-outs. Bankrate previously acquired Memphis-based NCS for $26.4 million in cash with a $7.0 million earn-out. The online credit card market collapsed this year in the wake of the U.S. consumer credit crisis which has produced tighter overall underwriting, reducing revenues by 30% or more for many online credit card marketing sites this year. Bankrate’s NCS runs a network of over 500 affiliate Web sites to market consumer and business credit cards, including cardtrak.com and cardweb.com. Bankrate is headed by Thomas Evans, formerly with Official Payments and GeoCities. Austin, TX-based Creditcards.com is headed by the former Bankrate CEO Elisabeth DeMarse. Creditcards.com pulled the plug on its planned $100 million+ IPO in June citing unfavorable public market conditions. In 2007, Creditcards.com, an Austin Ventures company, generated $63.3 million in revenues and produced a $3.5 million profit.

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