FISHER-PRICE, INC. the leading manufacturer of infant and preschool toys, and M&T BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, (“M&T Bank, N.A.”) today announced the debut of a new Visa credit card. The new card is the first co-branded card to offer U.S. Sav ings Bonds as a reward for the cardholder. Developed following substantial market research, the card is designed specifically for parents and grandparents, to help them save for their children’s future.
One percent of every purchase made with the Fisher-Price Visa card automatically earns U.S. Savings Bonds. Cardholders earn an additional 5% toward the bonds with each Fisher-Price product purchased, for a total of 6%.
Purchases are tracked using a point system that appears on the cardholder’s monthly statement. Every purchase, even as little as $1, helps the card holder earn points. Each time the cardholder reaches 25 points, he receives a $50 U.S. Savings Bond.
Byron Davis, president and CEO of Fisher-Price, said “Throughout the years, we have listened very intently to parents about the dreams they have for their children and the challenges of saving for the future. The Fisher-Price Visa card is one way we can h elp families realize their dreams, and it is an excellent way for us to reward families for their trust in us for the past 65 years.”
“We are pleased to have been selected to develop this unique card with Fisher-Price,” said William A. Buckingham, executive vice president at M&T Bank, N.A., “From a financial perpective, the card makes execellent sense, especially with its built-in savin gs mechanism.”
With the Visa card, Fisher-Price plans to continue to build its existing relationships with parents through ongoing communications. Cardholders will periodically receive special offers and money-savings coupons on Fisher-Price products, as ell as sneak pr eviews of upcoming products and the Shopping Guide each spring and fall. Initially, the Fisher-Price Visa will be offered through pre-approved direct mail and telemarketing, and over time will be expanded through mass marketing efforts.
As an added bonus, any cardholder who transfers a balance of $1,000 or more to the Fisher-Price Visa card will earn an instant $50 U.S. Savings Bond. Cardholders can also earn a free bond every time they refer a friend or family member and the application is approved.
“We believe this card will have universal appeal,” said David A. Brooks, executive vice-president of Market Development for Visa U.S.A. “It gives consumers the costsaving features they are looking for in a card while providing them with a valuable tool th at offers the ability to save for their children’s future.”
The Fisher-Price Visa card has a lifetime no annual fee and a low introductory 8.9% APR guaranteed until 1997. Following the expiration of the introductory period, the card adjusts to the prime rate +7.9%, which is lower than many other reward cards. In a ddition, there is a 25-day interest-free grace period, so families can keep their credit card costs to a minimum while building up their savings at the same time. The same terms apply to Visa Classic, Gold and Secured Card versions.
Fisher-Price, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. since 1993, is a leading manufacturer of toys and children’s products. Headquartered in East Aurora, New York since 1930, Fisher-Price enjoys a reputation for designing and manufacturing high-q uality toys for infants and preschoolers, as well as innovative products which help parents card for their children.
M&T Bank, N.A., which issues credit cards in all 50 states, is a subsidiary of First Empire State Corporation, a bank holding company with $12 billion in assets. First Empire is also the parent of Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company (“M&T Bank”) and t he East New York Savings Bank, which together operate 160 branches throughout New York State.
Headquarted in the San Francisco Bay area, Visa is the world’s largest consumer payment system. It plays a pivotal role in developing and implementing new technologies that benefit its 19,000 member financial institutions and their cardholders, businesses , governments and the global economy. Visa’s 442 million cards are accepted by more that 12 million merchants worldwide. Visa/PLUS is the world’s largest global ATM network.