Consumer Payment Card News

New Giant Food VISA Earns Free Groceries

Giant Food Inc. (AMEX: GFS.A) announced today that the company will become the first supermarket chain in the Mid-Atlantic region to offer a co-branded credit card. The Giant Visa card will be issued by MST Bank, National Association (“M&T Bank, N.A.”) of New York. The card will enable customers to earn rebates for free groceries every time it is used at Giant stores and all other locations where Visa is accepted.
Through the program, Giant Visa cardholders receive a 3% rebate on purchases made with the card at any Giant or Super G store in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., as well as a 1% rebate on purchases made at all other locations that accept Visa. Rebates will be sent to cardholders quarterly in the form of certificates redeemable for merchandise at Giant stores. The cap on the total rebate amount which may be received by a cardholder during a given calendar year is $500.

“Giant Food is proud of the unique nature of the Giant Visa card, which will bring customers who use it an unprecedented level of rewards,” said Pete Manos, president and CEO of Giant Food. “M&T Bank has worked with us, and together we have forged a great partnership to bring such an exciting credit option to our customers. More and more consumers have been choosing credit as their payment method at Giant, and we are confident that many will want to take advantage of the moneysaving feature that the Giant Visa card has to offer.”

“We are pleased to have been selected to develop this unique card with Giant Food,” said William A. Buckingham, executive vice president at M&T Bank, N.A. “From a financial perspective, the card makes excellent sense for the consumer, especially with its built-in savings mechanism.”

Three types of Giant Visa cards will be offered: a Visa Gold card, a Visa Classic card and a secured credit card. There is no annual fee ever for any of the three cards, and each has a low introductory annual percentage rate (APR) of 9.9%. In addition, cardholders can transfer account balances from any higher-rate credit cards to their Giant Visa card and earn a one-time rebate of 3%. on the amount transferred.

Other benefits of both the Giant VISA Gold and Giant VISA Classic cards include a 25-day grace period for purchases, common carrier travel insurance, auto rental insurance and lost luggage insurance. The Client VISA Gold Card offers additional benefits, such as warranty management and travel assistance services.

We are delighted that Giant Food and M&T Bank have selected Visa as the brand for their co-branded card,” said Melissa Beidler, vice president, Visa U.S.A. “This program provides added value and a convenient payment tool at Giant and Super G stores, as well as at Visa’s more than 12 million acceptance locations around the world.”

Application forms for the new Giant VISA card are available at the checkouts in all Giant stores. In addition, customers may apply by phone by calling M&T Bank, N.A. at 1-800-424-9024.

Giant Food operates 166 supermarkets, including 121 combination food/pharmacy units, and three free-standing drug stores. The company is based in Landover, Md. Giant’s annual sales are currently $3.86 billion, and the company employs more than 26,000 associates.

M&T Bank, N.A., which issues credit cards and deposit products in all 50 states, is a subsidiary of First Empire State Corporation (AMEX: FES), 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 The East New York Savings Bank, which together operate 161 branches throughout New York State.

Headquartered 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 464 million cards are accepted by more than 12 million merchants worldwide. With more than 264,500 ATMs in 93 countries, no other ATM network is larger than Visa/Plus.

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