Consumer Payment Card News


America Online, (AOL) (Nasdaq-NNM: AMER), the world’s leading commercial online services company, today announced the introduction of the America Online Visa card, the first-ever online services branded credit card to earn holders free time online with every purchase. The AOL Visa card is the first of many value-added member benefit programs being developed by America Online.
AOL has teamed with First USA to offer AOL’s U.S. subscribers the opportunity to apply for the card online at keyword AOL VISA or by mail. In addition, America Online has an agreement with First USA Paymentech to provide all the company’s credit card processing.

“We are pleased to offer our members the terrific benefits associated with the AOL Visa card,” said Ted Leonsis, president of America Online Services Company. “We are constantly searching for ways to offer AOL subscribers additional value and benefits, and the new AOL Visa card is the first of many programs we plan to roll-out over the coming year.”

The AOL Visa card allows America Online members to earn one point for every dollar they spend using the card. In addition, AOL members earn 2 points for every dollar they spend on AOL products and services. Cardholders can redeem their points in several ways:

200 points can be redeemed for one free hour on AOL;
1,000 points can be redeemed to pay AOL’s standard monthly fee of $9.95;
2,000 points can be redeemed to pay AOL’s Value Plan fee of $19.95.

Annual Percentage Rate size=-1>Grace Period
For Repayment
Of Balance For Purchases
Finance Charge
size=-1>Method Of Computing The
Balance For Purchases
A 6.9% fixed rate applicable until the first day
the billing cycle that includes 1/1/97; a
17.9% fixed rate
25 days from the date of the periodic
(provided you paid your
pervious balance in full by the due date)
None$.50 in any month
that a finance
charge is
Average Daily Balance Method
(including new purchases

Cardholders will receive 10 free online hours as a sign-up bonus, a low introductory APR and no annual fee. Beginning this fall, AOL will offer online statements to cardholders as well as online customer service. Future expansion of the program includes redeeming points at participating online stores and retail locations for a variety of products and services.

“Consumers are looking for convenience and value when it comes to their financial needs, and the America Online Visa card offers both,” said Richard W. Vague, president of First USA, Inc. “The America Online Visa card will allow consumers to shop both online and at traditional merchants and earn rewards for doing so,” he said. “We believe strongly that online services will continue to expand rapidly and those who use these services are going to help drive the growth of electronic commerce,” Vague said. “Since First USA is both the card issuer and payment processor for America Online, we are very pleased to be at the forefront of this effort with such a respected industry leader.”

AOL members who would like more information about the card may use the online keyword AOL VISA, or may call 800-265-6524.

America Online, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMER), based in Dulles, Virginia, is the largest and fastest growing provider of online services in the world, with more than 6 million members worldwide. Through its services, AOL offers its subscribers a wide variety of services including electronic mail, conferencing, software, computing support, interactive magazines and newspapers and online classes, as well as easy and affordable access to services of the Internet. Founded in 1985, AOL today has a global workforce of more than 5,000 people. Personal computer owners can obtain America Online Software at major retailers and bookstores or by calling 800-827-6364.

First USA, Inc. (NYSE: FUS), a financial services company specializing in the credit card business, is among the largest providers of Visa and MasterCard services in the nation. First USA, Inc.’s two principal operating units are First USA Bank and First USA Paymentech, Inc. (NYSE: PTI). First USA Bank provides Visa and MasterCard services nationwide and had approximately 14 million credit cards issued with $18.3 billion in managed loans outstanding at March 31, 1996. First USA Paymentech, Inc. processed $24.6 billion in credit card sales and 446 million items during calendar year 1995.

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