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Advanta National and Comcast Cellular Communications announced Thursday they are expanding the Comcast Rewards VISA program to include significantly more incentives from Philadelphia-area merchants and the Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers. Comcast recently acquired the local sports teams. The card was originally launched in April, with a local focus, since both firms were founded in Philadelphia. Cardholders earn points towards a wide variety of rewards including free cellular airtime, restaurant gift certificates, tickets to the local zoo and tickets to sports events.

It’s the credit card that keeps on giving — and that’s just what the marketers at Comcast Cellular and Advanta Corp. want to see happen.

Beginning this month, Comcast Rewards, the low-interest credit card launched by Comcast Cellular Communications, Inc. and Advanta Corp. last April, will give its customers one of the most unique and comprehensive choices of rewards of any other loyalty program in the country.

Unlike traditional loyalty programs, Comcast Rewards was designed with Greater Philadelphia customers in mind. The Program includes rewards for local retailers, sports and entertainment entities, restaurants, spas and vacation spots, among others. Because both companies were founded in Philadelphia, they are better positioned to understand the needs of local customers, according to Dave Watson, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing of Comcast Cellular.

“While many other credit cards now offer rewards programs, the Comcast Rewards Visa(R) card is tailored to meet the needs of our local customers,” said Watson.

“While it’s great to be able to get a gift certificate from a national retailer, we will give the offerings a local touch and give our customers access to some of the best retailers, sports teams and restaurants that Philadelphia and the region have to offer.”

Watson added that the recent purchase by Comcast Corporation, of the Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers, plus the CoreStates Center, will enhance the excitement of the program and have a long-lasting impact on consumers.

The Comcast Rewards program includes the following: tickets and memorabilia from the 76ers and the Flyers; one-of-a-kind sports merchandise (worn by the players themselves); tickets to the Flyers/Devils game to be played at the Meadowlands; gift certificates to Strawbridges, the Court and the Plaza at King of Prussia; gift certificates from Mainly Desserts, Arroyo Grille, and Sonoma in Manayunk; DiNardo’s Crabs, Spirit of Philadelphia, Lambertville Station and other fine restaurants; overnight getaways to bed and breakfasts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey; tickets to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Philadelphia Zoo, Franklin Institute Science Museum, Walnut Street Theatre, and free points for all Comcast Cellular products and services such as Motorola phones, and free airtime, among others.

Dennis Alter, Chairman and CEO of Advanta Corp., believes the second phase of the launch will be as successful as the initial roll-out of the Comcast Rewards program.

“So far enrollment for the card has more than exceeded our expectations,” said Alter. “From the preliminary customer feedback we have learned that they are thrilled with the level and depth of the reward offerings.”

For more information on the Comcast Rewards program, call 610-995-1649. Comcast Cellular Communications, Inc., a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq-NNM: CMCSA, CMCSK), serves a population of 8.2 million in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland with more than 350 cell sites.

Comcast Cellular, headquartered in Wayne, PA, is ranked as the nation’s fourth largest non-wireline carrier, with more than 1,000 employees. It is also known for its innovative approach to customer satisfaction, creating new products and services such as an enhanced directory assistance program called “Comcast Connect,” and 24-hour customer service.

With nearly six million customers, over $18 billion in managed assets and almost 3,000 employees as of June 30, 1996, Advanta Corp. (Nasdaq-NNM: ADVNB, ADVNA) is a rapidly growing consumer financial services enterprise. The company proudly serves consumers and small businesses through high quality, innovative offerings of credit cards, mortgages, leases, insurance and deposit products.

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