Consumer Payment Card News

MCI's Easter Phone Cards

With Easter only days away, MCI and Forbes Magazine have teamed up to produce an exclusive set of one dozen collectible prepaid calling cards commemorating the FORBES’ Imperial Egg Collection(TM) by Peter Carl Faberge’. The 12 gold and jewel-encrusted eggs adorning the MCI PrePaid cards are owned by Forbes Magazine and are the largest private collection of the Imperial Easter eggs in the world.

“These regal works of art by Peter Carl Faberge’ are one of the most spectacular collections of fine art ever assembled, and could not be a better choice to adorn MCI PrePaid cards during the Easter season,” said Jeff Lindauer, general manager, MCI PrePaid Services. “We’re grateful to Forbes Magazine for sharing these rare treasures with phone card collectors and art lovers alike.”

“Thanks to MCI, you can now collect Faberge’ Eggs for a lot less than what we paid for them,” quipped Christopher Forbes, vice chairman of Forbes, Inc.

A “Must-Have” for Collectors

The unique MCI PrePaid Card collection features 12 exquisite Imperial Easter eggs created for the last two Czars of Russia and hand-crafted by the House of Faberge’, the world renowned jeweler. The collection includes:

First Imperial Egg
The Spring Flowers Egg
Resurrection Egg
Renaissance Egg
Rosebud Egg
Coronation Egg
Lilies of the Valley Egg
Cuckoo Egg
Chanticleer Egg
Fifteenth Anniversary Egg
Orange Tree Egg
Cross of St. George Egg
The limited edition phone cards are available today in four, three-card sets at an introductory price of $50/set. In addition, a very limited number of the full FORBES’ Imperial Egg Collection by Peter Carl Faberge’ containing all 12 cards are available at an introductory rate of $175. After June 30, the cards will be priced as follows: $60/set of three and $240 for the limited twelve-card set.
To enhance the value of the cards to collectors, each one of the 3,000 cards produced is individually numbered for authenticity and includes a scratch-off covering over the personal identification number on the back of the card. The cards are a must for avid phone card collectors and connoisseurs of fine art, and make nice gifts in Easter baskets.

The FORBES’ collectible prepaid card series took top honors as the “Best Series” at the American TeleCard Expo awards.

The FORBES’ Imperial Egg Collection from MCI PrePaid can be ordered by calling 1-800-840-6715. Each card is sequentially numbered and wrapped in customized packaging with a short description and history of each Egg included in the set. Retailers interested in purchasing cards for resale can call 1-888-294-7909 for more information.

MCI PrePaid Cards and Calling Features

MCI PrePaid Calling Cards can be purchased in more than 15,000 retail locations nationwide, including grocery, gift, travel and convenience store locations as well as many affiliated and independent retailers. Card users can call from any phone — public or private, touch tone or rotary — in the U.S., to virtually anywhere in the world.

Features available on MCI PrePaid Cards include international origination and termination, rechargeability, one-touch call reorigination, 24-hour customer service, Traveler’s Assist. information service, speed dialing and complete turn key merchandising support. Each time the card is used, the number of units remaining is announced before the call is connected.

Popular in Europe since the mid-1970’s and in the Far East since the early ’80’s, prepaid calling cards entered the U.S. market in the early 90’s. A $1 billion market in the U.S. in 1996, the growth of prepaid cards has been in excess of 25% annually. Some industry analysts predict that the U.S. prepaid calling card market will reach $2.5 billion by 2000.

FORBES is celebrating its 80th anniversary year as the most widely read business magazine in America, according to the latest research by MediMark Research Inc. (MRI). In 1996, for the fifth consecutive year, FORBES was the number one business magazine in advertising pages, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Published biweekly, the magazine has a circulation of 789,182 according to the most recent statement from the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The company’s New York City headquarters is home to the FORBES Magazine Galleries, open free to the public and featuring the FORBES Imperial Egg Collection. More than 200 Faberge’ art objects are presently on view, including 5 of the collection’s 12 Imperial Eggs.

MCI, headquartered in Washington, D.C., provides a full range of integrated communication services to more than 20 million customers. Credited with opening up the U.S. long distance market for competition, MCI is now leading the charge to bring competition to the $100 billion local market, offering American consumers for the first time the freedom to choose their local carrier. With 1996 revenue of $18.5 billion, MCI is one of the largest and fastest growing telecommunication companies in the world. On November 3, 1996, MCI announced a definitive agreement to merge with BT to form Concert, the world’s first global communications company.

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