Dean Witter, Discover and Company announced Tuesday the new Smithsonian Card with a potential national exposure to 30 million Americans. The affinity-rebate program will generate support for the Smithsonian and offers cardholders the opportunity to earn a $50 U.S. Savings Bond for each $5,000 charged to the card. The new card carries no-annual fee and 5.9% six-month intro rate. The card will be issued under the NOVUS brand name.
The Smithsonian Institution and NOVUS Services, a business unit of Dean Witter, Discover & Co., today announced the launch of the new Smithsonian Card, an affinity credit card which allows Cardmembers to support the Smithsonian with every purchase made on the Card. NOVUS Services will also make a contribution to the Smithsonian for every Card issued or renewed.
“We believe that the Smithsonian Card is both a good value for consumers and a simple way for Americans to support the Smithsonian while saving for their future,” said Smithsonian Secretary I. Michael Heyman. “We also think most people recognize that affinity cards are an effective way to support institutions they care about.”
“NOVUS Services is proud to be partnering with the Smithsonian, the steward of our nation’s cultural treasures,” said Thomas R. Butler, president of NOVUS Services. “We share the Smithsonian’s vision of preserving our nation’s history for future generations, and the Card’s savings bond feature provides consumers with a direct payback for their support.”
The Smithsonian Card offers a unique combination of benefits and features, including the opportunity to earn $50 U.S. Series EE Savings Bonds. For every $100 in purchases, the Cardmember earns one point. When the Cardmember earns 50 points, he or she will automatically be issued a bond. In addition, a portion of every purchase charged to the Card will be donated to the Smithsonian.
The Smithsonian Card’s features also include: no annual fee, a 5.9 percent introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers for up to six months, a 25-day interest-free grace period on purchases and the ability to get cash advances. The Card also offers Cardmembers 24-hour customer service, categorized transaction detail on every statement and their choice of a monthly billing date.
The Card will be marketed through a targeted advertising campaign, direct mail, telemarketing, and on-site applications. It will be accepted on the NOVUS(R) Network, the third largest network in the United States.
“We chose NOVUS Services and this program because the Smithsonian Card will provide long-lasting benefits to the Institution. Additionally, it would be an expansion of our on-going partnership with NOVUS Services and its family of products,” said Heyman.
The Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and research organization. Its museum exhibits and programs, and its traveling exhibitions, reach almost 30 million Americans every year. Proceeds from the Card will help pay for exhibitions, research and educational programs.
Americans value the Smithsonian most for its legacy of preserving the nation’s historical treasures for future generations, according to a poll recently conducted in conjunction with the launch of the Card. Many participants cited the educational, aesthetic and historical value of the Smithsonian as the most important and appealing aspects of the museum.
In the poll, Americans were also asked to choose their favorite Smithsonian treasure. Participants named the flag from Ft. McHenry which inspired the “Star Spangled Banner,” the Lunar Landing Module and the dinosaur fossils as the three most popular Smithsonian artifacts. Participants also named the treasures that they would most want to see in the Smithsonian 20 years from now. The survey showed that endangered animals in the National Zoo, examples of 20th Century communications technology and the inaugural clothing of the first woman president were their top choices for what they would most like to see in the year 2017.
“The Smithsonian means a great deal to all Americans who are interested in our nation’s cultural and natural history, even if they’ve never visited a Smithsonian museum,” said Butler. “We at NOVUS Services believe there are many people who will want to obtain this Card because of their interest in ensuring the Smithsonian can continue its work for generations to come.”
The Smithsonian Institution was founded in 1846 by Congress and is the world’s largest museum and research complex with more than 140 million objects in its collections. It includes 16 museums, the National Zoo and four research institutes with facilities in ten states and countries throughout the world. More than 2 million Americans are members of the Smithsonian.
NOVUS Services, a business unit of Dean Witter, Discover & Co., operates the Discover(R) Card, the NOVUS Network and a growing number of new card brands accepted at all NOVUS Network locations.