Consumer Payment Card News

KISS Card Officially Here

First NBC in New Orleans formally announced its ‘KISS’ VISA card yesterday and says it has received a steady stream of applications for the rock group card since word leaked out May 20 .

You can now bring Gene, Paul, Ace and Peter with you when you head to the mall — or out to eat or on vacation or whenever and wherever you use your Visa(R) credit card. KISS, the legendary rock group, has put their famous painted faces on an affinity credit card.

First Bankcard Center, a division of First National Bank of Commerce (First NBC) in New Orleans, issues the KISS Visa card. Available in both Visa Classic and Visa Gold, the card is festooned with dramatic artwork featuring the band in all their glory.

Active cardholders will receive special messages from Gene and the rest of the band in their monthly statements, as well as all the scoop on future sweepstakes and bonuses on KISS merchandise available only to KISS Visa holders.

“Every time you use your KISS Visa featuring us in all our glory,” says the hard-rocking group, “you let everyone know who you are. SHOUT IT OUT LOUD!”

For members of the financial community who might be scratching their heads at the team-up of First Bankcard Center — a division of a traditional Southern banking corporation — with KISS — hard-rock’s premier band, best known for outlandish makeup, flamboyant leather outfits and a bombastic live concert spectacle that remains unequaled — the reasoning is simple.

“KISS is big business,” says William Dupuy, a Senior Vice President with First Bankcard and head of its affinity card division. “Last September these guys were on the cover of Forbes magazine. In 1996 KISS had the No. 1 top selling concert tour of any American artist or group, and they continue to make worldwide headlines in 1997. In June a KISS concert set an all time attendance record in Oslo, Norway, and a week prior to the Oslo concert, two back-to-back KISS concerts at Stockholm Stadium in Sweden were attended by more people than any event at the Stadium since the 1912 Olympics. They’ve done a book, conventions and all types of merchandising that’s doing really, really well. Why not a credit card?”

Why not indeed. Even without a formal announcement, First Bankcard has received a steady stream of requests for the card since it became available on May 20. KISS and First Bankcard teamed up with the help of Peter Klamka, president of Los Angeles-based Wilshire Financial Corp.

To get a KISS Visa card application, the number is toll free 1-888-280-KISS. The card is available only in the U.S.

The KISS Visa card carries a variable Annual Percentage Rate, currently 16.9%, and a $20 annual fee. The transaction fee for cash advances is 2.5% of the amount advanced but not less than $2.50 or more than $20.00.

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