Consumer Payment Card News

World MasterCard

The most direct assault on American Express cards will get underway this month as MasterCard rolls out its ‘World MasterCard’. No pre-set spending limit, flexible, frequent traveler benefits and concierge-level service have long been the hallmarks of American Express charge cards. The ‘World MasterCard’ is set to attack all three points-of-differentiation. MasterCard’s new product combines no pre-set spending limit with an option to revolve a designated portion of the charges each month. The new card also features a travel rewards program that permits cardholders to earn free travel on any domestic or international carrier without regard to blackout periods. ‘World’ cardholders will also access to MasterCard’s 24-hour ‘Global Service’ and a special concierge program providing a wide range of services including travel and dining reservations. Household and Bank of America will be among the first to offer the new charge/credit MasterCard.

MasterCard International today announced that the World MasterCard(TM) card will be available to consumers, beginning this month. World MasterCard is targeted at the upscale, frequent traveler, offering the ultimate in purchasing power by combining no pre-set spending limit with an option to revolve a designated portion of the charges each month. Other features include: a generous travel-based rewards program that allows cardholders to earn free travel on any domestic or international airline, with no black-out periods; universal acceptance; and exemplary global customer service.

“World MasterCard is a program that truly works for the consumer by combining flexible purchasing and payment options, exceptional customer service and a generous travel rewards program in a single offering,” said Sheila Scarry, senior vice president, MasterCard Consumer Products. “This is the only card that the upscale, frequent traveler will ever need.”

World MasterCard’s benefits include:

-an exceptional travel rewards program which, in the U.S., includes the ability to begin earning free travel on nearly every domestic and international airline immediately with no black-out periods

-no pre-set spending limit with an option to revolve a designated portion of the charges, thereby allowing for increased financial flexibility among customers

-unsurpassed worldwide merchant acceptance and convenient access to cash through the world’s most extensive ATM network

-access to comprehensive emergency assistance through 24-hour MasterCard Global Service(TM) and a concierge service program that provides assistance with worldwide travel arrangements, dining reservations, personal shopping and more

-exemplary travel and car rental insurance options, as well as warranty protection for most purchases made within 90 days

-specially designed, customer-friendly billing inquiry and resolution processes

World MasterCard will be marketed to consumers initially by several of the industry’s leading issuers, including Bank of America and Household Credit Services.

“This program is the result of extensive market research and was developed in direct response to consumer demand for convenience, flexibility and a higher-end rewards program,” said Scarry. “World MasterCard offers this upscale group of consumers a program designed to satisfy their unique payment needs and serve their lifestyle.”

MasterCard International, a payments company with one of the world’s most recognized brands, is dedicated to helping more than 23,000 financial institutions around the world offer consumers a variety of payment options. MasterCard remains focused on helping shape the future of money by expanding acceptance of its global brands (MasterCard(R), Maestro(R), Mondex (TM) and Cirrus(R), the world’s largest ATM network) and maintaining reliable, secure networks facilitating global value exchange. MasterCard has 400 million credit and debit cards that are accepted at more than 14 merchant, cash, and ATM locations worldwide. In 1996, gross dollar volume generated exceeded $550 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at

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