Consumer Payment Card News


Chase Manhattan relaunched the cobranded Bell Atlantic card yesterday by converting 70,000 Chase/NYNEX cardholders to the Bell Atlantic program. Bell Atlantic and NYNEX merged last year. Chase acquired the 500,000 cardholder, Bell Atlantic program August 21, 1997 from First Omni Bank. The relaunched card will be called ‘The Bell Atlantic Credit Card from Chase’ and will be issued as a no- annual-fee VISA or MasterCard. Chase indicated yesterday it will convert the existing ‘Bell Atlantic VISA’ cardholders to the ‘Bell Atlantic VISA Card from Chase’ in April. The rewards program connected with the card offers a 1% rebate on purchases, a 2% rebate on Bell Atlantic residential phone services and a 3% rebate on certain Bell Atlantic calling card calls. Rebates are good towards Bell Atlantic residential phone bills. Card pricing includes a 9-month intro rate of 6.9%, a tiered go-to purchase rate of prime +9.4% for balances under $2,500 and prime +7.4% for balances above $2,500. Interest rates for cash advances are prime +11.55%.

The Chase Manhattan Corp. and Bell Atlantic Corp. re-launched a co-branded credit card in Bell Atlantic’s service area from Maine to Virginia.

The Bell Atlantic Credit Card from Chase has no annual fee and is offered as a MasterCard(R) or Visa(R) in classic and gold. The card offers Bell Atlantic residential customers the opportunity to earn cash back toward their Bell Atlantic home telephone bill. To apply for the card, customers may call 1-800-545-3393, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.

“The Bell Atlantic Credit Card from Chase offers consumers the combination of two of the most powerful brands on the East Coast,” said Michael Urkowitz, Chase executive vice president responsible for the bank’s credit card business. “With Bell Atlantic, the premier telecommunications provider for the region, and Chase, the largest bank in the U.S., cardholders will have all the benefits and privileges of worldwide recognition and acceptance, as well as no annual fee and cash value rewards.”

Marianne Berry, Bell Atlantic vice president for Credit Card and Loyalty Marketing, said, “There is a lot of interest in this type of rewards card. Unlike other cards, with the Bell Atlantic Credit Card from Chase customers don’t have to wait a long time to get their rewards, and there is no limit on the rewards they can earn. These benefits make our card a very valuable asset for customers.”

In addition, Chase is issuing the new card to the more than 70,000 cardholders of the NYNEX/Chase credit card. Chase purchased the Bell Atlantic Visa portfolio from First Omni Bank, N.A. in August 1997, and in April will issue the new Bell Atlantic Visa Card from Chase to more than 500,000 cardholders in Bell Atlantic’s mid-Atlantic territory.

Cardmember rewards and benefits

Cardmembers can earn cash back toward their Bell Atlantic phone bill as follows

— 1 percent on amounts purchased with the Bell Atlantic Visa or MasterCard from Chase.

— 2 percent on Bell Atlantic residential phone services, and

— 3 percent on qualified Bell Atlantic Calling Card calls.

Every time cardmembers earn $20 in rewards, they will automatically receive a $20 cash-value check, good toward their Bell Atlantic home telephone bill.

Other benefits of the new Bell Atlantic Credit Card from Chase include free purchase protection, extended warranty, travel accident insurance, and the ability to use the card at millions of Visa and MasterCard locations around the world.


— Low introductory 6.9 percent fixed annual percentage rate (APR) for 9 months on purchases and balance transfers.

— Prime(a) + 7.4 percent for balances above $2,500, Prime(a) + 9.4 percent for balances up to $2,500 begins after 9-month introductory period, and

— Prime(a) + 11.55 percent for cash advances.

Chase’s credit card portfolio has more than 20 million accounts and approximately $30 billion in outstandings. Chase is the fourth largest bank card issuer in the United States, and its joint venture with First Data Corp. is the largest merchant processor in the U.S.

“In addition to our relationship with Bell Atlantic, Chase issues successful co-branded cards with the world’s largest retailer and a major oil company and is committed to maintaining reward and value programs that offer real value to our customers,” said Mr. Urkowitz.

The Chase Manhattan Corp. is the largest banking company in the United States, with more than $365 billion in assets, and relationships with more than 30 million consumers. Chase provides integrated solutions that meet its customers’ payment, savings, investment, insurance, credit and financial planning needs. For all those who work hard to achieve or sustain a good life in a world of enormous opportunity and challenge, Chase is the complete financial resource and ally that makes life easier.

Bell Atlantic — formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX — is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With 40.5 million telephone access lines and six million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world’s largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world’s largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations and investments in 21 countries.

(a) The Prime Rate is as published on the last business day of the month in The Wall Street Journal.

Internet Users Bell Atlantic news releases, executive speeches, news media contacts and other useful information are available at Bell Atlantic’s News Center on the World Wide Web ( To receive news releases by e-mail, visit the News Center and register for personalized automatic delivery of Bell Atlantic news releases.

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