Consumer Payment Card News

Garfield MasterCard

Tomorrow marks the 20th birthday of cartoon character ‘Garfield’, and MBNA is set to release a special MasterCard to honor the big, fat hairy cat. The wisecracking, nap-taking, coffee-guzzling, lasagna-loving, Monday-hating, dog-punting, credit-card-carrying fat cat was created by Jim Davis and is managed by Davis’ company, Paws, Inc. MBNA and IN-based Paws have teamed up to offer the card which will offer rewards towards ‘Garfield’ merchandise. ‘Garfield’ first appeared in 41 U.S. newspapers in 1978 and has grown to 2,550 newspaper clients, and nearly 600 licensees located in 111 countries around the globe. The cartoon character is read by over 220 million readers daily.

Garfield creator, Jim Davis, and Davis’ company, Paws, Inc., and MBNA America Bank, N.A., have joined together to develop the first-ever exclusive Garfield credit card. Garfield’s fans in the United States can act like fat cats when they present their Garfield MasterCard for dining, hotels, golf games, dining, travel, entertainment, dining and purchases of all kinds. Did we mention you can use the card for something near and dear to Garfield’s belly — dining?

The Garfield MasterCard was developed in time to help Garfield celebrate his 20th birthday on June 19, 1998. The card will feature a competitive interest rate, grace period, extended MasterCard benefits, Garfield rewards on account activation, plus bonus offers on Garfield merchandise for cardholders. According to Garfield, “If you don’t indulge yourself, who will?” Lasagna was not mentioned as a potential reward.

Jim Davis, the cartoonist behind the curmudgeonly cat, thinks the Garfield MasterCard is a perfect extension of the character. “The card suits Garfield just fine. His philosophy in life is `You can’t take it with you; just eat it now,’ so he can relate to today’s modern consumer. He’s also a character with lots of attitude and Garfield cardholders will be able to present the card like, a badge of honor that says, `Hey, I’ve got attitude, too!'” Davis pointed out that Garfield had even suggested a drawing to give Odie away as an incentive to sign up for the card.

Terrance R. Flynn, Vice Chairman, MBNA America Bank, N.A., added “Garfield’s status as a worldwide celebrity is well established. MBNA is pleased to have the opportunity to combine its credit card marketing experience with such a well-recognized character.”

Paws, Inc., is the Indiana-based headquarters for Garfield’s licensing and syndication concerns worldwide. Paws employs 57 people engaged in art, editorial, licensing and merchandising for Garfield’s 2,550 newspaper clients, and nearly 600 licensees located in 111 countries around the globe.

Born on June 19, 1978, Garfield first appeared in only 41 U.S. newspapers. In less than 10 years, Garfield was sold to the 2,000th newspaper, making it the fastest growing comic strip in history. Today, Garfield is read by over 220 million readers daily.

MBNA Corporation, a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America Bank, N.A., a national bank, has $50.2 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the largest independent credit card lender in the world, also provides retail deposit, consumer loan, and insurance products.

To apply for a Garfield MasterCard, call 800-523-7666.

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