The new five-year alliance extends the companies earlier partnership, begun
in 1996, in which they issued a co-branded credit card, the AOL Visa card.
Today’s announcement names First USA as the exclusive marketer of credit
card products and services on
AOL, as well as subsidiaries CompuServe, AOL.COM and AOL Instant Messenger in the U.S.
Products and services will also be marketed on AOL’s Digital City. The
companies said they expect the union to yield up to $500 million if
targeted goals are reached and also anticipate major guaranteed revenue to
AOL and marketing agreements to First USA.
First USA, which is the country’s largest credit card issuer, expects to
gain millions of customers through marketing to what it bills as the largest
cyberspace community. In addition to being the exclusive provider of credit
cards for AOL users, First USA products will get a wide
variety of advertising and promotions across throughout AOL brands.
Online services are to include:
- instant online application, credit and approval
- the ability to earn AOL co-branded card reward points
- immediate option to transfer balances online from other cards with no
- online customer service, such as previous bill viewing, charges
viewing, balance updates
- 24-hour online statement access and online bill payment
- e-mail customer service and 24-hour, seven-day a week phone service
- request to increase credit limits and issuing additional credit cards
- online shopping guarantee against unauthorized charges
“The 1998 America Online/Roper Starch Cyberstudy showed that the
ease-of-use of handling personal finances online made it one of connected
consumers’ most popular
activities,” said Bob Pittman, president and COO of America Online, Inc.
“For nearly three years, our successful partnership with First USA has
provided AOL members
with high-quality credit card products and services. In this historic
alliance with First USA, we are able to
offer even more benefits and convenience to both AOL and CompuServe members
and Internet consumers
who use AOL.COM, AOL’s Digital City, and AOL Instant Messenger,” Pittman said.