November 2, 2018

Synchrony has a lot to lose in fight with Walmart

American Banker - November 2, 2018

https://www.americanbanker.com/opinion/synchrony-has-a-lot-to-lose-in-fight-with-walmart


When lots of money is at stake, divorce proceedings often turn ugly. Long-held grievances get a public airing, and both sides frequently suffer damage.


So it may be with the retail giant Walmart and, even more so, its longtime credit card partner, Synchrony Financial. The two firms split up in July after a 19-year relationship, setting off rancorous negotiations over the potential sale of a portfolio that consists of approximately $10 billion in existing loans.


Then on Thursday the Bentonville, Ark.-based chain sued Synchrony for at least $800 million, prompting a volley of charges and counter-charges.


The open hostilities appear to hold more peril for Synchrony than they do for Walmart. For one, the retail behemoth has a market capitalization that is about 15 times larger than Synchrony.


Perhaps more ominously, the lawsuit, filed by Walmart in U.S. District Court in Arkansas, would seem to diminish Synchrony’s chances of renewing its partnership with Sam’s Club, the warehouse chain owned by Walmart. That deal expires in 2021, and Synchrony has previously vowed to be aggressive in trying to renew it.


“This is likely the beginning of what could be a drawn-out litigation process,” Sanjay Sakhrani, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, wrote in a research note Thursday, “and doesn’t bode well for the Sam’s Club renewal.”


On Friday, Synchrony’s share price fell by 10%, while Walmart’s moved up slightly. The Stamford, Conn., company has lost roughly 17% of its market value since Walmart said in late July that was ending its relationship with Synchrony and shifting its card business to Capital One Financial.


Walmart’s lawsuit alleges that Synchrony breached its contract in several significant ways, though some of the specific claims are blacked out because they include confidential business information. One claim that was made public is that Synchrony underwrote the Walmart portfolio in a way that exposed the program to significant credit risk.


Walmart’s implication seems to be that Synchrony is placing an unreasonably high valuation on loans that are likely to result in higher-than-normal losses.


If Synchrony does agree to sell the loan portfolio, Capital One, which in August became the exclusive issuer of Walmart credit cards, would be the buyer. At issue is the sale price: If Capital One refuses to pay the amount that Synchrony is seeking, then Walmart could have to make up the difference.


Moshe Orenbuch, an analyst at Credit Suisse, wrote in a research note Friday that while Synchrony expects to get a premium for the transfer of the portfolio, Capital One has indicated that it does not want to pay a premium for a portfolio with a loss rate near 11%.


“It appears that would leave Walmart having to add the economics, and the suit certainly seems well-timed to advance their position,” Orenbuch wrote.


Synchrony, which was spun off from General Electric in 2015, responded to the suit by putting at least some of the blame for the portfolio’s loss rate on Walmart. The credit card issuer argued that Walmart failed to promote the credit cards either in its stores or online, which contributed to their performance.


“Synchrony applied the same underwriting and decision-making processes to the Walmart portfolio as it does to all portfolios,” the company said in a statement. “The credit performance of the portfolio was simply driven by the credit distribution of the applicants, the relative performance of Walmart cardholders and Walmart’s failure to promote the program.”


Synchrony also accused Walmart of walking away from negotiations and rushing to file suit. It called the lawsuit an attempt to avoid paying the fair market value for the portfolio, as the contract between the two companies requires.


“While we would have preferred to resolve this matter commercially, Synchrony intends to file substantial claims that will demonstrate Walmart failed in the most basic elements of our agreement,” the company stated.


Lisa Lanspery, senior vice president of public relations at Synchrony, said in an interview that Walmart is offering less money for the loan portfolio than other comparable packages have attracted over the last decade.


And she stated that it is unusual for a retailer — in this case Walmart — to take such an aggressive role in negotiations between two financial institutions over the sale of a credit card portfolio. “It’s always done between the two banks,” she said.


When asked about Sam’s Club, Lanspery said that the warehouse chain remains a valued partner of Synchrony. “We’re not going to speculate on future contract negotiations, or hypothetical future contract negotiations,” she added.


A Walmart spokesman declined to respond to allegations made by Synchrony, though the company did provide a statement about the lawsuit.

“Synchrony breached its contractual obligations to Walmart and as a result, the damages to our company are estimated to be at least $800 million,” the retailer stated.


“We made every attempt to resolve this business dispute and avoid litigation, however Synchrony has failed to take responsibility for its actions. We fully expect Synchrony to manufacture counterclaims in an effort to shift the focus away from its own conduct.”


The partnership with Walmart accounted for more than 10% of the total interest and fees on loans that Synchrony collected in 2017, according to a regulatory filing.


The $100 billion-asset card issuer has said that it may hold onto the Walmart portfolio and seek to convince existing card holders to switch to a credit card that has no affiliation with Walmart.

Walmart vs. Synchrony

Walmart vs. Synchrony

July 9, 2018

L.L.Bean and Citi Retail Services Launch New Co-brand Mastercard

Chicago – L.L.Bean, Citi Retail Services and Mastercard are excited to announce a new co-brand credit card for L.L.Bean customers with an enhanced rewards structure and suite of benefits, available today.


L.L.Bean Mastercard cardmembers now have the opportunity to earn more rewards on everyday purchases, including:

  • 4% on L.L.Bean purchases
  • 2% at gas stations
  • 2% at restaurants
  • 1% on all other purchases

Rewards are earned as "Bean Buck" points and can be used for savings on L.L.Bean purchases online, in-store or by phone. "Bean Bucks" can be used in any amount and never expire as long as cardmembers continue using their L.L.Bean Mastercard. In addition, cardmembers continue to enjoy exclusive L.L.Bean benefits, including free shipping, free return shipping and free monogramming.


The card has no annual fee and there are no limits on rewards. Customers can apply for the new L.L.Bean Mastercard online, in-store or by calling L.L.Bean.


As part of this new partnership, Citi Retail Services, one of North America's largest and most experienced retail credit solution providers, has acquired the existing $1.5 billion L.L.Bean co-brand credit card portfolio. Existing cardmembers will be issued new L.L.Bean Mastercard accounts and will be automatically upgraded to the new card's enhanced value proposition.


"We are thrilled to be welcoming Citi and Mastercard to our family of business partners," said Steve Smith, President and CEO of L.L.Bean. "Their extensive retail experience and ability to put together a program to enhance our customers' shopping experience made them a natural choice. Our new co-branded card and the greatly enriched rewards it offers are fantastic for our current customers and will also help us welcome new customers to L.L.Bean to share in our passion for the outdoors."


"We are excited to work with L.L.Bean to drive enhanced value for customers of this beloved American brand through the L.L.Bean Mastercard," said Craig Vallorano, Head of Citi Retail Services. "This new agreement with L.L.Bean is a tremendous addition to Citi Retail Services' family of industry-leading brands, and we look forward to bringing innovative offerings to their customers throughout the years ahead."


"L.L.Bean is much more than a retailer, it's a lifestyle brand that has redefined customer loyalty and we're thrilled to partner with them to deliver a card program that extends this lifestyle," said Craig Vosburg, president, North America, Mastercard. "In partnership with Citi, we'll bring the benefits and experiences that allow L.L.Bean enthusiasts to explore their passion for the outdoors with the advanced technologies that let them pay when, how and wherever their adventures take them through worldwide acceptance."


Citi
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

L.L. Bean MasterCard

L.L. Bean MasterCard

February 1, 2018

  

Starbucks and Chase Launch Starbucks Rewards Visa Card


  

Seamless integration with Starbucks Rewards™ loyalty program brings customers fast, frequent Rewards earned through everyday spending


Starting today, the card unlocks the ability to earn Stars both in and out of Starbucks® stores wherever Visa is accepted worldwide


SEATTLE, February 1, 2018 – Today, Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) and Chase (NYSE: JPM) announce the availability of the Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Card, a co-brand credit card integrated directly into the Starbucks Rewards™ loyalty program. Customers using the card earn Stars with every purchase both in and out of Starbucks stores wherever Visa is accepted worldwide, and can be redeemed for food and beverage items at more than 8,000 participating* Starbucks locations. Cardmembers will also become members of the Starbucks Rewards loyalty program, receiving exclusive perks and benefits already enjoyed by more than 14 million members daily.


“It’s important to us to make earning Rewards as easy for our customers as possible, and the Starbucks Rewards Visa Card is a powerful tool for us to do that because of how easily it fits into their daily lives,” said Matt Ryan, executive vice president and chief strategy officer for Starbucks. “This credit card also makes every day more rewarding for Starbucks and Chase customers through the ability to quickly earn Stars and benefits - including more food and beverage Rewards for any occasion.”


“We want to give cardmembers who can’t live without their Starbucks beverage an easy way to earn more Rewards,” said Jennifer Roberts, head of Digital Products for Chase. “The Starbucks Rewards Visa Card lets them earn Stars on every purchase they make so their next cup is that much more rewarding.”

Cardmembers will receive a physical card within 7-10 days of their application being approved, and a digital card will be immediately loaded into the Starbucks® mobile app for customers to start earning Stars right away.


New cardmembers can enjoy the following benefits:

· New Cardmember Offer: 2,500 Stars after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening (equal to 20 food or beverage items)


· Bonus Stars: 250 Stars when using their Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Card to load their registered Starbucks Card within the Starbucks® mobile app for the first time


· More Stars:

      o 1 Star for every $4 spent outside of Starbucks stores

      o 1 Star for every $1 digitally loaded    to their registered Starbucks Card in the Starbucks® mobile app, using their Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Card, in addition to the 2 stars per $1 earned when paying with their registered Starbucks Card as a member of the Starbucks Rewards™ loyalty program


· Instant Gold Status: Cardmembers will automatically receive Gold Status within the Starbucks Rewards™ program


· 8 Barista Picks: Curated food or beverage Rewards selected by baristas and automatically loaded to the cardmembers Starbucks Rewards account Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Card has an annual fee of $49. To apply for the Starbucks Rewards Visa credit card, visit starbucks.com/visacard.


The new credit card is an expansion of the ongoing relationship between the two companies. Chase Merchant Services is the payment processing partner for Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada, and Chase Pay is accepted at participating Starbucks stores in the U.S., as well as through the Starbucks mobile app. A second co-branded product, the Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Prepaid Card will launch later this year.

January 18, 2018

  

AmEx's Customer Rewards Are Starting to Get Costly


  By  Jennifer Surane   

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-18/amex-co-brand-card-wins-take-a-toll-as-rewards-costs-keep-rising


January 18, 2018, 2:37 PM MST Updated on January 18, 2018, 4:24 PM MST

· Card issuer suspends buyback program as it rebuilds capital

· Shares fall as forecast for profit in 2018 misses expectations


A string of co-brand credit-card wins is getting expensive for American Express Co.  The cost of paying out rewards to card members climbed 12 percent to $1.98 billion in the fourth quarter, the most in at least seven years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. During 2017, AmEx won dual-issuing rights with JPMorgan Chase & Co. for Marriott International Inc.’s suite of cards and exclusive rights to issue credit cards for Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., ending an agreement in which it shared the business with Citigroup Inc.


AmEx has been spending more to ink co-brand deals after parting ways with Costco Wholesale Corp. and JetBlue Airways Corp. sparked the card issuer’s worst stock slump since the financial crisis. About $42 billion of co-brand deals are open for bid in 2018 and 2019, meaning there are many opportunities for AmEx to gain share in the market, according to analysts at Susquehanna Financial Group.


Rewards War

AmEx has boosted spending on rewards as it tries to win more co-brand deals

Source: Company filings

Renewing the Marriott and Hilton deals will crimp earnings by more than $200 million this year, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Campbell said during a conference call with analysts on Thursday. He cited an increase in customer spending -- especially on the firm’s recently retooled Platinum product -- as one reason for the higher rewards costs in the quarter.

“As you would expect in today’s competitive co-brand environment, the margins are lower on these partnerships starting in January,” Campbell said. “We still have very attractive economics for us. They’re just not as attractive as they generally are.”


AmEx stock dropped 2.7 percent to $97.14 in late trading after it said it expects earnings per share of $6.90 to $7.30 in 2018, below the $7.32 average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The company said it expects its effective tax rate for the year to be 22 percent.


Results were hurt by a $2.6 billion charge related to the Republican tax bill, the company said. The charge crimped regulatory capital, and AmEx announced it will suspend share buybacks in the first half as it rebuilds that capital.


“Overall, we believe the Tax Act will be a positive development for both the U.S. economy and American Express,” AmEx Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Chenault said in the statement. “Given the momentum in the business and the anticipated benefit of a lower tax rate, we now expect to invest up to $200 million more in 2018 than we originally planned for customer‐facing growth initiatives.”

Other card issuers have signaled that they’re pulling back on rewards. 


Citigroup, which won Costco’s business from AmEx in 2015, said on Tuesday it will scale back promotional offers and attempt to encourage customers to keep a balance on cards so the lender can earn more from interest and fees. JPMorgan said last week that it had finished renewals of its co-brand card deals.


· AmEx’s quarterly results swung to a loss of $1.2 billion, or $1.41 a share, from profit of $825 million, or 88 cents, a year earlier. Adjusted earnings per share, which excluded the impact of the $2.6 billion charge, were $1.58. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had estimated adjusted earnings would be $1.54.

· The company set aside $833 million for bad loans, an 8.3 percent boost compared with the prior three-month period, as delinquencies climbed.

· Worldwide billed business, a measure of customer card spending, increased 11 percent from a year ago to $291.4 billion.

· The average discount rate, a measure of the fees AmEx charges merchants, slipped to 2.4 percent from 2.42 percent in the prior quarter.

Quotes from this Article


January 9, 2018

  

Alliance Data to Launch Co-Brand and Private Label Credit Cards for IKEA Group Retail Operations in the U.S.

- New credit program to support the rapid growth of IKEA in the U.S.

- Seamless application in stores and online will enable customers to begin enjoying benefits of the loyalty-driven card

- Alliance Data's proprietary data assets will deliver custom analytics and insights to drive top-line sales and increase visits online and in-store


PLANO, Texas, Jan. 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE: ADS), a leading global provider of data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions, today announced its Columbus, Ohio-based card servicesbusiness, a premier provider of branded private label, co-brand and business credit card programs, has signed a new agreement to provide branded credit card services in the United States for IKEA Group (www.ikea.com), the world's largest furniture retailer. The IKEA Group operates 47 stores in the U.S. and a total of 362 in 29 countries around the world. IKEA aims to offer consumers home furnishing solutions of good design and function at affordable prices.


Alliance Data will create a loyalty-driven credit card program that combines customer insights and industry benchmarking to develop a customized rewards and benefits package tailored for the unique IKEA customer base. The co-branded rewards card can be used for both IKEA purchases and for everyday spending needs such as gas, groceries and utilities. The card will incorporate custom program perks designed to recognize customers for their loyalty. In order to make the card as affordable and rewarding as possible, IKEA Group in the U.S. has designed the card without an annual fee, and will reinvest resources from the card to offer customers more generous rewards. Alliance Data will leverage its digital and mobile expertise throughout the customer's shopping journey, including its Frictionless Mobile CreditSM, which provides a seamless application experience–throughout the store or online–and puts customers in control of how and where they want to initiate the experience.

In addition, the new IKEA Projekt Card in the U.S. will function as a store-branded financing solution for qualified customers doing major home decorating and renovation projects, such as a dream kitchen. It will provide special financing options, allowing customers to pay for larger purchases over time.

"Making life better and easier for the many people drives everything we do at IKEA, and we were looking for a like-minded credit marketing partner that is passionate about the same values," said Jacqueline DeChamps, chief operating officer at IKEA U.S. "Alliance Data really understands our company and will deliver meaningful credit and loyalty programs, while constantly innovating based on our customer needs. Leveraging Alliance Data's skillset in loyalty and marketing, we are excited about how this new partnership will enhance our customers' shopping experience across channels with added convenience and benefits."

"Alliance Data and IKEA share a common culture focused on doing what is right for customers, the community, and the environment," said Melisa Miller, president of Alliance Data's card services business. "We are thrilled to embark on this exciting new partnership to provide an unparalleled customer experience through our credit programs. We are confident that our lifecycle marketing approach will attract existing and new IKEA customers as lifelong cardmembers, motivated by a credit and loyalty experience that reflects the deliberately different approach that has earned IKEA its leadership position in the industry."

IKEA U.S. utilized the services of the International Law Firm of Alston & Bird to consummate the transaction.

About IKEA
Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function at low prices. The IKEA Group operates 362 IKEA stores in 29 countries, including 47 in the U.S. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information see IKEA-USA.com, @IKEAUSANews, @IKEAUSA or IKEAUSA on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.

About Alliance Data's card services business
Alliance Data's card services business is a leading provider of tailored marketing and loyalty solutions, delivered through branded credit programs that drive more profitable relationships between our brand partners and their cardmembers. We offer private label, co-brand, and business card products to many of the world's most recognizable brands across a multitude of channels.

We uphold our Know more. Sell more.® promise by leveraging unmatched customer insights, advanced analytics, and broad-reaching innovative capabilities. It's how we deliver increased sales to our partners, build enduring loyalty to their brands, and provide more value to our cardmembers. Alliance Data's card services business is a proud part of the Alliance Data enterprise. 



December 5, 2017

  

Marriott International Signs New Co-Brand Credit Card Agreements with JPMorgan Chase and American Express

  

12/05/2017 – Bethesda, MD


Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) today announced it reached new agreements with JPMorgan Chase and American Express for its U.S.-issued, co-brand credit cards associated with its loyalty programs. These multi-year agreements will extend Marriott’s relationship with both card issuers and cover the Marriott Rewards and Ritz-Carlton Rewards Visa credit cards from JPMorgan Chase, and the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) credit cards from American Express.


“Marriott’s co-brand credit cards have been a meaningful contributor to the success of Marriott’s loyalty programs and a sign of the extraordinary value of our portfolio of brands,” said Arne Sorenson, Marriott International’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are pleased to bring together the power of JPMorgan Chase and American Express with our global portfolio of brands to continue to provide consumers with choices. We expect our loyalty program members, owners and franchisees, and our shareholders will see significant incremental benefits from these new agreements.”    

Marriott expects to introduce new, co-brand products starting in 2018 with enhanced member benefits – super-premium consumer and small business co-branded products from American Express and mass consumer and premium consumer co-branded products from JPMorgan Chase. Additional details on the future products will be shared in 2018. In the meantime, both companies will retain their existing portfolio of accounts and continue to offer their current products.


“We are excited to build on our long-term partnership with Marriott and look forward to continuing to serve our mutual customers with the products and experiences they love,” said Jennifer Piepszak, CEO of Chase Card Services. “Together, we also plan to invest in new mass and premium consumer products that will bring choice and variety to the marketplace, along with the depth and breadth of Marriott International’s portfolio of brands.”


“The American Express relationship with Marriott dates back more than sixty years and we are pleased to continue an important component of our partnership,” said Glenda McNeal, President, Strategic Partnerships at American Express. “We’ll continue to provide our Starwood Preferred Guest Card Members with the award-winning benefits, services and experiences they have come to enjoy on their existing product, while building our portfolio within the family of Marriott brands to serve affluent travelers and small businesses.”


For now, there will be no changes to Marriott’s existing co-brand cards for members. Members using the Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Visa credit cards from JPMorgan Chase, as well as the Starwood Preferred Guest credit cards from American Express will continue to earn and redeem points as usual. SPG members in the U.S. can earn two Starpoints® for every eligible dollar spent using the Starwood Preferred Guest credit cards by American Express directly at hotels participating in SPG and Marriott Rewards globally. In addition, Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards members in the U.S. can earn five Rewards points for every eligible dollar spent using the JPMorgan Chase Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Visa credit cards on qualifying purchases made at participating global Marriott Rewards and SPG properties.


These credit card agreements are the latest example of the significant economies of scale and competitive advantage that are resulting from Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. In late 2018, Marriott expects to launch a single technology platform for Marriott Rewards, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and SPG. This should enable the company to synch the technology-dependent components of each program, further reducing costs. The new technology platform will also take Marriott one step closer to the goal of having a single loyalty program for the company’s 100+ million members in the current Rewards and SPG loyalty programs.

November 16, 2017

  

PayPal & Synchrony Financial Expand Strategic Credit Relationship


  

SAN JOSE, Calif. and STAMFORD, Conn. – November 16, 2017 – PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) and Synchrony Financial (NYSE: SYF) today announced an agreement to significantly expand their strategic consumer credit relationship. Under the terms of the transaction, Synchrony Financial will acquire $6.8 billion in receivables, including PayPal’s U.S. consumer credit receivables portfolio, which totaled approximately $5.8 billion in receivables as of October 31, 2017, and approximately $1 billion in participation interests in receivables held by certain investors and a chartered financial institution. Subject to regulatory approval and other customary conditions, this transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018.


In addition, at closing, PayPal and Synchrony Bank will extend the existing co-brand consumer credit card program agreement, and Synchrony Bank will also become the exclusive issuer of the PayPal Credit online consumer financing program, in the U.S. for 10 years.


“Providing great payments experiences to our customers is at the core of everything we do,” said Dan Schulman, President and CEO of PayPal. “Our expanded relationship with Synchrony Financial will free up cash currently used to fund consumer credit receivables for other uses, while accelerating our ability to deliver engaging credit and payments experiences for our customers. We believe this transaction significantly advances our strategic and financial goals.”


“This collaboration builds on a key partner relationship in the rapidly growing digital payments space and expands our capabilities within the merchant environment,” said Margaret Keane, President and Chief Executive Officer of Synchrony Financial. “The partnership with PayPal extends our expertise in advanced analytics and underwriting across all digital channels, providing deeper insights into the unique needs of the PayPal customer.”


Since 2004, PayPal and Synchrony Bank have partnered to offer PayPal-branded consumer credit card options that enable cardholders to shop online and in stores. PayPal and Synchrony Bank will be expanding their program agreement to include the PayPal Credit online consumer financing program available to PayPal’s U.S. customers. Through this expanded relationship, PayPal will continue to provide access to innovative consumer credit products, while Synchrony Bank will provide program management capabilities. This transaction enables PayPal to control customer-facing activities, which aligns with PayPal’s strategy of enhancing the consumer experience, while simultaneously allowing for more efficient capital allocation.


Online consumer financing has been a strategic offering of the PayPal platform since 2008, and is a proven driver of consumer and merchant engagement. The expanded agreement with Synchrony Bank for both the U.S. PayPal Credit online consumer financing program and the U.S. PayPal-branded consumer credit card program complements PayPal’s successful partnering strategy and allows PayPal to collaborate with an industry leader to enrich and expand PayPal’s consumer credit offerings. The expanded relationship will enable innovative customer experiences by leveraging the joint capabilities and strengths of each company. 

June 1, 2017

  

HILTON COMPLETES REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL PROCESS FOR HILTON HONORS CO-BRAND CREDIT CARDS


American Express selected as exclusive issuer for U.S. Hilton Honors credit cards starting 2018


June 01, 2017  |  This information originated in American English.

MCLEAN, Va. and NEW YORK - Hilton (NYSE: HLT) today announced that American Express (NYSE: AXP) has been selected as the exclusive issuer for Hilton Honors co-branded credit cards in the United States, beginning January 1, 2018. The announcement follows a comprehensive and competitive bidding process aimed at creating long-term value for both companies, hotel owners, guests and Hilton Honors members. The terms of the new multi-year partnership remain confidential.


There will be no immediate changes for existing U.S. cardholders, and purchases made on existing co-branded credit cards will continue to earn Hilton Honors Points. Additional information will be made available later this year.


"Hilton continues to focus on adding new benefits for our Hilton Honors members," said Mark Weinstein, senior vice president and Global Head of Customer Engagement, Loyalty & Partnerships, Hilton. "We are excited to work with American Express on new ways to enhance value for our most loyal guests."


Hilton is American Express' first and longest co-brand card relationship, with the companies beginning their co-branded card partnership in 1995. Hilton has also been an American Express Card-accepting merchant since 1969.The relationship has expanded over the years to include a multitude of travel programs for the companies' shared customers.


"We are very happy to expand upon our five-decade relationship with Hilton to deliver exceptional experiences, services and value to our shared customers," said Eva Reda, senior vice president, Co-Brand Partnerships, American Express. "Through our expanded partnership, we will continue to ensure that Card Members get even more value out of their Hilton Honors and American Express memberships."


Hilton first offered co-branded cards with Citi in 2000. The company would like to acknowledge, and thank Citi for the long and successful co-branded relationship.

February 14, 2017

  

Cathay Pacific and Synchrony Financial Launch Co-Branded Visa Credit Card with Exclusive Rewards for U.S. Travelers


  

  

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. and STAMFORD, Conn. –  February 14, 2017 – U.S. travelers have a new way to experience exclusive flight benefits and rewards with the launch today of the first Cathay Pacific Visa®and Visa Signature® cards issued by Synchrony Bank.


The Cathay Pacific Visa1 card program offers U.S. customers of Cathay Pacific Airways a wide range of travel perks on flights to all 173 destinations in 42 countries and territories served by the airline, along with the added flexibility of using the card for purchases anywhere Visa credit cards are accepted worldwide. Cathay Pacific flies to Hong Kong and beyond, with more than 100 flights each week from six U.S. cities, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York-JFK, Newark Liberty, and San Francisco. 


“At Cathay Pacific we’re always striving to create a rewarding and meaningful travel experience,” said Eric Odone, Vice-President Sales and Marketing, Americas, Cathay Pacific. “The introduction of this credit card with Synchrony Financial is about further enhancing our ethos of “a life well-travelled.” Being able to anticipate and successfully meet our customers’ needs has always been our priority and we firmly believe the features and reward options of this new credit program will enrich the journeys of all who travel with us.” 


Available online at cathaypacific.com/uscreditcard, qualifying cardholders2 can earn up to two Asia Miles per US $1 spent on eligible purchases. Also, consumers can earn 25,000 Asia Miles when they spend $2,500 or more in the first 90 days of opening their account, enough for a one-way upgrade on Cathay Pacific. 


“We share Cathay Pacific’s passion for superior customer service and rewarding travelers well with greater perks and payment flexibility to enjoy their experience,” said Tom Quindlen, Executive Vice President and CEO of Retail Card for Synchrony Financial. “Synchrony Financial is pleased to continue expanding its offerings in the travel sector with a valued partner like Cathay Pacific.” 


Among the card benefits, cardholders can earn Asia Miles faster as follows: 

· 2 Asia Miles per $1 spent on Cathay Pacific purchases made online or in-flight.

· 1.5 Asia Miles per $1 spent on dining in the U.S. and abroad.

· 1.5 Asia Miles per $1 spent on purchases made outside the U.S.

· 1 Asia Mile per $1 spent on all other purchases made in the U.S. 


Available redemption offers can be found at Asia Miles and include use on Cathay Pacific, oneworld and partner airlines, as well as access to unique travel packages, multi-destination fares, purchases and services. With 25,000 miles, cardholders can enjoy a one-way upgrade on Cathay Pacific (20,000 Asia Miles to upgrade between Economy - Premium Economy or Premium to Business Class) or one-way Economy Class tickets on specific routes with American Airlines, British Airways and Alaska Airlines. Additionally, bonus miles can be redeemed for a variety of experiences and purchases, including flights, hotels, car rentals, tours, and gift cards for U.S. restaurants and stores. 

“Asia Miles is dedicated to our members and always looking for new ways to provide life-rewarding experiences,” said Stephen S. Y. Wong, CEO, Asia Miles. “Collaborating with our long-term airline partner Cathay Pacific on the introduction of this credit card allows us to offer U.S. members more opportunities to earn miles through their everyday spending, apart from travelling, which further enhances their reward experiences.” 


Cardholders also enjoy exclusive benefits, including a complimentary 12-month green membership in Cathay Pacific’s Marco Polo Club for new club members, which provides priority check-in, priority boarding and personalized baggage tags. 





October 3, 2016

  

  

Capital One to be exclusive long-term card issuing partner with Leading Outdoor Retailer Cabela’s 


  

Capital One is selected by Bass Pro Shops in conjunction with its winning bid to acquire Cabela's

MCLEAN, Va., Oct. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) today announced that it has entered into a 10-year program agreement to become the exclusive issuing partner of co-branded credit cards to Cabela'scustomers.  This agreement will become effective concurrent with Bass Pro Shops' completion of its proposed acquisition of Cabela's that also was announced today.


"This partnership is an appealing strategic and financial opportunity, and plays to our strengths in the retail card partnership space," said Jimmy Cannon, Executive Vice President, Card Partnerships at Capital One. "Brand loyalty has been a hallmark for both Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's and, together, we are looking forward to building on the strength of those relationships by providing customers with a rewarding experience."


In connection with the Cabela's credit card program, Capital One has entered into a definitive agreement under which it will acquire the credit card operation from Cabela's, including approximately $5.2 billion in credit card receivables and other assets and approximately $5 billion in associated funding liabilities.


Capital One will acquire Cabela's credit card operations for par value of the credit card receivables, less the par value of assumed liabilities. The agreement includes revenue and loss sharing provisions for the ongoing credit card program.


Capital One expects this partnership to provide a strong platform for future growth and returns in its Partnerships credit card business. Capital One does not expect this acquisition to impact its approved capital distribution plan described in its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended June 30, 2016.  


"We are pleased to partner with Capital One, a leading financial institution with a long track record of successfully operating programs similar to our CLUB Visa portfolio," said Tommy Millner, Cabela's Chief Executive Officer. "This agreement aligns Cabela's with a strong partner that is committed to operating this program with the same care and customer-focused approach as Cabela's has provided since its inception."


Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops, said, "Cabela's has developed a remarkably loyal base of credit card customers and we look forward to partnering with Capital One as we continue to provide those customers with tremendous service as part of the Bass Pro Shops' family."

The Cabela's credit card program transaction, including the acquisition of Cabela's credit card operations, is expected to close in the first half of 2017, subject to the concurrent closing of Bass Pro Shops' acquisition of Cabela's, regulatory approval and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

July 23, 2015

  

  

Chase and Southwest Airlines Agree to Multi-year Extension of Southwest Rapid Rewards Cards with Chase Program

WILMINGTON, DEL. – JULY 23, 2015 - Chase Card Services, a division of JPMorgan Chase & Co. [NYSE: JPM] and Southwest Airlines® (NYSE: LUV) today announced a multi-year extension to the nearly 20-year partnership for co-branded credit cards, Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Plus, Premier and Business Cards.


“This extension reinforces our long-term commitment to collaborating on a program that delivers exceptional value and service to our shared customers,” said Eileen Serra, chief executive officer of Chase Card Services. “We look forward to deepening an already meaningful relationship.”


“Providing a unique and excellent customer experience at a low fare is at the heart of everything we do at Southwest,” said Bob Jordan, Southwest Airlines executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “We’ve chosen to continue this association with Chase because of our mutual dedication to providing the best card value for our Customers. Our Customers will continue to receive great value while enjoying the benefits only Southwest can provide including bags fly free*, no change fees and outstanding Customer Service.”


The Southwest Rapid Rewards cards continue to deliver a distinctive portfolio of rewards and first-class travel perks, including:


· Earn Free Flights Faster: Earn two points for every $1.00 spent on Southwest Airlines® purchases made directly with the airline, and two points per $1.00 when spending on Southwest Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases. Plus, earn one point for every $1.00 spent on all other purchases.

· Travel Rewards: Cardholders can redeem for Southwest flights, gift cards, hotel stays, car rentals and merchandise.

· Travel Abroad with Confidence: No foreign transaction fees on Southwest Premier Card and all Southwest cards are enabled with chip and signature technology.

· Travel Easy: Unlimited rewards seats, no blackout dates, no charge for flight changes and points don’t expire.


Plus, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card from Chase has been voted the Best Loyalty Credit Card in the Americas at the annual Freddie Awards in 2013, 2014 and 2015.