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Wachovia returns to US credit card market

27 July 2006  |  2440 views  |  0 Source: Wachovia

Wachovia Corp. today announced the launch of its new retail credit card products as it re-enters the credit card business.

The new Visa products feature an expandable rewards program, which will allow customers to combine debit and credit card points to reach reward redemption targets faster. The new credit cards also provide a customer-friendly fee structure, including nuisance fee and over-limit fee waivers, that reflect the value of a customer's overall relationship with Wachovia.

"We saw an opportunity to offer a product that respected a customer's total relationship with Wachovia beyond simply offering rewards," said Steven G. Boehm, president of Wachovia Card Services. "Wachovia's cards will offer customers a unique value proposition and help customers manage their total spending, whether they want to pay now with their debit card or pay later with their credit card."

Wachovia's new credit card product suite consists of three different products - Wachovia Classic, Wachovia Platinum and Wachovia Signature.

"Many card issuers have practices that penalize customers in an extreme way for being late on payments or going over their credit limits. In some cases, a customer's APR can double if they are only a day or so late on their payment. Wachovia will not use hair-trigger repricing to penalize customers. We have developed these products to respect the overall relationship our customers have with Wachovia. It will also leverage the scale of our debit card business and the success of our Visa Extras rewards program," said Boehm.

Wachovia announced in November 2005 that it had terminated its existing joint marketing agreement with MBNA and re-entered the credit card business. Wachovia, one of the leading retail banking and brokerage businesses, conducted an in-depth analysis of its credit card business options after the announcement that Bank of America would acquire MBNA.

"The credit card business is a very competitive business and we are realistic about the challenges ahead of us. We determined that issuing our own credit cards directly would allow Wachovia to continue providing industry-leading service to our customers and the best returns to our shareholders," Boehm said.

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