Wachovia clocks up one million credit card customers

Source: Wachovia

Less than a year since Wachovia Corp.'s re-entry into the credit card business, the company today announced it has reached one million credit card customers in its portfolio.

The millionth card customer and the banker who sold the card received 250,000 Wachovia Possibilities Reward points and a $500 Visa gift card, respectively, to commemorate the landmark moment in Wachovia Card Services' short history.

As part of Wachovia's strategy, the million cards -- a combination of consumer and wholesale customers -- consist largely of existing Wachovia customers who have other relationships with the bank.

"From day one, our strategy has been to focus on the customer experience knowing if we did that well, business success would follow," said Steven G. Boehm, president of Wachovia Card Services. "That's exactly what has happened, and we couldn't be more pleased with our early results."

Since terminating its joint marketing agreement with MBNA in November 2005 and re-entering the credit card business in July 2006, Wachovia has launched consumer cards, commercial cards and -- most recently -- a business credit card product targeting companies with annual revenues of up to $15 million. The business credit card features a unique rewards program called Wachovia Possibilities that allows customers to combine business and personal rewards with credit and debit rewards to reach redemption targets faster.

"Like our consumer credit card offering, Wachovia's new business credit card is about more than rewards," said Bob Ryan, head of product development and innovation for Wachovia Card Services. "It also provides a customer- friendly fee structure, including automatic one-time late fee and over limit fee waivers because want to respect the customer's total relationship with Wachovia."

From service industry and health care companies to manufacturers and racing teams, companies large and small are taking advantage of Wachovia's commercial card offering, including corporate cards and purchasing cards. NASCAR's Team Red Bull is considered Wachovia's first commercial credit card customer.

"As a new team to NASCAR, the Wachovia credit card was a lifesaver for us," said Amy Hayes, finance manager for Team Red Bull Inc. "We're on the road 38 weekends a year and sending at least 50 people to the track every weekend during the Nextel Cup season, as well as flying team members overseas for testing with our Formula One team in Europe. That makes it critical to have a credit product we can fund to cover those travel costs. With our new credit card program, Wachovia again showed its willingness to go the extra mile for us. We're with Wachovia because of the loyalty and the personal service, and the trust that they put into our relationship is invaluable to us."

As Wachovia approaches its one-year anniversary of re-entering the card business as a self issuer, the focus remains on understanding and responding to the customer.

"One million card customers is an incredible milestone but also just the beginning," said Patti Newcomer-Simmons, director of marketing for Wachovia Card Services. "With 13 million Wachovia customers and our commitment to customer satisfaction, there is a lot of opportunity for growth."

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