WILMINGTON, Del., July 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 25 years after it pioneered affinity marketing by offering credit cards to customers who share a strong common interest, Bank of America today announced the long-term extensions of three of its longest and most successful affinity marketing agreements with the National Education Association (NEA), Ducks Unlimited and the American Automobile Association (AAA).
"These agreements demonstrate the confidence our affinity organizations have in Bank of America's ongoing commitment to delight their members by providing innovative products and the very best service available," said Bank of America Card Services Business Development Executive John Cochran, who developed the affinity marketing concept in 1982 as chief marketing officer of MBNA, which Bank of America purchased earlier this year.
The NEA and Ducks Unlimited partnerships were first signed more than 20 years ago. Since then, Bank of America has provided credit cards, personal loans, lines of credit and more to more than one million NEA and Ducks Unlimited members. Additionally, the endorsing agreement with Ducks Unlimited has yielded more than $60 million in contributions for wetland and associated habitat conservation.
The AAA agreement has provided the association's 40 million plus participating U.S. members access to a host of the most innovative credit card programs available, offering everything from gas rebates of 2% to 5%, to cash- back programs, to the superior WorldPoints rewards program for travel, cash, and merchandise.
"These programs show the strength of affinity marketing," Cochran said. "We listen very carefully to our customers and because we market to specific groups of people with a strong common interest, we can more effectively tailor our products to meet their needs. In addition, by using our products, customers identify themselves as part of the group and support the group's goals. Our groups know that by endorsing us and entrusting the reputation of their organization to us, they will receive our absolute commitment to each of their members."
Since introducing affinity marketing to the credit card industry, Bank of America has established thousands of partnerships and is the worldwide leader in providing financial services through affinity marketing.
"Endorsing a credit card program was a new venture back then, but it has really paid off for our members, who have received terrific financial service products from Bank of America for more than two decades," said Gary Phoebus, President of NEA Member Benefits. "It was really an easy decision to extend this partnership because of the consistently outstanding service that Bank of America provides, their world-class products, and their non-stop efforts to understand and meet our members' needs."
"More than 150,000 Ducks Unlimited members in North America presently hold Ducks Unlimited Visa, MasterCard or American Express cards -- and that is a direct testament to the quality and value of the program," said Ducks Unlimited Executive Vice President Don Young. "This relationship sets the standard for corporate support of wetlands conservation. Bank of America is certainly an exceptional partner that cares about the success of our mission to conserve, restore and manage wetlands that benefit waterfowl, as well as other wildlife and people."
"We have been partners with Bank of America since 1999 and our members have long appreciated the exemplary service and the variety of programs available to them," said Mark H. Brown, Executive Vice President, Association and Club Services of AAA. "We look forward to continuing to build this relationship with Bank of America in the future."
AAA members can apply today for an endorsed AAA credit card by visiting http://www.aaa.com.
About Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk-management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving more than 54 million consumer and small business relationships with more than 5,700 retail banking offices, more than 16,700 ATMs and award-winning online banking with more than 19 million active users. Bank of America is the No. 1 overall Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in the United States and the No. 1 SBA lender to minority-owned small businesses. The company serves clients in 175 countries and has relationships with 98 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies and 79 percent of the Global Fortune 500. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE:BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. http://www.bankofamerica.com
About the National Education Association
The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing 2.8 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. They are committed to advancing the cause of public education at every level- from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in 14,000 communities across the United States.
About Ducks Unlimited
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands -- nature's most productive ecosystem -- and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.
Look for Ducks Unlimited on the World Wide Web at http://www.ducks.org. Tune into The World of Ducks Unlimited Radio Network and watch Ducks Unlimited Television on the Outdoor Life Network (OLN).
As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 49 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. For more information, please visit our web site at http://www.aaa.com.
Source: Bank of America