The US-based college savings loyalty rebate programme BabyMint is to be bought from its current operator, Vesdia Corporation, by education loans company Collegiate Funding Services Inc.
Collegiate Funding Services (CFS) has agreed to acquire the BabyMint college savings programme, which was launched in March 2000 to help parents and other family members save toward college funds.
The programme enables people to save toward a child's college tuition fees as they shop with merchants that participate in the programme. BabyMint members earn rebates on purchases from hundreds of online and bricks-and-mortar retailers, including Target.com, Overstock.com and 1-800-Flowers.com.
Members can also earn an extra 1% rebate on net retail purchases made with their BabyMint College Savings Credit Card (issued by MBNA America Bank). Rebates are deposited into the member's choice of tax-free Section 529 college savings plans or Coverdell Education Savings Accounts.
Expanding through loans
CFS now plans to expand the programme to enable members to receive rebates that can be applied toward their education, including in-school Stafford and PLUS Loans, private, credit-based alternative loans, as well as both Federal and private credit-based consolidation loans.
According to a recent report from the Investment Company Institute, 20% of parents saving for college have participated in education-targeted savings programmes such as 529 college savings plans. The number of 529 accounts reached almost 5.4 million by the end of 2004, and the average account size reached US$9,700.
As part of the deal, Vesdia will become the exclusive loyalty services provider for the BabyMint programme, and CFS will license Vesdia's patented loyalty technology platform. CFS will become the exclusive education finance provider to all of Vesdia's other loyalty programmes.
For additional information:
· Visit CFS at http://www.cfsloans.com
· Visit Vesdia at http://www.vesdia.com
· Visit BabyMint at http://www.babymint.com