Amazon launches private label account “virtual card”
Amazon’s new credit account carries a special offer for the Christmas period. But, after that, Amazon intends to use it to recognise & reward its best customers.
Online retailer Amazon.com has launched the Amazon Credit Account – a virtual, online, cardless private-label credit “card” – the online equivalent of a store card. Customers who sign up for the account will get three months of no payments and interest free shopping on orders over US$200 placed until the end of January 2002.
Will customers rush to sign up? No doubt, many will take advantage of the interest free deferred payments for their Christmas shopping. But after that, who knows? No ongoing loyalty incentive is offered as yet, so it seems likely that many customers will continue to use their credit cards which do offer some form of reward.
Develop and grow Amazon’s director of global payments, Rene Pelegero, told The Wise Marketer that the account is a brand new venture for Amazon and that, as such, it will develop and grow. While not yet committing to anything specific, he told us that Amazon intends to use the account to recognise and reward its best customers with “special treatment”.
The account carries no annual fee and the APR on purchases is 22.9% and on defaults 26.9% (rates may vary). It is available only to US residents aged at least 18. It is the result of a deal between Citi Commerce Solutions, a division of Citibank Cards, and Amazon Financial Services, Inc. Citi Commerce Solutions is the credit provider for Amazon.com’s Corporate Accounts programme that was launched in August 2001. Citi Commerce Solutions will also provide the “apply and buy” technology behind the programmes.