General Motors is launching a new version of its GM MasterCard, this one designed to allow cardholders to more quickly generate dollar credits toward the purchase of new GM vehicles.
The new card, in standard and platinum versions, is an updated model of the card that started a craze for reward credits in 1992.
TV spots from Mullen, Wenham, Mass ., tagged "What are you charging toward?" began breaking during the NCAA basketball tournament. A direct mail campaign targeting 16 million potential customers launches this week.
Spending is expected to be at least $20 million. Current GM cardholders number 6 million. While the company hopes to increase that number, it wouldn't disclose its target except to say that the GM card usually does better than the 1-percent response rate typical of direct solicitation.
GM will add co-branding partners, including sister division OnStar, American Airlines, Loews Theatres, Marriott Hotels and Resorts, Panasonic and other companies that agree to accept GM reward points as discounts on elect products, said Charly Vickery, general manager for the GM Card.
Users of the old GM card will be able to keep their cards under the old rules or transfer to the new card. The new rules bar GM workers from applying their employee discount and card points toward vehicle purchases--a practice the old card allowed.