Companies Introduce Credit-Calling Card
CLEVELAND (AP) _ A credit card that can be used to make purchases and long-distance telephone calls will be available to consumers in five states beginning next month.
The Ameritech Complete MasterCard offered by Ameritech and Household Credit Services was introduced Thursday in a three-city video news conference.
″This card will simplify consumers’ lives and eliminate the need for multiple credit and calling cards,″ said Jack Rooney, Ameritech vice president and treasurer during a three-city video conference.
Rooney spoke from Chicago during the video linkup, which also included Cleveland and Columbus.
He said the Ameritech Complete MasterCard will be offered to consumers in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin beginning Oct. 1.
Ameritech is the Chicago-based parent company of the Bell telephone companies in those states. The five-state region serves about 10 million residential customers.
Ameritech and Household Credit Services are participating in marketing the card, but calling card features will be handled by Ameritech through its five Bell companies.
Household will be responsible for the credit card side, including issuing the card, making credit decisions and collections and maintaining customer service for the credit card account.
Household Credit Services is a subsidiary of Household International, Inc., based in Prospect Heights, Ill. The parent company provides consumer and commercial financial services and consumer insurance products.
Ameritech spokesman Rich Bialek said the card was created to help the company compete for local telephone service and hopefully will lead to increased use of all Ameritech services.
″Customers who use the card to make telephone calls will get 10 percent cash back each October on all calling card calls made during the previous year,″ he said.
The companies also believe consumers will be attracted by complimentary travel accident insurance of $100,000 and the absence of an annual fee.
Bialek said a 19.8 percent interest rate will be charged on all credit card accounts up to $1,000. Lower rates will be charged for higher balances.
Calling card charges will continue to appear on customers’ home telephone bills, Bialek said. Bank card charges will appear on a separate bill issued by Household.