January 8, 2004
Would you like a line of credit with your facial cream?
The eponymous peddlers of petal pink lipstick are getting into the rewards card game. That's right, Avon Products Inc. (NYSE: AVP ) recently partnered with Bank One (NYSE: ONE ) to bring us the Avon Platinum Visa -- a card that rewards cardholders and card peddlers alike.
Avon Platinum Visa holders earn points redeemable for Avon products and can get 1% back on purchases (and Avon's Anew RetroActive skin cream with their first purchase). Avon representatives, meanwhile, earn $25 for each approved account they generate.
Tapping into Avon's more than 600,000 U.S. reps and their loyal lip-glossed customers is a brilliant move for Bank One. The industry mails out more than 3 billion solicitations a year, filling trash receptacles, and recycling bins. The blizzard of mailings has brought the cost of generating a new account to as much as $150. A personal introduction from an Avon Lady is a much better model.
No matter who makes the introduction (even us Fools with our own stunning Motley Fool Visa), make sure you read the fine print and that the card offers rewards you'll actually use. According to CardWeb.com, among the five major payment networks -- Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and Diners Club -- there are more than 30,000 different programs. For help finding the most flattering card for you, read our guidelines for finding The One -- or at least the one for right now.