Affinity Card Partners
Are you a customer, member, or constituent of a credit card company’s affinity partner? Well, you may be able to complain about credit card company abuses to the partner. Do keep in mind that the partners do make money in these arrangements, so you will probably not get much more than some standard “sorry to hear that, we work hard to assure people are happy” reply. However, if enough “decent” people at “good” companies/organizations realize that credit card companies may be hurting their own brands, you could have an impact. To get you started, here are some affinity card program links (really, thousands of partners are out there, so enjoy poking around on the Internet or reading the fine print on credit card offers to see which brands are partnering with one another).
First USA (Chase) cards, such as (just a sampling, here — click the link for more):
Disney, Borders, and Six Flags
Amazon.com, AVON, Borders, Pier 1
Duke University , University of Florida , University of Nebraska, Yale University
AICPA (accountants), ASPCA*, Shriners, Trout Unlimited**
* Gives me an idea: could there be “Society for the Prevention of Credit Card Holders”?
** Small world. I have a cousin who has been involved with this organization for years (but I did not know of the credit card affinity relationship, until conducting the research to create this page); you can bet he’ll be hearing from me!
Bank of America’s site indicates that it has “experience with more than 5,000 affinity groups.” Indeed, this article, “More on Bank of America affinity deals,” discusses Bank of America’s buyout of MBNA, which pioneered affinity marketing programs (MBNA was the company that first caused me to really dislike the unethical treatment and abusiveness of credit card companies; see my “About” page, or my testimony).