Monday, August 20, 2007

OPEN from American Express® Forges Strategic Card Relationships With Harris, BankAtlantic to Serve Small-Business Customers

OPEN from American Express® just announced that it's partnered with two large regional banks to offer its products to Harris and BankAtlantic small-business customers.

OPEN's relationship with Harris marks the first agent bank marketing agreement in the Chicago area. The exclusive agreement calls for the companies to jointly market small-business charge and credit cards that carry the Harris and American Express brands. Beginning in late September, OPEN will offer a suite of co-branded Cards through Harris' 230-plus branches in Chicago and Indiana.

"Harris is a respected and well-known financial institution with an impressive customer base, and we are pleased to serve as their new, exclusive small-business credit card issuer," said Raymond Joabar, Senior Vice President, OPEN from American Express. "This new relationship brings together the strength of OPEN and Harris to link small-business owners with the financial tools and resources they need to help them grow their businesses."

"We are delighted to join with American Express to add the industry-leading, small-business credit-card solution to our robust customer offering of products and services," said Peter McNitt, Vice Chairman and Head of Business Banking, Harris. "In addition to the benefits a business credit card offers in terms of simplifying accounting, I know our customers will appreciate the purchasing power, payment flexibility, cash rebates, travel rewards and savings program that only OPEN offers."

Through Harris, small-business owners are eligible to apply for the SimplyCash[SM] Business Card, which automatically offers up to 5% cash back annually on gas, office supplies, and wireless purchases, plus 1% on virtually all other purchases. In addition, they can apply for the Business Gold Rewards Card and Business Platinum Card®, which offers Cardmembers automatic enrollment in the Membership Rewards® program from American Express, to earn valuable rewards points toward travel, dining, entertainment and retail purchases.

All three Cards include access to the OPEN Savings® program, which gives Cardmembers automatic savings when using their Card for purchases with partners such as FedEx Kinkos®, Hertz®, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts®, Delta Airlines®, JetBlue Airways® and more.

Under the agreement, OPEN from American Express will issue the new Cards and service the accounts. Harris and OPEN will market the Cards to small-business owners through the bank's branch network, on-line, direct mail, and inbound telemarketing channels.

OPEN is a leading issuer of small business credit and charge card products in the United States. With $42 billion in assets and $29 billion in deposits, Harris is the second-largest bank based on branches in the Chicago market. Additionally, Harris has affiliated wealth management offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Virginia and Washington, and will also offer the cards in those locations.

In light of its new relationship with OPEN from American Express®, BankAtlantic will be the first financial institution in Florida to offer American Express® Business Cards. The agent bank agreement calls for the companies to jointly market small business charge and credit cards that carry the BankAtlantic and American Express brands.

Beginning this month, the companies will market two co-branded Cards to BankAtlantic's small business customers in nearly 100 stores in Florida. BankAtlantic stores are located in Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Martin, and St. Lucie counties, as well as the Tampa Bay and Orlando markets.

BankAtlantic's small-business customers will be eligible to apply for the Business Gold Rewards Card, as well as the SimplyCash[SM] Business Card. American Express will issue the new Cards and service the accounts. BankAtlantic and OPEN from American Express will market the Cards through BankAtlantic's in-store, direct mail, telemarketing and online channels. The agent bank alliance brings together OPEN from American Express with one of the largest financial institutions based in the state of Florida. BankAtlantic holds assets of more than $6 billion.

"Our partnership with BankAtlantic allows us to broaden our reach to additional Cardmembers and share our industry-leading products and capabilities with small business customers in Florida," said Joabar. "BankAtlantic is an excellent partner for OPEN, and our alliance will allow small business customers to enjoy best-in-class, co-branded card products from two trusted brands."

"We believe these products are an excellent complement to BankAtlantic's existing business product offerings," said Nona Wilgus, Senior Vice President from BankAtlantic. "BankAtlantic is excited to partner with American Express and provide these offerings to our customers."

About OPEN from American Express
OPEN is the American Express team dedicated exclusively to the success of small-business owners and their companies. The OPEN Team supports business owners with unparalleled service. With tailored products and services, the team delivers purchasing power, flexibility, control and rewards to help customers run their business.

Specifically, business owner-customers can leverage an enhanced set of products, tools, services and savings -- including charge and credit cards, convenient access to working capital, robust online account management capabilities, and savings on business services from an expanded lineup of partners. To obtain more information about OPEN, visit, or call 1-800-NOW-OPEN to apply for a Card or loan.

GoodBiz113 ad partner American Express Company [] is a leading global payments, network and travel company founded in 1850.

Source: American Express

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