Tahoe credit card would benefit chamber of commerce | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe credit card would benefit chamber of commerce

By early next year, consumers could be pulling credit cards with Lake Tahoe designs through scanners all over the country and compiling bonuses to be redeemed at Lake Tahoe.

The South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce, First USA Bank and Destination Marketing, Inc. recently inked a five-year deal to create the Lake Tahoe-themed Visa credit card. The agreement tops the agenda at the chamber board of directors meeting on Thursday.

Card-holders will be able to choose from four Lake Tahoe scenes on the front of their cards and receive discounts when using them at participating Lake Tahoe stores.

Residents will also be encouraged to get and use the cards.

The chamber, which has been in discussions with First USA since spring, will serve as the local liaison for the card. In exchange the organization will receive a cut of the profits.

Just how much is a matter for speculation, but Executive Director Duane Wallace said it’s expected to be “substantial.”

Wallace cited a confidentiality clause in the contract as the reason for the secrecy regarding the estimated income.

A portion of the chamber’s profits will go toward environmental projects.

“That’s something I’m really proud of,” Wallace said. He expects a “substantial” amount to be used for projects related to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Environmental Improvement Plan.

The chamber is hoping a number of businesses get on board with the program and offer card-holder discounts. Although the card is good anywhere Visa is accepted, the chamber hopes the discounts will encourage people to come to Lake Tahoe and that they will serve as an economic boost.

Destination Marketing, Inc. will send promotional mailers to thousands of addresses around the country. Most of the addresses have been gleaned from Lake Tahoe databases so the recipients already have an interest in the lake.

Besides discounts when the cards are used, card-holders also will receive $5 certificates redeemable at participating stores for each $1,000 charged on the card. The chamber will reimburse businesses that redeem the certificates.

For the chamber and participating businesses, the Lake Tahoe Visa card could become an economic boon that takes advantage of what Americans already do every day: Make purchases with a credit card.

South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors meeting

Thursday, 8 a.m.

Caesars Tahoe Convention Center

(530) 541-3514

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