Tahoe’s given credit for looks | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe’s given credit for looks

You’ve got to give Lake Tahoe credit. It sure makes a beautiful MasterCard, thanks in part to local artist J.T. Ravize.

The jewel of the Sierra Nevada will soon sell more than its natural beauty on plastic to thousands of people with a penchant to play and spend, the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday.

Chamber Director Duane Wallace held up a giant-sized version of the Lake Tahoe Rewards MasterCard featuring Ravize’s image called “Timeless Tahoe.”

The specialized credit card highlights discounts, specials and gifts at more than 200 local merchants from the ski areas, casinos and hotels to the golf courses, shops and restaurants.

“As one of the most beautiful environments in the world, each year, millions of people visit the Lake Tahoe area and enjoy the unique combination of all-year sports, entertainment and shopping opportunities,”Wallace stated.

There are no sign-up or annual fees. The interest rate equals prime – which has been hovering around 8 percent – plus 5 percent. The APR won’t exceed 14.99 percent.

The introductory rate for transfer and cash-advance checks will stand at 1.7 percent for the first six months.

Within a week, applications for the new platinum card with a maximum credit line of $100,000 should make it to the chamber. Those interested in signing up may do so at kiosks around town beginning Feb. 1. Their locations have not been finalized.

The goal is 27,000 cardholders in the first year and 250,000 in the next four years, Wallace said. And as always, an applicant would need to qualify.

“Whenever you show the card, no matter where you are in the world, you’re marketing Lake Tahoe,” Wallace said.

Monthly statements will include promotional messages provided by the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority.

Most businesses are offering 10 percent discounts on merchandise. For every $1,000 in purchases, a cardholder will receive a $5 certificate from a participating business. The chamber will return that amount to the business.

The cards are to be issued by MBNA, MasterCard’s largest funding source. Los Angeles-based Destination Marketing Inc. is the chamber’s broker and marketing partner.

A telemarketing campaign is under way to get the card off the ground.

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