While Providian’s stock price continues to languish in the wake of an expanding national probe into its credit card business practices, the sub-prime specialist announced this morning its online credit card program, the ‘Aria VISA’, has signed up more than 100,000 new accounts since May. Providian has spent upwards of $90 million this year for its e-commerce initiatives which include the acquisition of Getsmart.com and the WebCard VISA portfolio from H&R Block. Providian is currently in the midst of a major offline advertising campaign for Aria which began Oct. 6. The ongoing $10 million+ campaign includes television, billboard and print advertising in such publications, such as Yahoo! Internet Life, Forbes, Wired, People, Bride’s, TV Guide and USA Today. Providian has aggressively positioned its online card products head-to-head with San Francisco-based NextCard, which was formed by former Providian executives. The ‘Aria VISA’ program offers a range of card pricing, from super-prime to sub-prime. However the product line is heavily weighted to the sub-prime segment The four ‘Aria’ VISA cards include ‘Aria VISA Platinum Premium’, ‘VISA Platinum’, and two sub-prime card programs, ‘VISA Portrait’ and ‘VISA Persona’. ‘The instant rewards feature for ‘Aria’ is the ‘MyPoints’ program which offers 5 points for every purchase dollar, a 500 point bonus for opening an account, and a 2,500 point bonus for a balance transfer.
PROVIDIAN’S ARIA PORTFOLIO
VISA Product INTRO PURCH BAL TXFR CASH ADV
Platinum Premium 0%/3mo 7.99% 12.99%-21.99% 21.99%
Platinum 0%/3mo 12.99% 12.99%-21.99% 21.99%
Portrait 0%/2mo 19.99%* 21.99% 21.99%
Persona 0%/2mo 23.99%** 23.99% 23.99%
* Portrait requires a $59 annual fee and offers no grace period for
**Persona requires a one-time processing fee of $29, $49 or $89, plus an
Annual Fee of $59 or $89 and offers no grace period for purchases.
Source: CardWatch (www.cardwatch.com)