Magazine article American Banker

Card Offers Savings for Frequent Travelers to Hawaii

Magazine article American Banker

Card Offers Savings for Frequent Travelers to Hawaii

Article excerpt

First Hawaiian Bank hopes to boost revenues with a credit card offering discounts to people who travel regularly to Hawaii.

"We hope to encourage more frequent visits to Hawaii by making it more affordable to go there," said Edward Y.W. Pei, senior vice president of the bank's electronic banking division and the developer of the new card.

Holders of the Hawaii Advantage Visa card will be eligible for discounts on vacation packages sold by Hawaii Classic, a tour operator, as well as discounts at participating restaurants, golf courses, and merchants .

The 45 or so restaurants in the program are part of a frequent-dining club, called Quisine. Mr. Pei said the bank is negotiating with major airlines as well.

Customers earn certificates equal to 1% of their spending on the card. The certificates can be redeemed at any time for Hawaii Classic tours, which include airfare, hotels, and car rentals.

Other merchants with which the bank has relationships will offer discounts of 20% to 45% for purchases made with Hawaii Advantage cards, First Hawaiian said.

Hawaii Advantage appears to be the first credit card that promotes tourism in a specific state, said a Visa spokeswoman. A handful of cards are linked to towns, but these are aimed at residents. Only one other card, the Bermuda Club Visa card issued by MBNA, promotes a specific travel destination.

Tourism in Hawaii has been declining for four years, said Mr. Pei. About 60% of the state's tourists are from California, which has suffered a deep recession. …

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