Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Subscriber Perk Is in the Cards

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Subscriber Perk Is in the Cards

Article excerpt

To keep subscribers, some newspapers have offered the a la Carte or similar dining card programs that provide discounts at participating restaurants. Now the founders of a la Carte are introducing WAM! Loyalty.com, a digital currency program for restaurants, local merchants, national chains, and online retailers.

The San Diego Union-Tribune will be the first paper to roll out the program in June, sending two WAM! cards to all 320,000 home subscribers. San Diego-based WAM! is busy distributing special card readers to 500 local merchants throughout the area. Whenever a WAM! card holder makes a purchase at these retailers, he swipes his card and earns 10% to 20% of the purchase price in WAM! digital currency from the merchant.

"Frequent users will build up WAM! very quickly, and there's very easy redemption," says Stuart Graham, president and CEO. "If you've got $10 worth of WAM! on your card, you can immediately buy a cup of coffee and a croissant at the local deli."

Graham and Chairman Dennis Wise founded a la Carte eight years ago, and now have 16 dailies participating (some call their program card the "Press Pass"). …

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