MBNA Corp. is closing in on the No. 1 position in the credit card market long held by Citicorp. It has risen to that lofty height by staying a strategic course it set years ago: identify the best customers, primarily using affinity-group marketing techniques, and deliver a high-quality service that promotes satisfaction and long-term loyalty.

MBNA's stellar profitability record throughout its 15 years - even in recent quarters as unprecedented waves of delinquencies and bankruptcies engulfed many competitors - speaks for itself.

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