MasterCard International Inc. and the Amerada Hess Corp. announced that Hess gasoline stations in New York and New Jersey have have begun to accept credit and charge cards.

MasterCard will feature prominently in Hess' initial credit card acceptance, officials said.

Hess' program "reflects a trend among petroleum retailers to ... enhance their competitive position by offering payment alternatives," said Christopher Reckert, director of MasterCard acceptance for gas stations and convenience stores.

Program to Expand

Hess, with headquarters in New York City and Woodbridge, N.J., said it plans to expand card acceptance from the 250 New Jersey and New York locations to all of its 550 locations throughout the eastern United States.

To increase consumer awareness for its card acceptance program, Hess has launched a marketing campaign, which includes 60-second radio ads and point of sale signs at its locations.

Hess is discounting its premium gasoline in select markets. Through July 31, participating stations are offering $1 off the price of premium gasoline when consumers purchase eight gallons or more with cash or credit.

Starting on Aug. 1, Hess radio advertising will concentrate on its card acceptance and premium gasoline features only. These ads will run through Oct. 15.

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