American Express Co. and Premiere Technologies Inc. have teamed up to offer a discount calling card for college students.

In addition to providing worldwide long-distance calling, the Connections card will let students receive voice messages, faxes, and electronic mail. It will also provide telephone access to news, sports, and weather updates through two news services-Cable News Network and Tribune Broadcasting.

Other features include speed dialing and conference calling.

American Express Co. and Premiere Technologies Inc. have teamed up to offer a discount calling card for college students.

In addition to providing worldwide long-distance calling, the Connections card will let students receive voice messages, faxes, and electronic mail. It will also provide telephone access to news, sports, and weather updates through two news services-Cable News Network and Tribune Broadcasting.

Other features include speed dialing and conference calling.

Initially the calling card will be offered only to students who hold American Express and Optima cards. They will be notified by mail this month of its availability.

David Allison, a spokesman for Atlanta-based Premiere, said the companies chose to test the card among college students before offering it more broadly. Students provide "a good data base with which to approach the new program," Mr. Allison said.

Michael Auriemma, president of Auriemma Consulting Group in Westbury, N.Y., questioned whether students are the right guinea pigs for a card with features that might hold greater appeal to business travelers.

But he added, "With the age of information engulfing us, the students of today may care more about getting things immediately."

David Gagie, Auriemma's marketing director, said the new card could help turn students into loyal American Express customers. He viewed the product as a "great move," saying it "addresses the loyalty of the customer by making him more mobile."

The two companies have assigned access numbers for 50 countries. Callers wishing to place a call to another country would dial its access code, their card number, and a personal identification number. Voice prompts will be available in eight languages.

American Express has also set up a toll-free number through which customers would gain access to their voice mail, E-mail, and fax messages, which would be stored electronically and downloaded to a fax machine.

Each call will cost 15 cents a minute plus an 85-cent connection charge. Cardholders will receive 10 free minutes a month.

Mr. Gagie said the rates are lower than on other calling cards, which typically charge 90 cents for a connection and 35 cents a minute. The lower prices, he said, should appeal to "the average starving college student."

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