Another wedding of the credit card and gasoline industries was announced on Thursday bringing the total of such alliances to six.
Bank of America and Sun Co. of Philadelphia, which markets gasoline under the Sunoco brand, will introduce a new MasterCard in November that gives customers rebates on Sunoco and all other kinds of purchases.
The partners are touting their card as the most competitive gasoline card to date, because it offers a combined 5% rebate - 3% on Sunoco purchases and 2% on all other purchases. The 2% rebate is capped at $70 a year.
Other gas cards offer up to 4% in combined rebates.
For example, the British Petroleum-Bank One card gives customers a 3% rebate on BP gas and a 1% rebate on other purchases, capping free gas at $300 a year.
The highest-profile gasoline card, the Shell Oil-Chemical Bank card, offers a combined rebate of 3%, capping 2% of the rebate at $70 a year.
Additional perks of the Sunoco card include no annual fee, and an initial interest rate of 9.9%.
In January 1996, the rate jumps to prime plus 9.9%.
The rebate is automatically applied to cardholders' monthly statements toward future purchases at 4,300 Sunoco gasoline --stations that are situated in 18 states, as well as in the District of Columbia.
Lanny Byers, vice president of Bank of America's credit card group in Phoenix, sees the new card as a way to expand the bank's card issuance.
Currently, B of A markets its credit cards in 10 western states where the bank has retail operations.
"We are primarily a West Coast bank, and this was an opportunity to diversify our portfolio to include the Northwest," Mr. Byers said.
The Sunoco MasterCard will be advertised on television and in print media, a spokeswoman said.
B of A is the eighth-largest credit card issuer with $8.6 million in outstanding card loans.