of a cobranded Visa card was the retailing giant's release of a corporate card - the first from a department store. The Bloomingdale's Corporate Card has no annual fee and a 30-day grace period. The interest rate is 21.6% commencing 60 days after the bill closing date. Store discounts are awarded based on the amount spent on the card. Once a consumer reaches $1,000, he or she receives a 10% discount. At $5,000, this goes to 15%. Nancy Goldberg, director of corporate services, said the card had "quadrupled" Bloomingdale's consumer cards in issuance. Bloomingdale's operates 16 stores in nine states. Bloomingdale's "watched the success of stores like Tiffany's in the corporate market," said Ms. Goldberg, explaining why it decided to issue a corporate card. "Once we began to examine our strengths, we realized that Bloomingdale's has a broad base of merchants and consumer needs, and we decided to go for it." David Robertson, president of The Nilson Report, an Oxnard, Calif.- based industry newsletter, noted that in so doing, Bloomingdale's had entered "the only growth area" left in the proprietary card market. Bloomingdale's is a subsidiary of Federated Department Stores Inc., Cincinnati, which introduced a cobranded Visa card in October 1994 for its Bloomingdale's and Lazarus outlets. The consumer card, issued through Federated's in-house FDS National Bank, comes with two credit lines: one for general-purpose use , and one that works like a store card. This enables consumers to receive separate billings. "The terms of the corporate card are slightly different from the retail card," Ms. Goldberg said, "in that a corporation must pay in full and (the card) entitles the bearer to discounts on selected corporate merchandise."

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