Hewlett-Packard Co. is the latest to market the Exclusively Yours MasterCard, issued by Boatmen's Bancshares, St. Louis.
The debit card, a MasterCard commercial card product, is designed for manufacturers wishing to offer incentives to independent sales forces, known as resellers, for promoting their products.
Hewlett-Packard, based in Palo Alto, Calif., will use the program to reward its sales force for selling its networking hardware that connects computers.
Hewlett-Packard, the first in the computer industry to adopt the program, mailed more than 70,000 applications to sales people at locations such as Computer City and Computer Land. The program officially began on Oct. 2.
Instead of offering a trip to Hawaii or a large-screen television as a reward, Hewlett-Packard gives salespeople an Exclusively Yours card. They earn points for each sale, which are accrued in a special Boatmen's account. Each point equals $1.
The salesperson can use the MasterCard like any debit card at one of 27,000 participating merchants and travel companies to make purchases. They can supplement their earnings with cash or another credit card at the point of sale, but they can't make any deposits into the special account.
The program is a cobranded effort between MasterCard and Maritz Inc., a $1.8 billion company providing travel services, market research, and data base marketing to Fortune 500 companies. St. Louis-based Maritz, which receives a fee for its services, administers the program. Maritz, with $1.8 billion in annual sales, has signed up at least 50 other companies.
Doug Small, Hewlett-Packard's marketing program manager, said the company received "thousands of responses in the first week, which far exceeds any of our previous promotions."