MBNA America Bank has introduced what it says is the first cobranded MasterCard in the utility industry.

The MBNA Conectiv MasterCard is a joint venture with Delmarva Power and Light Co., a Wilmington-based utility with 500,000 electric and 100,000 gas customers in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. Delmarva customers who sign up for the cards can earn rebates on their utility bills.

Delmarva is merging in 1998 with Atlantic Energy Inc. of southern New Jersey, and the combined company will be called Conectiv. "The Conectiv MasterCard combines the convenience of credit purchasing with valuable rebate and savings opportunities for cardholders," said Joseph W. Ford, senior vice president of Delmarva. "We also envision this program expanding in the future to include using the rebate certificates for a variety of other services."

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