First USA Bank in Wilmington, Del., has made a cobranding deal with Rolling Stone magazine.
The Visa card, which offers discounts on many kinds of retail music purchases, also gives First USA a good target audience, the bank and an industry expert said.
"Rolling Stone has a large and loyal readership that we think will be attracted to the Visa card, and we are excited about the program," said David Webster, a First USA spokesman.
The card, which bears an image of a cheering audience at an outdoor concert, will be available this month. For the first five months, it has a fixed interest rate of 5.9%, which then will go up to 16.9%. It offers a balance transfer option and charges no annual fee.
Corey Stone, vice president and managing director of Easton Consultants in Stamford, Conn., said the pop culture magazine's readership is what appeals most to First USA - baby boomers who want "to be hip" and who might want to transfer a balance onto a credit card offering favorable terms.
He said a card of this kind, which focuses on frequent purchases of records, compact disks, and magazines, would be likely to generate program loyalty.
It encourages "frequent use of the card and a frequent experience of the special benefits" associated with the card, Mr. Stone said, adding that the strategy could also be useful to retain customers who revolve card balances.
"Once someone makes the switch, you have to hold them," he said. "A benefit like discounts on records or CDs would be a benefit you would experience frequently."
Mr. Stone also said that because the magazine has a large baby boom readership the card should attract "mature revolvers with big balances."
The card's benefits include discounts at HMV and Camelot stores, as well as discounts from Columbia Records, Legacy Recordings, Time Life Music, RPM Music Tours, and Fashion Cafe in New York. Cardholders can also get discounts on subscriptions to Rolling Stone, Men's Journal, and Us magazines.
In addition, card members will get a newsletter and discount coupon booklets every quarter.
First USA, the fourth-largest bank card issuer in the United States, had $18.3 billion of receivables at March 31 and 14 million cards issued. Its other cobranding partners include Waldenbooks, Egghead Inc., and the Sam Goody record stores.