GE Capital Consumer Card Co. has formed a five-year cobranding alliance with HFS Inc., a top franchiser of hotels and real estate brokerage offices.
HFS, based in Parsippany, N.J., operates about 4,700 hotels, including Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Knights Inn, Park Inn International, Ramada, Super 8, and Villager Lodge, in North America, Latin America, and Europe. It also runs about 6,000 Century 21 offices in the United States and 12 other countries.
The companies did not discuss card rebate features, rates, or fees.
Tony Fuller, a GE Capital spokesman, said that "this fits in with our overall strategy" of growing cobranded relationships. He indicated that it mirrored the alliance GE Capital reached in September 1994 with Exxon Company USA.
James L. Accomando, a Fairfield, Conn. consultant, expressed optimism about the alliance's prospects. He said that since HFS hotels are more likely to appeal to vacationers than frequent business travelers, GE Capital incentives and promotions will likely focus on location, price, and convenience.
The last hotel cobranding alliance, between American Express Co. and Beverly Hills-based Hilton Hotels Corp. in September, targeted business and frequent travelers.
"I'd be surprised if they made this all one card," Mr. Accomando said of GE Capital. He suggested that the real estate aspect might be handled separately. "Century 21 is not an easy fit into this hotel chain."
GE Capital said it has issued more than 70 million cards worldwide.