Kmart confirmed what it already knew: Its customers love a special.

Pleased with test results on a no-fee private-label credit card, Kmart Corp. said this week that it has begun marketing the card in all 2,147 stores nationally.

The discount retailer and its issuer, Beneficial National Bank USA, launched the pilot in March in 166 stores in 11 markets. The opportunity to earn up to a 6% rebate for using the card was the most popular feature, the partners said.

"Our main desire in doing this is to provide customers convenience," said Vijay Yajnik, director of strategic business integration, for the Troy, Mich.-based retailer.

"We are also hoping, as a result of it, that customers patronize us more often, and that we will see higher shopping frequency, and a greater level of loyalty to Kmart."

Kmart calls its rewards program one of the richest in the private-label market. Cardholders who spend $500 to $999 a year get 3% back; those who spend $1,000 to $1,499 get 4%; $1,500 to $1,999 5%; and $2,000 and over the maximum of 6%.

Rebates will be credited to the customers' accounts, beginning Nov. 1.

Kmart found that cardholders shopped at its stores more often than others and their average transaction was bigger. Customer response to the test was "excellent," Kmart said.

Richard C. Klesse, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Beneficial, said it raised the interest rate by a point from the pilot level, to prime plus 13.15%, or 21.4%, which he said is competitive with other store cards. The Wilmington, Del.-based issuer has 2.6 million active cardholders and $3 billion of receivables.

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