MasterCard International has rolled out a seasonal rewards campaign under the umbrella of its MasterCard Exclusives program.
Under the program, cardholders earn discounts of 10% to 20% at five national retailers. J.C. Penney, Sam Goody Musicland, and Suncoast Motion Picture Co. are honoring the discounts through Dec. 31, and Sharper Image and Radio Shack through Jan. 31.
"In April, we shifted the focus of the rewards program, changing the name from Master Values and reducing the number of retailers we were associated with," said R. Douglas Rozman, a MasterCard spokesman.
MasterCard kicked off its spring campaign by spotlighting home improvement merchants.
In all its seasonal promotions, Mr. Rozman said, MasterCard aims to stress that the rewards are available only to cardholders. The Purchase, N.Y.-based association also tries to zero in on large retailers with wide name recognition and high transaction volume.
In the current promotion, banks that issue MasterCard are mailing more than 20 million wallet-size "savings cards" to cardholders through the end of November.
To receive the discounts, consumers must present the savings card when making a MasterCard purchase.
Some merchants are putting their own signatures on the program. At Sharper Image, for instance, instead of a fixed discount percentage, consumers will receive $10 off purchases over $75.
Russ Schoper, president of Business Developments International of Alpharetta, Ga., praised MasterCard's approach of allowing consumers to save money at the point of sale with very little effort.
"In the 1990s, consumers are very value-conscious across all different social and economic categories," Mr. Schoper said.
Mr. Rozman said MasterCard and its retailers can track use of the program through a designated marketing code, and thus gauge its success.