MBNA Corp., the king of affinity marketing, hopes to snare Marvel comic fans into its web of products by issuing a card emblazoned with Spider-Man.
New York-based Marvel Entertainment Group Inc. has become the latest of more than 4,000 organizations to join forces with Delaware-based MBNA, the nation's second-largest credit card issuer.
MBNA Bank will issue the Marvel MasterCard, a no-fee card carrying a 9.9% interest rate for six months. Thereafter, the rate jumps to prime plus 9.9%.
Marvel Entertainment expects to garner 100,000 cardholders in the first year from a disparate group of young and old comic fans, said Jan Rimmel, licensing director at Marvel Entertainment.
"We are continually looking for ways to extend our relationship with our fans and enthusiasts," she said in explaining why the company chose to market a credit card. "We've been around for 50 years, and people have grown up reading Marvel comings and they enjoy the characters."
Each quarter Marvel will include special offerings in cardholder statements for purchases of licensed Marvel products and tickets to Marvel events.
After the cardholders' first purchase, they will receive a limited- edition Spider-Man lithograph with artist Mark Bagley's signature etched in gold ink. If cardholders spend $2,500 within one year, they are entitled to limited-edition metallic-impression collector cards with case.
Marvel has 250 licensees, Ms. Rimmel said. The company has also broadened its core business from comic books to include trading cards, toys, animation, television programs, and movies.