MainStreet BankGroup, Martinsville, Va., will issue an affinity MasterCard for supporters of the Fund for Animals.

The card has an annual fee of $15 and an introductory rate of 9.9%, which becomes 14.15% after a year. It will be issued through its subsidiary, Piedmont Trust Bank.

The bank said it is contemplating a second card that would be no fee and have a slightly higher interest rate.

An unspecified amount of the annual charge volume will go to the animal rights group in the form of cash on a quarterly basis, the bank said.

The card is being marketed to a core group of 50,000 supporters of the New York City-based Fund for Animals, and cardholders have a choice of two different pictures - either a Florida panther or a black bear cub.

Brenda Domyan, special projects coordinator for the Fund for Animals, said the group decided to offer MasterCard because Visa has sponsored the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus.

"We don't believe that animals should be in circuses,"she said.

MainStreet BankGroup said it has nearly $1 billion in assets, and would not specify its receivables nor the number of card accounts it has.

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