Visa Inc. has started a rewards program that lets its business cardholders automatically receive rewards.

The San Francisco payments company on Monday announced the program, Visa SavingsEdge. Business cardholders who enroll their debit or credit cards will get discounts for using their cards at participating merchants, in the form of credits on subsequent card statements.

The rewards are tied directly to the card and can be earned without coupons or additional input from enrolled cardholders.

Visa said merchant participants in the rewards program include United Parcel Service of America Inc.; Vanguard Car Rental USA Inc.'s Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental; and Systemax Inc., which owns TigerDirect Inc.and Inc.

Participation in the program is free for cardholders. Rewards can only be earned through credit, signature debit, or contactless transactions, not through PIN debit purchases.

The program is available to cardholders who have business cards issued by JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., PNC Financial Services Group Inc., Wachovia Corp., and Wells Fargo & Co.

Visa said it plans to add additional merchant and issuer partners to the program through this year and the next.

Visa also said Monday that it had appointed Marc Luet president of its Central Europe, Middle East, and Africa region. He succeeds Anne Cobb, who is retiring.

Mr. Luet will report to Hans Morris, Visa's president.

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