SAN FRANCISCO and PURCHASE, N.Y. -- Visa and MasterCard, the two biggest credit card brands, rolled out their holiday sweepstakes promotional campaigns on Nov. 6 and both are taking care to dangle lots of cash in front of shoppers.
MasterCard will award one of its cardholders $350,000 toward the purchase of a new home in its "A Home for the Holidays" sweepstakes. Cardholders will also be able to win rooms full of home furnishings through the Daily Instant Win Game at priceless.com. Each time a cardholder uses their MasterCard online or at point-of-sale, they are entered to win.
By contrast, Visa, the larger card brand, will give 10 winning cardholders $100,000 each in its "100K Holiday" plus a chance to win $25,000 in additional prizes, including a $1,000 gift card. It will also automatically enter cardholders each time they use their Visa card in a transaction.
Each brand has scheduled significant media efforts around each sweepstakes.
"Our research tells us that, more than anything else, consumers want to spend time with families and friends around the holidays," said Amy Fuller, a MasterCard executive. "But they spend considerable amount of time shopping for the holidays--away from the ones they love the most. This year's 'A Home for the Holidays' sweepstakes provides two ways to win a home, offers a compelling daily prize online and serves to motivate consumers to keep their MasterCard card at the top of their wallet when shopping this holiday season."
According to a recent MasterCard survey conducted by Ipsos Insight, consumers plan on spending nearly 11 hours shopping for holiday gifts this year. Most of those surveyed responded that if they could save time on shopping, they would spend that time with family.
Meanwhile, in addition to all the prize money, Visa has said it wants to help consumers manage their overall holidays better.
"We want to reward cardholders for using their Visa card for their holiday purchases. Cardholders will be entered for a chance to win when they use their Visa card, so the more they use their card, the more chances they get," said Kellie Krug, senior vice president for Visa USA.
"In addition to the '$100K Holiday' promotion and the instant-win game, we are also instituting Jaye Hersh, celebrity shopping expert and owner of L.A.-based Intuition, as Visa's 'Chief Shopping Officer.' In this role, Jaye will be providing consumers with holiday shopping advice--from how to budget and manage stress levels to offering tips on finding the best last-minute gifts."
More than 685 member financial institutions and 355 merchant partners, representing more than 1,437 merchant locations that share Visa's interest in rewarding cardholders over the holidays, will be participating in the national promotion through statement inserts and marketing collateral. --firstname.lastname@example.org