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ORLANDO, Fla. – The oldest card reward program in the world, established between the American Automobile Association and Visa USA, turned 25 this month. “The AAA Visa card was the first credit card experience for a lot of AAA members,” says Scott Denman, Managing Director for AAA Financial Services. “Many people had department store credit cards but not the bank-issued credit cards we are familiar with today.” The AAA/Visa credit card program was launched in 1978, offering the first affinity, bank-issued credit card to AAA members. At the time, the credit card industry itself was in its infancy. The AAA/Visa program introduced many AAA clubs to credit card payment systems and direct mail marketing. AAA noted that the popularity of affinity credit cards and the AAA/Visa program proves the association was on the right track in 1978. In the past quarter century, the program has grown from 15,000 accounts with $5 million in outstanding balances to 3.3 million accounts with nearly $4 billion in outstanding balances. “For 25 years, AAA and Visa have grown their relationship from a single product idea into a comprehensive partnership spanning multiple business lines and audience segments,” said Fran Schall, Executive Vice President of sales and integrated solutions for Visa USA. “I believe we’ve just begun to scratch the surface of what we can offer our customers.”

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