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GTE TO OFFER GTE MASTERCARD WITH ALL THE BENEFITS OF A GTE CALLING CARD AND A MASTERCARD; FEATURES 6 PERCENT INTRODUCTORY INTEREST RATE

GTE TO OFFER GTE MASTERCARD WITH ALL THE BENEFITS OF A GTE CALLING CARD AND A MASTERCARD; FEATURES 6 PERCENT INTRODUCTORY INTEREST RATE
 TAMPA, Fla., Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- GTE today announced it is marketing to consumers the GTE MasterCard, a co-branded card with the best features of a GTE Calling Card and a MasterCard. Card features include an introductory variable annual-percentage rate (APR) equal to the prime rate (currently 6 percent) until April 30, 1993, no annual fee and a credit limit of up to $7,500.
 The GTE MasterCard is being issued by Associates National Bank (Delaware). GTE Card Services, a unit of GTE Corp. (NYSE: GTE), is responsible for card marketing. GTE is responsible for all telephone- charge functions of the card.
 "We are pleased to offer our customers this superior value," said Jim Bennett, area vice president-sales. "Card users will like the convenience of having a single card for both phone calling and credit purchases, while paying no annual card fee."
 The initial offering of the GTE MasterCard is being mailed beginning today to consumers in 29 states where GTE provides telephone service. A card offering in 11 additional states where GTE provides phone service, including California, will be made in 1993. Consumers in non-GTE telephone operating areas and international areas are not being solicited.
 Card Features Include 10 Percent Cash-back
 Associates National Bank is responsible for all credit, card issuance and billing of the MasterCard features. As a part of its agreement with GTE, Associates National Bank will provide card holders with 10 percent cash-back, up to $50 a year, on phone charges generated using the calling-card feature. Other card features include travel services, 10 percent discount coupons (excluding telephone service charges) good at any GTE Phone Mart, $100,000 travel accident insurance, and cash withdrawals via the Cirrus system. After the introductory interest rate period, the interest rate will be the prime rate plus 10.4 percent (currently 16.4 percent).
 Telephone charges generated from using the calling-card feature will be billed separately by GTE. Phone calls may only be charged to a user's MasterCard account when using certain "cardswipe" phones. The current GTE Calling Card, used for phone charges only, will continue to be available to GTE consumers.
 The GTE MasterCard is being offered by mail to a pre-approved or invited list of GTE consumers. Consumers in non-GTE telephone operating areas will not be solicited. Consumers interested in receiving an invitation to apply for the GTE MasterCard may call 800-247-2566.
 GTE Florida, Inc., part of GTE Telephone Operations-South Area, provides local voice and data telecommunications services to customers through approximately 1.8 million access lines in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties. South Area is one of four geographic operating units within GTE Telephone Operations. South Area serves approximately 3.7 million customers lines in nine southeastern states. GTE Telephone Operations, the largest U.S.-based local telephone company, serves approximately 16 million domestic customer lines in 40 states and 2.3 million international lines in two countries.
 GTE Card Services provides card-marketing services. GTE Corp. is the fourth-largest publicly owned telecommunications company in the world.
 Associates National Bank (Delaware) is an affiliate of The Associates, a consumer and commercial finance company with assets of over $25 billion. The Associates, part of the Financial Services Group of Ford Motor Company, is among the top dozen issuers of MasterCard and VISA credit cards in the United States, with more than three million customers.
 MasterCard International represents 29,000 member financial institutions and has more than 171 million cards in circulation. Worldwide dollar volume in 1991 was nearly $221 billion, with global acceptance in nearly 10 million acceptance locations.
 GTE MasterCard
 -- Introductory variable APR equal to the prime rate (currently
 6 percent)
 -- No annual membership fee
 -- Credit limit of up to $7,500
 -- GTE Calling Card and MasterCard in a single card
 -- 10 percent cash-back from The Associates, up to $50 per year, on
 calling-card usage
 -- Travel enhancements including:
 Savings on air and cruise ship fares
 Rental car discount
 Hotel discount
 Exclusive discount and bargain travel hotline
 -- 10 percent discount coupons good at GTE Phone Marts (not
 including local telephone service or toll charges).
 -- $100,000 travel accident insurance
 -- Optional CardCare insurance
 -- Cash access via convenience checks
 -- Cash withdrawals via Cirrus system
 -- Up to four additional cards at no charge
 -- 24 hour customer service
 -0- 9/21/92
 /CONTACT: John Strickling of GTE Telephone Operations-South Area, 813-224-4433 or 800-282-7751 (evenings)/
 (GTE) CO: GTE Corp.; Associates National Bank ST: Florida, Delaware IN: TLS FIN SU: PDT


JB -- FL011 -- 1674 09/21/92 12:27 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 21, 1992
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