Lillian Vernon debuts cobranded credit card

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? For the first time in the venerable company’s history, Lillian Vernon Corp. is launching a cobranded credit card.

Under the terms of the five-year agreement, Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank, a subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Metris Cos., will be the issuer of the Lillian Vernon MasterCard. Premiering in October, the card will be part of a loyalty program that will allow members to earn rewards for purchases made with their card. The rewards will be redeemable for Lillian Vernon gift certificates and other Lillian Vernon-related cardholder benefits and promotions.

“It expands the offer to buy,” explains Lillian Vernon president Kevin Greene. “Having a cobranded credit card will entice customers to increase their buying frequency and create more loyalty with the brand.”

Unlike private-label credit-card deals by companies such as Spiegel and Fingerhut, where the marketer assumed the risk of collecting receivable, with the cobranded card Rye, NY-based Lillian Vernon does not assume the risk of collecting from truant customers. Rather, that responsibility falls on credit-card issuer MasterCard.

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