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Citi, AT&T offer mobile phone with card to lure shoppers

Citi and AT&T are offering holders of a new card the opportunity to buy a mobile phone and be reimbursed for the cost, targeting fans of both smartphones and online shopping.

With the new AT&T Access More card, card members can get a new smartphone right away, or whenever they are ready, and earn a reimbursement for the phone’s cost.  The offer points to the value consumers put on phones, the one device they have with them constantly.

“This is a unique offer – and the only co-brand credit card offered by a telecommunications provider in the U.S.,” said Emily Collins, a spokeswoman for Citi. “The combination of the new smartphone benefit, and ability to earn points for purchases at online retail and travel sites, made on their smartphone or any device, will resonate strongly in today’s wireless world where ecommerce purchases are growing.”

Following link
First the cardholder follows a link to a Web site where he or she can buy a new smartphone at full price with the card.

After making $2,000 in purchases within the first three months of opening an account and maintaining AT&T service, the owner will receive a statement credit for the cost of the phone, up to $650.

Pointing to mobile phone’s value to consumers. 

Besides earning a statement credit for a brand new phone, members can earn more points with each purchase from AT&T or online, on any device. Points can be redeemed for rewards including electronics and gift cards.

Cardholders can earn three points per $1 on products and services that are purchased directly from AT&T and three points per $1 on all purchases at online retail and travel sites. They also can earn one point per $1 on all other purchases and 10,000 anniversary bonus points after $10,000 in annual spending.

Marketers have dangled the offer of a phone in front of consumers before in a bid to get engagement.

Last August, Burger King offered a free Android phone to support the national launch of its mobile coupon application.

Consumers who visited the landing page could pick from a variety of Android phone models available from AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless. To be eligible for the free phone, consumers needed to sign up for a new two-year activation or upgrade and enter the code FREEPHONE at check out.

Burger King announced earlier in the year that it had developed a new digital platform intended to help it quickly scale up with exclusive mobile offers, payments, order-ahead and other features offered as part of its mobile app.

Main source
The mobile channel has been the majority source of online shopping at least since last fall, when Branding Brand’s Mobile Commerce Index report found that 51 percent of visits to retailers’ Web sites were made via mobile devices.

Burger King smartphone offer.

“Eighty-four percent of AT&T’s post-paid customers are on smartphones and this is a great way to get a new phone at a great value,” Ms. Collins said.

“We believe this is a very compelling offer that will resonate strongly with millions of AT&T customers who have affinity for their smartphones and propensity for shopping online.”

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York