GTE signs 10-year contract with Associates National Bank for credit card products and services

DALLAS/FORT WORTH -- GTE and Associates National Bank have signed a 10-year credit card co-branding agreement, extending an alliance to provide Visa, MasterCard and GTE-branded credit card products and services to consumers. The agreement is effective Oct. 1.

"This alliance enables GTE to leverage its portfolio of accounts, products and services and its powerful brand name with The Associates' strengths in the credit card and financial services industries," said Earl Goode, president of GTE Information Services. "We're confident that combining the expertise of these two companies will lead to the creation of new products and services of increased value to our customers."

GTE entered the credit card market in 1992 when it introduced its combination credit card/calling card. The GTE/Associates credit card program now serves more than 1.2 million accounts.

"We've had a great partnership with GTE since 1992, and together we have developed the finest credit card program in the telecommunications industry," said Keith Hughes, chairman and chief executive officer of The Associates. "We're delighted with the opportunity to offer superior credit card services to the millions of GTE customers."

The cards are being issued by Associates National Bank (Delaware), a subsidiary of Associates First Capital Corporation and one of the nation's leading issuers of Visa, MasterCard and private label credit cards with more than six million active accounts.

Associates First Capital Corporation (NYSE: AFS) is a leading diversified finance company providing consumer and commercial finance, leasing and related services through 2,036 offices in the United States and internationally. Based in Dallas, it is an indirect, majority-owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Company and has assets of more than $45.1 billion.

In addition to MasterCard and Visa credit cards, GTE Card Services offers pre-paid telephone calling cards, distributed through convenience stores, grocery stores and GTE Phone Marts. GTE Card Services also offers pre-paid cellular phone calling cards in Houston with plans to expand to other markets in 1997.

GTE Card Services Incorporated, based in Irving, Texas, is a part of GTE Corp., one of the world's largest publicly owned telecommunications companies.