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UPDATE

Credit agencies offer home-goods reward programs

June 22, 2003|From Times wire reports

Card issuers such as American Express Co. and Bank One Corp. have signed up home-goods companies Home Depot Inc. and Pier 1 Imports Inc. as partners in their credit loyalty programs, making them a shopping destination for consumers seeking to rack up or redeem reward points on their credit cards.

"We're involved in more [loyalty programs] today than we have been in the past," said Stacey Sutherland, of Home Depot's gift-card marketing department. "There's been a lot of talk about the trend of nesting, and that is pulling us in."

A survey, conducted by American Express earlier this year of 341 consumers who were planning home improvements, showed that 45% intended to use credit or charge cards to earn points for their purchases. About one-fourth of those surveyed said they would pick a home-improvement store based on whether it gives or accepts reward points and other purchase incentives.

"The points are really a form of currency," said Allyson Park, an Atlanta communications consultant who recently bought patio furniture from Home Depot after redeeming 50,000 points on her American Express card for $500 in Home Depot gift cards.

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