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A new credit card launched Monday will give Americans another opportunity to demonstrate their devotion to Israel.
"For the first time, we have introduced a card that is completely focused on helping Israel," said Zev Dobuler, co-founder and chief executive officer of Heritage Affinity Services, which introduced the "HAS Advantage Card."
"We felt a need to devise a plan to have the 6 million Jews and millions of Evangelical Christians in the US affect Israel's economy on a daily basis," Dobuler said at a press conference in Jerusalem.
The card includes a charity function that allows the card holder to choose up to five Israeli charities from a current list of 17, which would receive a donation for each transaction made on the card. The second function offers an Israel-related rewards program.
Some of the rewards available include El Al frequent flier points and cashing in travel opportunities with El Al, as well as deals with Sheraton and Dan Hotels in Israel. There also are added benefits for buying Israeli products in the US and for making purchases in Israel.
The cards, which portray sentimental images such as the Western Wall and the Israeli flag, was introduced in partnership with US Bank and Visa USA, following a three-month pilot project in the New York area.
This week saw the launch of the company's Internet marketing campaign and the establishment of its internal call center. A campaign in the print media will follow.
Essential to HAS is the ability to run an internal customer service operation, which it would like to keep in Israel. However, due to US Bank's "no overseas policy" for customer services representatives they were unable to do so.
Nevertheless, it hopes that will change, possibly through an alliance with IDT Corp. Meanwhile, HAS has opened a Har Hotzvim office to coordinate its operations.
Although currently available only to US citizens, HAS plans to introduce the card to the Canadian and European markets and also would like to bring it to Israel. US citizens in Israel with a social security number and who can provide a US forwarding address, can sign up for the card over the Internet.
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