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Extra Credit for Sears

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears, Roebuck & Co. plans to widen its offerings through its credit card to include deals on travel, dining and entertainment, among other services, by the first half of 2003. The expanded package provided by the card is...

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears, Roebuck & Co. plans to widen its offerings through its credit card to include deals on travel, dining and entertainment, among other services, by the first half of 2003. The expanded package provided by the card is geared to increase its usage and create cross-promotional opportunities and strategic partnerships with companies that don’t compete with Sears.

Sears profits are heavily derived through its credit operation. Customers use their cards for purchases in Sears stores and authorized or licensed Sears retail outlets. With approximately 40 million Sears cardholders, Sears has the largest retail credit card customer base in the world.

“The changes we’re bringing are in response to feedback from our customers,” said Kevin T. Keleghan, president of Sears credit and financial services, in a statement Wednesday. “Just over 20 million of our cardholders have converted to Sears Gold MasterCard, bringing them worldwide acceptance and other MasterCard benefits. However, a number of our customers have told us they want to keep their Sears Card, but are interested in new ways to use it for products for their home and family that they buy everyday, as well special purchases.”

Sears offers the Sears Card, Sears Gold MasterCard and Sears Charge Plus. Each card has different features and benefits. The Sears Card and the Sears Gold MasterCard don’t carry annual fees.