Offline Expansion in the Cards for MyPoints.com

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Online loyalty marketing services provider MyPoints.com acquired the Alliance Development Group for $16.2 million today -- further cementing the company's currency points in the offline world.


ADG, Boston, specializes in the creation, management and fulfillment of loyalty-based programs for co-branded credit cards. MyPoints.com will integrate its service with all campaigns run by ADG, including the rewards programs for such high-profile accounts as The Kroger Co. and Albertsons. The awards currency for the existing programs will be switched to MyPoints.


"We're taking over the operation of some very powerful large-scale points programs in the offline environment," said Steven Markowitz, CEO of MyPoints.com. "The expertise and important relationships our new colleagues bring to the table will be used as a springboard to more quickly penetrate the offline market."


This acquisition is part of MyPoints' grand strategy to become the loyalty provider of choice across all media.


"We have a clicks-and-mortar vision. We want to bridge the online and offline worlds," said Markowitz.


A MyPoints credit card may be in the near future for the company, but Markowitz would not address the subject directly as the company is in a quiet period.


"It wouldn't be a stretch of the imagination. We would have that technology in house if it's something that we wanted," he said. "Almost every major points program in offline space has its own credit card."


Up until now, the company had been quietly expanding into the credit card arena. It currently runs the NextCard rewards program as well as a co-branded points program for Providian Bank's Aria Card.


ADG, which will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of the companies, has partnerships with U.S. Bank and Bank of America.
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