In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
MBNA Corp. has expanded the services of its Web site and renamed it MBNA.com. New services include the ability to open deposit accounts; plan and finance travel; and the ability to shop for products and services at 1,500 Internet merchants, including barnesandnoble.com, marthastewart.com, nordstrom.com and gap.com.
Cardholders also can access their account information. Internet account access has been available for cardholders since April 1999, and 440,000 cardholders now use it, says an MBNA spokesperson. MBNA expects that number to exceed more than 1 million by the end of this year.
The company decided to add shopping and travel planning functions to the site in order gain more loyalty from its customers, says the spokesperson. "Customers are adapting to the Internet rapidly, and we want to do everything we can to make sure MBNA is the card they use for their shopping needs," the spokesperson says.