Credit cards increase service business
DCX dealers get bounce from branded plastic
June 4, 2007 - 1:00 am
Lexus Division offers a similar awards card that it says helps the brand keep service customers.
Lexus cardholders visit Lexus dealers three times per year, compared with twice for non-cardholders.
Ford Motor Co. issues a "Quality Care Auto Service Card." The card does not have award points, but offers same-as-cash financing.
Service business is critical to repeat vehicle sales, Blake said. Customers who visit a dealership service department within three months of their next vehicle purchase are 48 percent more likely to buy their car or truck from that dealership than those who don't, according to DaimlerChrysler Financial data.
Harrison says many customers use their Chrysler Rewards Visa cards to charge aftermarket service contracts and prepaid maintenance plans when they buy vehicles, instead of rolling the cost into the transaction price. "It lowers their monthly payment," Harrison says.
Such customers also tend to return to the dealership for service, she adds.
DaimlerChrysler Financial also offers a Mercedes-Benz Award Visa card. One-third of points awarded under the program are redeemed on dealership service, parts and accessories, Blake said.
Spending at dealerships is not as high as it is for the Chrysler Rewards Visa card, she said, because both the Mercedes-Benz card and an upgraded version offer broader awards options. They include gift cards for luxury merchandise and air travel.
But Blake added: "Every time they use that card, it's a brand impression."