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AOPA, MBNA ink new deal that helps reduce cost of flyingAOPA, MBNA ink new deal that helps reduce cost of flying

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MBNA President and COO John Cochran III (right) congratulates AOPA President Phil Boyer for signing new agreement to benefit AOPA members.

AOPA and MBNA America Bank, N.A. today signed a contract to continue for another six years the long relationship between the two organizations. This contract continues popular money-saving programs such as the FBO 5% Rebate and the Sporty's Pilot Shop Discount programs.

"AOPA and MBNA have been partners for 18 years now," said AOPA President Boyer. "This very special relationship has allowed us to offer members programs that reduce the cost of flying, have kept our member dues at $39 for 13 years, and helped pay for AOPA programs like Project Pilot, Airport Watch, and the Airport Support Network."

In fact, the MBNA partnership is the largest source of non-dues revenue to the association. Thanks to nearly two decades of working with AOPA members, MBNA America has become one of the most pilot-friendly banks in the United States, offering the AOPA credit card, very favorable terms for aircraft purchase or aircraft improvement loans, and, most recently, a flight training loan program.

One of the most direct benefits of the relationship is the FBO 5% Rebate program. Members who use the AOPA MasterCard or Visa can get a 5-percent rebate (up to $250 annually) on their purchase at qualified FBOs. More than 40 percent of members hold an AOPA MasterCard or Visa, and more than $10 million have been rebated to members since the program began.

Also, pilots who use their AOPA credit cards to buy from Sporty's Pilot Shop receive an immediate 5-percent discount.

"MBNA treats cardholders like members, not customers," said Boyer. "That excellent customer service helps explain why these programs are so successful."

The MBNA financial programs are highly competitive, offering great deals to pilots. At the same time, they also return revenue to AOPA.

"Just by using the credit card, for example, you are contributing directly to AOPA's programs to defend and promote general aviation," said Boyer. "It's a win-win for everyone."

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