AOPA member Carol Hake of Cincinnati, Ohio, is the association's "Ten Million Dollar Woman." She recently received the 10,000,000th rebate dollar from the AOPA 5% FBO Rebate Program. Under the program, AOPA credit card holders are eligible for a five-percent rebate, up to $250 per year, on qualified purchases made at participating fixed-base operators (FBOs).
Representatives from AOPA and AOPA Certified partner MBNA America, which issues the credit card, met Hake at Clermont County Airport (I69), home of Sporty's Pilot Shop in Batavia, Ohio, and not far from Hake's home field, Cincinnati Municipal Airport Lunken Field (LUK). AOPA and Sporty's presented her with gifts to mark the occasion, while MBNA gave her a $500 credit on her AOPA card.
The Cincinnati, Ohio, resident says she and her husband Ed fly a lot, and the rebates from fuel purchases really add up. "We just got back from Florida and our airplane fuel charges were about $1,000. You can imagine what an impact the 5-percent rebate has. Even when I can pay cash for gas, I don't because of the rebate."
Hake began flying a Beechcraft Skipper in 1990. "I took an AOPA Pinch-Hitter course and got hooked on flying," she said. In the past 13 years, Hake has graduated to flying a Piper Cherokee Six and has also added an instrument rating and a commercial pilot certificate to her flying résumé. "My husband and I fly to our second home in Michigan regularly and take trips all around the U.S. and Caribbean," the retired attorney said.
Hake joined AOPA in 1990 because she says she was impressed with the magazine AOPA Pilot. "Since joining, I've enrolled in the AOPA Life Insurance Program, and we buy insurance for our airplane through the AOPA Insurance Agency. When the AOPA credit card came out, I thought that was a good incentive to be an AOPA member as well. Flying is expensive but getting the rebate helps."
"AOPA was founded, in part, to keep the cost of flying affordable," said AOPA Senior Vice President of Products and Services Karen Gebhart. "Working with our partners at MBNA America, we added the AOPA 5% FBO Rebate Program in 1997. Handing out $10 million in just five years proves just how useful and popular the program is with our members."
AOPA and MBNA continue to improve the program. In April, the bank enabled cardholders to claim their rebates online at www.bankofamerica.com. By following just a few simple steps, members can check off qualified purchase and submit them for rebate.
The AOPA FBO Rebate Program is funded entirely by MBNA America Bank in recognition of the group buying power of AOPA's nearly 400,000 members. Neither AOPA member dues nor any FBO contribution funds the rebates.
For more information or to apply for the AOPA credit card, visit AOPA Online.