AOPA has welcomed 2000 by extending its unique program of rebates for purchases at FBOs that so far has returned more than $2.5 million to AOPA members.
AOPA President Phil Boyer and John Cochran, executive vice chairman of MBNA America Bank, signed a new agreement December 22, 1999, which extends the AOPA FBO Rebate Program and other AOPA-sponsored financial services and products from MBNA well into the new century.
"While some were fretting over Y2K, AOPA and MBNA were charting a new course to benefit AOPA members in the future," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "MBNA treats AOPA members like AOPA members, not just bank customers."
The agreement extends a 15-year partnership between AOPA and MBNA providing innovative services to AOPA members.
The AOPA Visa and MasterCard, featuring the associated AOPA FBO Rebate Program, are among AOPA’s most popular programs. More than 120,000 AOPA members carry and use their credit cards to support general aviation while obtaining rebates on aviation purchases at qualifying FBOs.
The FBO Rebate Program returns a 3 percent credit on purchases made with an AOPA Visa or MasterCard at any FBO that sells fuel or rents aircraft. Qualified locations are those listed with a 3% icon in AOPA’s Airport Directory or AOPA's Airport Directory Online.
Participants merely highlight eligible purchases on their monthly credit card statement, fax or mail the statement to MBNA America Bank, then receive the rebate as a credit on their next statement. Since the program's inception, AOPA members have received more than $2.5 million in rebates on fuel, maintenance, flight training, aircraft rentals, and pilot supplies.
The program is possible because of AOPA members' group buying power. It is totally financed by MBNA America, not by AOPA or AOPA member dues. AOPA members have purchased more than $80 million from qualifying FBOs under the program since 1997.
"Money back in your pocket is just one very tangible example of AOPA efforts to reduce the cost of flying," said Boyer.
AOPA's Aircraft Financing Program can help make the cost of ownership more affordable. The program offers the lowest interest rates and longest repayment terms of all major aircraft financing lenders.
Longer repayment terms—up to 20 years—mean lower monthly payments. That can make aircraft ownership an attractive alternative to renting. Unlike most other aircraft loan programs, AOPA's program features no application or pre-qualification fees, down payments as low as 10 percent, and no aircraft age restrictions.
The program is the only loan program designed by pilots especially for AOPA members. Applications are reviewed by aviation loan specialists, so pilots usually have a response within the hour. Pilots can even apply for a loan online.
Loans above $20,000 also include payment of the aircraft owner's $39 annual AOPA dues for the life of the loan. AOPA members have obtained over $300 million in aircraft loans under the program.
Indicative of the partnership between AOPA and MBNA, AOPA members have more than $300 million on deposit with MBNA America Bank in special money market, certificate of deposit, and IRA accounts. These accounts offer rates that have been consistently ranked among the best in the nation and provide the security of FDIC insurance up to $100,000 per depositor.
Members' savings with MBNA return a royalty to AOPA to help fund programs for the defense and advancement of general aviation.
For more information, visit AOPA Online or call 800/USA-AOPA.
January 18, 2000