Sears renews Citi Retail loyalty card partnership for $425 million

Citi Retail and Sears Holdings announced on Tuesday the extension of a 15-year credit card partnership, amounting to a $425 million cash injection for the U.S. retailer, as part of the 'Shop Your Way Mastercard' rewards program.

Winter 2018 catalogue - Sears

After first introducing the Shop Your Way Mastercard rewards program in late 2016, the "shared economics" of the program will remain substantially consistent with the existing agreement through December 31, 2020, and will be performance-based thereafter.

“The Shop Your Way Mastercard is a cornerstone of the Shop Your Way engagement platform which provides generous rewards, partnerships and experiences," said Edward Lampert, CEO of Sears Holdings, in a statement online.

"We saw a strong volume of card issuances in 2017 and we look forward to building on that momentum as the power of the Shop Your Way platform allows us to personalize experiences and make life easier and more rewarding for every cardholder.”

The new deal sees an increase in the percentage of points given back to shoppers, and these can be used across Sears Holdings' stablemates -- Kmart and Sears stores in the U.S. -- as well as at Points can also be earned and redeemed via retail partners including Shop Your Way, Uber, Avis Budget Group, Synapse and FuboTV.

Via the updated co-brand and private label credit card relationship, Sears' has already received a payment of $400 million, Citi Retail said a statement.

"The extension provides for strong long-term economic value for both Citi and Sears, and we are especially proud to provide enhanced benefits to our Shop Your Way Mastercard cardmembers every day, at the places they shop most,” said Craig Vallorano, Head of Citi Retail Services.

“Consistent with other top-of-wallet credit cards, more than 70% of customer spend on our Citi-Sears general purpose cards occurs at merchants beyond Sears, so this enhanced rewards structure is designed to deliver strong value for Shop Your Way card customers as well.”

Sears Holdings was advised on the transaction by Goldman Sachs and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

Citi was advised on the transaction by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, and Davis Polk & Wardwell.

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