STAPLES Canada launches business credit card in Canada uniquely designed to meet the needs of small businesses



    
    New Citi STAPLES easyRewards Business MasterCard provides features and
    rewards geared towards small business challenges and expenses
    

    TORONTO, April 14 /CNW/ - With Canadian small businesses optimistic about
their future(1), STAPLES Canada (STAPLES) has partnered with Citi Cards Canada
(Citi) to create the Citi STAPLES easyRewards Business MasterCard. Not merely
a re-purposed 'personal/consumer' credit card, this new card provides small
business owners with a unique set of practical, business-focused rewards and
features.
    "We understand how hard small business entrepreneurs work to be
competitive and keep their businesses running," said Bruce Clark, President &
CEO, Citi Cards Canada. "We also recognize what kinds of business challenges
they face, and by partnering with STAPLES, we were able to come up with a tool
that tackles some of these challenges head-on. Basically, we're making it
easier by providing as many meaningful small business resources as possible in
a format that allows them to capitalize on their existing usage of a credit
card."
    Some of the core small business needs that the Citi STAPLES easyRewards
Business MasterCard satisfies are:
    
    -   Cost savings - earn rewards fast for things a business can really use
    -   Cash flow assistance - stretch payables with an extra 60 days on
        average to pay for large purchases
    -   Accounting controls - through online expense segregation, tracking
        and management
    

    "Many of our customers own - or are from - small businesses and we
recognize that they have unique challenges as entrepreneurs. We've launched
this new card to provide specific tools with small businesses in mind-things
that will make doing business a little easier for them," said Steve Matyas,
President, STAPLES Canada. "There are nearly 1.3 million small businesses in
Canada and we are continuously looking at ways our stores and staff can
increase their interaction with local customers so that we can understand
their needs and fulfill them."
    Small businesses are adjusting to economic conditions by reducing
costs/cutting expenses. In the STAPLES poll of Canadian small businesses(2),
more than half (59%) identified that as one of the top three current
challenges. Specific to expenses, the average small business spends over
$2,000 per year (8% of their total credit card expenditures) on office
supplies alone(3). Reward points accumulated from the Citi STAPLES easyRewards
Business MasterCard can be applied directly to office supply purchases at any
one of over 300 STAPLES retail locations.

    
    Designed with the Small Business Owner in Mind
    ----------------------------------------------
    Some of the unique key features of the Citi STAPLES easyRewards Business
MasterCard include:
    -   1% easyRewards on every dollar you spend on your business
    -   DOUBLE points on key business expenses including gas, car washes and
        convenience purchases from Petro-Canada
    -   TRIPLE rewards on all STAPLES/Bureau en Gros purchases in Canada
        everyday
    -   An extra 60-days to pay on large ticket items (to help cash flow)
    -   Reward points redeemable for STAPLES merchandise or services, Sobeys
        or Petro-Canada gift cards or towards WestJet travel.
    -   No maximums on rewards earned, no minimum spend requirements and
        redeem rewards at anytime.
    -   On-line expense management
    -   Worldwide Platinum protection from Citibank Canada
    -   Ability to set spending limits by individual employee
    -   Optional Health and Dental insurance
    

    The card also goes beyond the rewards program itself. Cardholders will
have access to www.businessownersgetit.com, an online resource for small
business owners that includes "Tell Us Your Story" section where small
business owners can share their personal successes, as well as "Ask an Expert"
and "Use Credit Wisely" tips plus exclusive savings offers.
    The Citi STAPLES easyRewards Business MasterCard has an annual fee of
$39, which is waived for the first year.
    Canadians can get more information or apply for a Citi STAPLES
easyRewards Business MasterCard by simply calling 1-866-808-4436, visiting a
STAPLES Business Depot location, by mail or online at
www.businessownersgetit.com.

    About Citi Cards Canada Inc.

    Citi Cards is Canada's leading provider of general purpose and private
label credit and charge cards, and is affiliated with Citibank Canada. Major
credit and charge cards under the Citi Cards banner include Citi MasterCard,
Club Sobeys MasterCard, Diners Club, The Home Depot, Business Depot/Staples,
Office Depot, Petro-Canada, The Children's Place and Zales (Peoples/Mappins).
MasterCard reward offerings include the Citi PETRO-POINTS((*)) MasterCard, the
Citi Staples easyRewards MasterCard and the Citi Driver's Edge Gold and
Platinum.
    Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately
200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 140 countries.
Through its two operating units, Citicorp and Citi Holdings, Citi provides
consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of
financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit,
corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management.
Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com.

    About STAPLES Canada

    Founded in Toronto in 1991, The Business Depot Ltd./STAPLES Canada Inc.
is Canada's largest supplier of office supplies, business machines, office
furniture and business services for the small business and home office
customer. The company is an everyday low price retailer. The chain operates
stores in all provinces across Canada under the banners STAPLES Canada and
Bureau en Gros(MC). Marketing Magazine's Marketing/Leger 2008 Corporate
Reputation Survey ranked STAPLES Canada/Bureau en Gros number one among
Canada's top 100 companies surveyed in Canada. The company has over 13,500
employees serving customers through more than 300 office superstores,
catalogue, and e-commerce. STAPLES, STAPLES(R) Business Depot(TM)/ Bureau en
Gros(MC) is committed to making shopping easy by offering customers three ways
to shop: online, by catalogue and in-store. More information is available at
www.staples.ca.

    About Staples Inc.

    Staples, the world's largest office products company, is committed to
making it easy for customers to buy a wide range of office products, including
supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2008 sales of $23
billion and 91,000 associates worldwide, Staples serves businesses of all
sizes and consumers in 27 countries throughout North and South America,
Europe, Asia and Australia. In July 2008, Staples acquired Corporate Express,
one of the world's leading suppliers of office products to businesses and
institutions. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and is
headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq:   SPLS) is
available at www.staples.com.

    
    -----------------------
    (1) Staples Small Business National Quarterly Confidence Poll conducted
        by Angus-Reid, March 2009
    (2) Ibid
    (3) Citi Cards Canada
    




For further information:

For further information: Sarah Daly, Lisa Richards, Veritas
Communications, (416) 955-4583, (416) 955-4586, daly@veritascanada.com,
richards@veritascanada.com; Rachel Swiednicki, Public Relations, STAPLES,
(905) 737-1147 x 2714, rachel.swiednicki@staples.ca


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