Originally created 05/07/02

Tiger gets his face on a credit card in Canada



TORONTO -- Tiger Woods, whose picture has been everywhere from the cover of Time to a box of Wheaties, entered a new market Monday when American Express unveiled his image on a new credit card in Canada.

The American Express Tiger Woods Credit Card comes with an annual fee ($62) that is nearly twice as much as a regular card in Canada ($34), but offers several golf-related benefits that include free lessons, discounts, and a free round of golf.

"I can't promise it will knock any strokes off your game, but I'm sure you'll enjoy the game more if you've got one," Woods said in a statement.

Woods, affiliated with American Express since 1997, has a five-year endorsement until 2007 that reportedly pays him $5 million a year.

"When you think about American Express and the tradition of the company ... to take the centurion off and put someone on the card is a pretty big step. Tiger is pretty excited about it," said Mark Steinberg, his agent at IMG.

Steinberg said the card is available only in Canada but a similar credit card could eventually be offered in the United States.

"We're going to see how it goes," he said. "Canada is kind of a test stage. We've been in discussion with American Express, and we think there's a good chance of bringing it to the States."

Woods will help promote the card by holding an exhibition on May 27 at Olympic Islands in Toronto.

"We're confident this will be a huge hit because it's more than a card for the Tiger Woods fan, it's a card that contributes to people's enjoyment of the game," said David Barnes, a spokesman for Amex Canada Inc.