Credit card signing bonuses have been appearing in many forms of late. But one Florida credit processing company's idea of a customer incentive is nothing less than a bona fide assault weapon.
Last Thursday, MerchantService.com, a Sarasota-based company specializing in equipment and credit processing for businesses, announced it would offer its highest-volume customers a voucher for a free AK-47 rifle worth up to $750.00, according to the New Times of Broward and Palm Beach. The company is offering the gun as part of a broader campaign to empower merchants against violence through the use of "God, Guns, and Guts."
"We launched the No Merchant Victims campaign because it's our goal to promote a societal expectation change," Gino Kauzlarich, president of Merchant Service.com, told Orlando's Fox 35 on Monday. "And that is from the right of criminals to make you into a victim, we want to change that so criminals have the expectation of facing lethal force during the commission of a crime."
Still, if not interested, customers can trade in the voucher for cash.
Recently, signing bonuses for credit cards have been on the rise, with Chase bank offering $300 cash back if the customer's total spending tops $500 within the first three months. More benign offers range from Barclaycard's Williams-Sonoma rewards card to deals on flights.
MerchantService.com isn't the first business to use free guns as an incentive. Earlier this year, a Radio Shack in Hamilton, Montana was offering a gun to anyone who purchased Dish Network.
MerchantService.com itself takes the time to emphasize that its program doesn't promote illegal activity.
"Keep in mind we are not simply handing out AK-47 assault rifles to anyone who opens an account with us," the company's website says. "You will receive a voucher...towards the purchase of a firearm at any reputable gun shop where you must go through the proper background checks and waiting period that the law requires." (h/t New Times of Broward and Palm Beach.)
Watch Fox 35's interview with president of Merchant Service.com Gino Kauzlarich:
CORRECTION: A previous version of this post mistakenly referred to the gun in question as an assault rifle.