Around 1994, competition in the credit card market was based on price (i.e., interest rates and annual fees). After Chase and American Express launched bonus point programs in 1993, HSBC was forced to follow in 1994. The original program was targeted at high-income consumers as with luxury brand redemption items. Competition reacted and consumers quickly learned to expect a points program as a standard feature. Again, HSBC differentiated their credit card products by adding a wider range of redemption items, and lowering redemptions levels. Problems emerged in 1997-1998 as the program became a source of complaints because of operational difficulties in fulfillment and a lack of competitive advantage in the marketplace. In 1999, HBSC's credit card was rated poorly, largely because of the problems with the bonus point system. Research was used to understand consumers and revitalize the program. Significant changes were made in the features, improved operations and an improved selection of redemption items. By 2002, the program was rated as one of the best in the industry. The challenge is, "Where does HSBC go from here?"