Universal Music has launched a partnership with the German Savings Bank Association (DSGV) on the Soundaccount credit card package.

For an annual subscription of between €12 ($16) and €20 ($26.70) - different banks can decide on the amount they charge - the credit card holder has the benefit of the account as well as 10 free downloads a month from the Universal Music catalog, via the Soundaccount online music portal. The site also offers video clips, competitions for tickets, news updates and discounts on merchandise for Universal artists.

"We thought to make our credit cards more interesting with music," said Gregor Cleophas, project manager for soundaccount at the association in Berlin. "It is the first combination of music and a credit card in Germany."

Frank Briegmann, president and CEO Universal Music Germany, added: "This cooperation offers young people the legal and safe access to the whole Universal repertoire. It is a perfect win-win situation."

The project started in March 2010 and 150 of the 431 German saving banks are on board, with about 3,000 customers signed up. The association has an exclusive deal with Universal until 2012.

"We are the number one on the market and wanted to do the deal with the market leader," said Cleophas. The soundaccount.de Web site shows which banks have signed up to the offer.