This article refers to the company. For American Depository Share (ADS), a unit representing foreign ownership of a company, see American Depositary Share
Alliance Data Systems (NYSE: ADS) is a credit card company that offers light label credit cards to companies that can then distribute their own branded credit cards. For example, retailers such as Victoria's Secret, and J. Crew use ADS's credit cards.
ADS administers customer loyalty programs for companies such as BMO Bank of Montreal, Citibank, and Hilton. Alliance Data is also the provider of the AIR MILES credit card program in Canada which 70% of Canadian households use. Using various information they gather about customer transactions, Alliance Data works with clients to built customer loyalty programs and attract new customers.This is a service Alliance Data has built through the acquisitions of Epsilon and Abacus, two leading providers of marketing data, over the last two years. 
Because Alliance Data provides private label credit cards, it ends up holding the balances of its clients customers. These balances are securitized and sold to the public markets. The average customer is a middle to upper class females between the ages of 35 and 49 and has a balance of $360.
Alliance Data Systems provides customer loyalty programs, database marketing services, marketing consulting, and private label credit cards. It monitors client transactions and uses captured data to help clients acquire new customers and maintain existing customers in more effective ways than traditional mass marketing programs.  Companies use Alliance Data's services because most of these programs are difficult, time-consuming, and expensive to maintain in-house.
Transaction and Credit clients include brands such as Hilton, Victoria's Secret, Canada Safeway, Shell Canada, Amex Bank of Canada, J.Crew, and Expedia. Marketing Services clients include BMO Bank of Montreal, Citibank, Bank Of America, and Amex Bank of Canada. These clients as well as nearly 800 others encompass a wide variety of markets including financial services, retail, grocery and convenience stories, technology, hospitality, travel, and pharmaceuticals. 
In Q1 2010, as a result of FAS 166 and 167 the company consolidated several trusts used to securitize credit card debt onto its balance sheet, which reduced the owners' equity in the company by 400 million although there was no change to the company's operations.
In 2009, ADS earned a net income of $143.7 million on $1.96 billion in revenues. This represents a 30.3% decrease in net income from $206.4 million in 2008.
ADS has four reportable business segments: Loyalty Services, Epsilon Marketing Services, Private Label Services, and Private Label Credit.
Since ADS really relies on a few large clients to provide the majority of its revenue stream, a single client departure has a large impact on the company's performance. For example, Lane Bryant, which provided ADS's Credit Services segment with 7% of its total revenue, took its credit services in-house in November 2007.
In 2009, ADS's 10 largest clients represented approximately 46.6% of its total revenue.