From Colloquy: My Airline Loyalty Program Doesn’t Fly, But My Bank’s Does

Payments Leader

Posted on February 13, 2014

There may be only four major airlines today, but when it comes to competing for their credit card business, the number of rivals takes wing. And only those carriers that put their loyalty program data on the radar will be able to offset this competition.

I learned this recently when planning a quick get-away trip. I checked my airline customer rewards program points, saw I had more than enough to get to my destination, and by using my cobranded airline card, thought I’d be rewarded not only for my loyalty to the airline, but for using the co-branded airline credit card I try to keep top-of-wallet.

When I redeemed my airline points, however, the flight and seat options made available through the airline loyalty program were actually inferior to those I could have purchased through standard channels. There were fewer flights and even worse seating selections. This was the reward for my loyalty? I felt betrayed and returned the tickets, opting instead for a deal with my everyday bankcard, which offered better reward options and required fewer points and virtually no out-of-pocket expenses.

In other words, my airline co-branded card lost a sale of its own product to a bankcard – a competing bankcard.

Read the full article on Colloquy.

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Payments Leader

Payments Leader from FIS provides insights on credit, loyalty, fraud and emerging payments strategies through blog posts from our industry experienced authors.