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Airline credit cards doing very well

[Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011]

For all those flyers, who are upset about the checked in baggage fees and in-flight Snickers costing $3, there is a new solution being introduced by the airline companies. The frequent flier cards from various brands offer waivers on the fee along with various other incentives, including mileage rewards. However, these cards too, like all other offerings from the airlines come with a price tag.

Airline rewards credit cards seem to be back in a big way. Reward cards during the 3rd quarter of 2010 made up about 2/5th of the 1.2 billion credit cards that were being offered to various issuers, which was a significant rise from the 30% that they comprise a year ago. Better benefits are definitely responsible for luring the customers back to these cards. For example, Delta card holders are getting benefits like a fee waiver on the first checked in baggage, while sign up bonuses for Continental Cards in 2011 ranged between 30,000 – 50,000 miles. That many miles are more than enough for one or 2 round trip domestic flights, which is quite a reward.

Another benefit being offered is that passengers can get discounts on fares with fewer points. This tactic is working well as the number of customers applying for these cards has increased spectacularly. JetBlue saw the spike when it eliminated expiration dates on points and changed the whole system of earning points, to points for every dollar used rather than on the duration of flight. Delta saw the spike with the free checked bag offer.

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