When it comes to the travel credit card space, few cards are actually thinking outside of the box when it comes to benefits and earnings. There are some (like I really like how US Bank Altitude Reserve offers 3X points on all digital wallet payments) but most just follow along with the rest.
Travel Credit Cards Need to Innovate with Unique Benefits for Their Customers
I mean, how many cards do we really need to have offer free Global Entry reimbursement? The list is huge and most of us probably have at least 4-5 ways to offset that now. Recently, we even had United complaining that the popular and awesome Chase Sapphire Reserve was taking customer spending away from their very average cards. Of course, they could always go back to a benefit like this one that was a great, unique benefit for real United flyers.
Yesterday, OMaaT wrote about a new British Airways benefit that shows that there are ways for airline credit cards to come up with new benefits. While this new benefit may not be as great as it initially looks (depending on how BA chooses to allow it to be used), it is a great example of what card issuers and partners could do.
New British Airways Chase Card Benefit of a Surcharge Rebate
The new British Airways Chase card benefit is the rebate of carrier surcharges. When it comes to carrier surcharges (or, as airlines like to call them “fuel surcharges”), British Airways is one of the worst. Since almost all of their flights transit London which already has a higher tax, the combination of taxes and fees can take a premium class award ticket to over $1,000! That is just ridiculous!
Well, this new surcharge rebate could help soften that blow. According to OMaaT, here is how that would break down:
- Get a $200 rebate for a flight in British Airways first or business class
- Get a $100 reward for a flight in British Airways premium economy or economy
- Receive up to $600 in rebate credits each year for taxes, fees, and carrier surcharges on awards
- 3 credits per year
One big thing still up in the air is if it is valid for one way travel. If it is, that could open up some great opportunities when you start from other cities in Europe (besides London). Also currently unknown is if you can use it for other people (I would imagine it is tied to the actual purchase so my guess is “yes”) and if it is only valid for US departures (since it is a US-issued card).
This Demonstrates It Is Possible for Card Issuers to Innovate
The thing I like the most about this is how Chase and British Airways are innovating on a cardmember benefit. With a card that has a $95 annual fee, offering up to $600 back when traveling on BA awards is certainly a good thing for the customer. Of course, it would be even better if you didn’t have to pay those annoying surcharges at all but if you have the Chase card, at least you get something back now!
It would be really great to see other airline cards follow suit with something unique. The new Southwest business card that offers free WiFi up to 365 times in a year is another example. United and American should really be thinking what they could do!