Credit card loyalty programs are differentiating factors among card issuers not only to obtain new customers, but also to retain them. As the following CNBC story reports, Chase is teaming up with online powerhouse Expedia to manage the bank’s travel rewards portal.
Travelers who use J.P. Morgan Chase credit cards are about to get a free upgrade. Credit-card customers who redeem rewards through the bank’s web portals will have access to more than double the travel inventory starting Sunday, according to a person with knowledge of the change. The New York-based bank is partnering with the Expedia Group, which owns sites including Travelocity, Orbitz and Hotwire.com, to power its travel search engine, the person said.
The bank also revamped its website and mobile app to make it easier to choose between flight and seat options, according to the person. Users will get a more detailed breakdown of fees and can redeem travel with any combination of points and cash. They’ll also get access to Expedia’s travel deals and can choose among 272,000 hotels and 250 airlines.
Banks, once technologically-stodgy firms that preferred to build most of their applications in-house, are increasingly joining up with leading companies to keep up with consumers’ climbing expectations. J.P. Morgan, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, has partnered with tech firms including Truecar and Roostify to improve its retail offerings. Goldman Sachs, an investment bank seeking to make inroads with ordinary consumers, recently acquired a personal finance app called Clarity Money.
Consumers want choice and travel deals which is what Expedia’s multi-brand travel portfolio can offer. Booking travel has evolved into an e-commerce channel, with mobile playing an expanding role. Expedia has built a stable of recognizable travel brands known for their comprehensive market coverage as well as for discounted offers. At first glance, this represents a good match-up, as Chase brings a huge cardholder base who will get the chance to see how far their loyalty points will take them.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group