Sooner or later, we will be traveling again. Good meals sometimes, airline meals other times. We noted in a recent piece on Chase Broadening its Co-branded portfolio, TSA airport security check-ins are on the rise:
- As travel fell, the link between hospitality and travel cards began to wane, and they will likely return as travelers passing through TSA checkpoints rebound. And, the numbers are moving up. According to the TSA checkpoint numbers, 2.2 million people passed through security on April 7, 2019. On the same day, in 2020, the number dipped to only 94,931 people, then yesterday, April 7, 2021, the number surged to 1.2 million. This increase indicates confidence and bears well for hospitality and travel affiliated cards.
Chase added Instacart and Door Dash to its co-branded partnerships. The global issuer is starting to ramp up its travel-related cards, starting with United Airlines. Like many other airlines, United felt the pain of COVID-19, as the stock fell from a comfortable $63.70 per share to a COVID-low of $18.18, but this morning, indications are that it is back on the mend at $56.15 in mid-day trading. Marketwatch indicated the firm expects positive cash flow going forward.
Ladies and gentlemen, perhaps it is time to move those airline cards back into the front of your wallet.
- New cardholders can earn up to 100,000 bonus miles—80,000 bonus miles if they spend $5,000 in their first three months and an additional 20,000 bonus miles if they spend $10,000 within their first six months. The bonus mile offer ends on June 6.
- Cardmembers receive annual $125 statement credits for United purchases.
- Cardholders earn 3 miles for every $1 spent on United purchases and 2 miles for every $1 spent on all other travel—including airfare, trains, local transit, cruise lines, hotels, car rentals, taxicabs, resorts, ride-sharing services, and tolls—as well as dining and streaming services. Customers also earn 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Customers get two 5,000-mile flight credits every year after their first year as a reward for redeeming miles.
That is more than enough points to sneak your spouse or partner to the next big conference in Las Vegas or Maui.
The BusinessInsider article points out that Chase’s Q42020 sales volume fell less than $10 billion over the prior year. Chase bucks the trend of severely declining revolving debt in the United States. Nationwide, revolving debt in the U.S. fell by more than $100 billion YoY.
Fasten your safety belts and expect to see other issuers follow upgrading and overhauling their air travel cards.
Overview Provided by Brian Riley, Director, Credit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group