Consumer Payment Card News

Back In The Sky

After being dumped by Chase Manhattan earlier this year, ‘The British Airways VISA’ is back in the market as it was re-launched yesterday with First USA. The new product is loaded with a lot of punch as it offers a waiver of the first year’s annual fee, one of the lowest interest rates of any major airline card and automatic membership in the airline’s ‘Executive Club’ frequent flyer program. The FUSA/BA VISA offers a 4.9% five-month intro rate and a 16.99% go-to rate. The card is available as a ‘Classic VISA’ for $50 per year or as a ‘Platinum VISA’ at $65 per year. New cardmembers who apply for the card via a special toll-free number automatically earn 10,000 bonus miles when they make their first purchase with the card. They will also receive an additional 5,000 miles after their first British Airways flight. The airline co-branded card offers the standard one airmile for each dollar charged.

FULL STORY:
A new consumer credit card as rewarding as the places it takes you–developed and designed for savvy travelers and consumers–has been launched by British Airways, First USA and Visa.

The new British Airways Visa card offers waiver of the first year’s annual fee, one of the lowest interest rates of any major airline card and automatic membership in British Airways innovative Executive Club frequent flyer program.

Issued in partnership with First USA, one of the nation’s largest credit card companies, the British Airways Visa card offers a low 4.9 percent introductory rate for five months followed by a 16.99 annual percentage rate, one of the lowest rates offered by a major airline. By waiving the $65 annual fee for new cardmembers, the British Airways Platinum Visa card represents one of the best consumer values among major airline cards offered today. A classic version of the card is also available with an annual fee of $50. The platinum version of the card features a credit line up to $100,000, emergency assistance programs, $1,000,000 travel accident insurance, and a year-end summary of charges.

New British Airways Visa cardmembers who apply for the card via a special toll-free number (800-859-5352) will automatically earn 10,000 bonus miles in their Executive Club account when they make their first purchase with the card.

Cardmembers can immediately begin earning one Executive Club mile for each dollar of purchases made on the card. They will receive an additional 5,000 Executive Club miles after their first British Airways flight–for a total of 15,000 bonus miles.(a) In addition to earning free air travel on British Airways and its airline partners, including American Airlines, Qantas Airways, America West Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Canadian Airlines and Finnair, miles may also be redeemed for free hotel stays and car rental awards around the world.

Cardmembers may personalize their British Airways Visa card by choosing from four original art designs featuring British Airways World Images as showcased on the airline’s fleet of aircraft. This is the only frequent flyer credit card that permits members to choose their own card design.

“Our new card program represents a great improvement over what we’ve offered in the past to the individual credit card consumer by now providing added benefits and value,” said Dale Moss, executive vice president sales and marketing USA for British Airways. “This card gives consumers and travelers enhanced purchasing power and the opportunity to earn free travel in our top-rated frequent flyer program. The card is a reflection of market demand–to offer a better card with a more attractive APR which will benefit the cardmember financially as well as help that customer more rapidly attain their travel objectives.”

The British Airways Executive Club, for which cardmembers are automatically enrolled, provides many unique benefits to members, such as a household account permitting up to three additional family members to combine their flight and partner activity to reach awards more quickly. Members also may enroll in the Executive Club Dining program, the only airline dining program that awards members both miles and cash rebates for dining at participating restaurants.

Silver and Gold tier members of the British Airways program are provided complimentary access to the airline’s worldwide departure lounges regardless of class of travel.

Consumers wishing to apply for the British Airways Visa card may call toll-free 800-859-5352.

British Airways (www.british-airways.com), based in London and serving Britain from 21 cities in the United States, is the world’s largest international airline flying to 180 destinations in 83 countries.

First USA (www.firstusa.com), a subsidiary of BANC ONE CORPORATION, is a financial services company specializing in the credit card business and is among the largest providers of Visa, MasterCard and private-label credit cards in the nation. First USA has approximately 40.1 million credit cards issued and $39.6 billion in total loans outstanding.

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