Consumer Payment Card News

Midwest Airlines MasterCard

The top-rated airline in the nation has beefed-up its MasterCard program after switching banks. Midwest Express Airlines confirmed this week that its credit card portfolio is in the process of being sold by U.S. Bank to Juniper Bank. As a result, Midwest is rolling out two new card programs: the “Midwest Express Platinum MasterCard” and the “Standard MasterCard.” Juniper Bank will also service the existing “Midwest Express MasterCard,” “Gold MasterCard,” and “MasterCard BusinessCards.” The new credit cards will allow consumers to earn one mile toward free travel on Midwest Express for every $1 spent on purchases. Platinum cardholders also earn two miles per $1 spent on Midwest Express or Skyway Airlines tickets. Platinum cardholders also receive 7,500 bonus miles with first use of the card and up to 5,000 bonus miles on balance transfers. Standard cardholders can earn 3,500 bonus miles with first use of the card and up to 5,000 bonus miles on balance transfers. Additionally, the new credit cards have no mileage cap. Midwest Platinum MasterCard requires a $69 annual fee, while the ‘Standard MasterCard” carries a $49 annual fee. The deal will double Juniper’s credit card account base to about 600,000 accounts. Juniper, which is controlled by CIBC, says the deal is an example of its commitment to building a long-term market presence. Indeed airline portfolios are among the most lucrative segments in the credit card business since they generate exceptionally high charge volume and balances coupled with low attrition and defaults. This profitable mix of such products is largely attributed to the underlying loyalty of the airline brand. Midwest Express offers jet and turboprop travel to 50 U.S. cities. The credit card portfolio acquisition is expected to close in November. For more information visit: www.midwestexpress.com.

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