60 Seconds with Barclays Bank

60 Seconds with Barclays Bank

Just under the 2005 wire, Barclays Bank introduced a new US Airways credit card which has already generated some buzz. For one thing, longtime US Airways card issuer Bank of America was not at all happy, but couldn’t stop the launch.

Now, US Airways offers cards from competing banks, and it looks like both will be available until 2007.

We had a chance to speak with Ben Break, Managing Director of Marketing for Barclays, about the new card, and the accompanying offers.

The rumor is after wrestling the privilege of offering the primary credit card product to US Airways Dividend Miles members away from Bank of America, you’ve got a secret.
Ben Break
Yes, we will be launching a new product with Dividend Miles. It will be a MasterCard product. A World MasterCard. Here are the things we feel are most notable:

  • 15,000 mileage activation bonus upon first use or transfer of a balance;
  • Earn up to additional 10,000 through balance transfers, at the point of application;
  • 50-percent mileage bonus for the first year. For every dollar spent off of US Airways the customer will earn a mile and a half. For every dollar spent on US Airways the customer will earn three miles;
  • No annual fee for the first two years.

    During February we are offering 50-cent flights for card members. The general public will be able to determine where the flight will be. We will target the five major US Airways hubs. The public will determine the destinations. We have created a Web site called 50centflights.com. They will be able to vote where in the world we should offer these flights at 50-cent fares. Then, in the month of February, on a first-come-first-served basis, we will give these flights away to card members. Each week we will announce new destinations.

    We’re going to offer the 50-cents flights on the Web site with a countdown clock.

    The 50-percent bonus, will that be a permanent offer?
    It’s for the first year.

    Do balance transfers get the 50-percent bonus?
    No, but they earn a mile per dollar transferred.

    Are there limits to how much of a balance transfer you can bring over to earn miles?
    Yes. $10,000.

    Something a bit different is that there is no earning cap on the card and we have a 0% introductory ARP for six months. It will be priced at 16.99% variable, prime plus 9.

    You can earn 10,000 miles toward Preferred status if you spend $25,000.

    There will also be complimentary US Airways club passes per year with the card; a $75 discount towards a membership for the US Airways club and card members will receive two $99 companion tickets.

    Where did this product come from?
    Customer research.

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