United Airlines and Chase Bank are teaming up again to offer yet another travel credit card product to consumers. Following last year’s release of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the United TravelBank Credit Card made its debut last week according to Business Insider.
Chase and United seem to be switching gears slightly with this new travel credit card. The credit card is being marketed as a hybrid rewards product focusing on both cash back and travel redemptions. At a glance, it appears that the motive is to appeal to the common consumer who could rely on the cash back rewards while also having the option to build up travel rewards.
The TravelBank Credit Card’s headliner benefits include a two percent return on ticket purchases with United Airlines as well as a one and a half percent return on standard, everyday purchases. If new card holders spend $1,000 within the first 3 months with the card, then they are eligible for a $150 credit. An additional benefit for travelers is a 25 percent discount on in-flight purchases such as food and drinks.
While these benefits wouldn’t attract the high-roller or experienced credit card user, they should appeal to new, prospective card holders looking for a travel card. This fact is evidenced by coverage from Business Insider who mentioned that the card was “an attempt at mass appeal” due to its “pragmatic rewards payouts that market research showed a strong demand for.”
When it comes to fees and APR, the card follows the tune of most Chase credit cards; however, there is one key difference from the other United Airlines-Chase products: no annual fee. The standard purchase and balance transfer APR can fall between 16.99 and 23.99 percent. The cash advance APR is 25.99 percent, and there is not penalty APR. Luckily for travelers, there is no foreign transaction fee.
The introduction of this credit card follows sharp on the heels of the new American Express-Delta Airlines travel credit card offer, the Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card. Similar to the card from Chase and United, the Blue Delta SkyMiles is an attempt to appeal to younger, more common consumers who constitute a growing portion of the market.
The travel rewards cards are fairly similar although the American Express card offers a larger introductory bonus for reaching a lower spending threshold. Aside from this, both cards offer two percent back on travel purchases with their respective airlines. Both offer an in-flight discount. Both come with no annual fee.
At any rate, it will be interesting to see which of these cards gains the upper hand in the new, seemingly untapped market of younger consumers.
Author: Andrew Rombach
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