Memorial Day — and Summer Travel Season — Arrive
With Memorial Day, summer first “bookend” arrives, for a season that marks its midpoint with the 4th of July, and wraps up — practically speaking — with Labor Day with our travel tips.
We’re on the brink of upcoming occasions such as graduations, Father’s Day, weddings, and fireworks (with the desire to enjoy the latter two separately). Alongside these celebrations, the opportunity for travel is also approaching.
Airlines and Card Use
A couple of articles on the flying-and-card-use front jumped out at us this week — perhaps we’re getting restless to hit the road, or the skies, ourselves. In fact, according to the LA Times, airlines have been doing so well, they’ve been losing bag fees they usually collect!
The Impact of Branded Cards
What do we mean by that? Well, it’s because these same airlines have been pursuing consumers with their own branded card offers, each with various built-in “rewards” for flying with that particular carrier.
Among the rewards offered — incentives like the waiving of bag fees for the first year of a card’s life. Thus, “airlines made 4% less on baggage fees in 2013 than in the previous year, according to federal statistics released last week,” the article notes. However, “carriers are most likely collecting enough revenue from their credit cards to make up for the loss of the waived bag fees,” the article continues.
Benefits of Credit Card Use
“‘They are earning revenue in many ways;’ said Brian Karimzad, director of the reward card comparison site MileCards.com. ‘They get a cut of the annual fees and a cut of what you spend on those cards.’”
The article highlights that airlines might outperform banks in this regard, but it also raises the idea of boosting “card-use enthusiasm,” to coin a phrase, by providing customers with incentives and benefits.
Consider Offering Reward Cards
And while your business may not be in a position to waive airline fees, you can consult with your AVPS rep about offering reward cards to your own “frequent flyers.” Of course, any incentives for getting them to use plastic, whether you’re mobilely processing cards or taking orders online, will not only be appreciated by them but help further drive sales.
Tips for Travelers
And if you’ll be traveling yourself this summer, whether for business or pleasure, the Sacramento Bee ran a recent feature on using “credit cards with care while traveling.”
Some of the recommendations included carrying cards with EMV chips, as they are the prevailing standard in many global regions (although your mag-striped American card is generally accepted abroad). Additionally, it’s advisable to be aware of the hotel room upgrades and benefits associated with your specific card. Moreover, when making international purchases, whether with a debit or credit card, it’s essential to check for the ones with the lowest currency conversion fees.
Coverage for Lost or Damaged Baggage
The article highlights a particularly valuable perk, stating, “It offers coverage for lost or damaged checked baggage, extending up to $500 beyond the airline’s standard provision. While most U.S. airlines provide coverage of up to $3,400 for lost baggage, it’s important to note that specific items like family heirlooms and portable technology may be exempt. Therefore, the extra coverage from your card provider could potentially have a significant impact.”
Certainly, if the baggage check-in fee has been waived from the start, it’s an even more favorable scenario! This is where our services come into the picture, offering significant advantages!
Enjoy Your Summer Travels
Summer’s calling to us, too — even if we’re only going as far as the grill a few steps away. Happy trails, and we’ll see you next week.