When it comes to American Airlines credit cards, two is better than one.
On Tuesday, the Fort Worth-based carrier announced new credit card deals for its AAdvantage rewards program cards with Citi and Barclaycard US.
American has partnered with Citi since 1987 with co-branded credit cards, while the former US Airways’ frequent flier credit card was with Barclays. Industry analysts had assumed American would choose one of the banks for a co-branded card, following the merger of the two airlines, but instead, the airline decided to negotiate new agreements with both banks and the cards offered will exclusively be MasterCards.
“From earning miles to boarding early and checking a bag for free, our customers tell us how much they value their AAdvantage-affiliated cards,” said American chief marketing officer Andrew Nocella. “Our new dual-issuer arrangement is the first of its kind in the U.S. airline industry, and was enabled by the progressive partnership with Citi, BarclaycardUS and Mastercard.”
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, American said it expects the new deals will add $200 million to its income in the second half of 2016 and $550 million in 2017. It will also boost income by $800 million in 2018.
The agreements will allow Citi to offer credit cards to new customers, through direct mail campaigns and at Admirals Club lounges. Barclays will be able to offer its cards to new customers in airports and exclusively on flights starting in January 2017.