There’s a race on for good credit card customers, and it’s being run with frequent flier miles. Capital One recently announced a promotion offering up to 100,000 frequent flier miles to people who sign up for its Vantage Visa card, plus another 10,000 miles as a sign-up bonus for new customers.
Capital One is pulling out all the stops for the campaign, called “Match My Miles Challenge,” even enlisting Alec Baldwin as the pitchman.
“That’s a good reward, actually,” says Beverly Blair Harzog, Credit.com’s credit card expert.
The offers align with some major trends in the credit card industry. They apply only to business cards, which are not protected under the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009. To get around the act’s rules, many card companies have increased their targeting of business cards for individuals.
Another trend is increasing annual fees, but waiving fees for the first year. According to this study by Consumer Action, the number of cards with annual fees dropped from 2009 to 2010, even as the average fee rose from $62.75 to $65.20. Many more cards, including those with frequent flier advantages, are waiving the fee for the first year, Harzog says.
While the strategy of using frequent flier miles to attract customers with good credit has typically been confined to cards offered by major airlines, other cards like Vantage are now doing similar promotions.
“That’s a trend right now,” Harzog says. “I’m seeing credit cards getting really competitive with frequent flyer miles.”
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