Lloyds TSB takes Air Miles as NatWest flies solo
In the UK, high street bank NatWest has announced the launch of a new travel reward programme called 'YourPoints' in conjunction with online travel agent eBookers. As a result the bank's 19 year relationship with Air Miles is ending in June, and Air Miles will move its banking partnership to Lloyds TSB.
NatWest's new YourPoints loyalty programme has also partnered with low-fare airline easyJet to allow members to pay for flights using loyalty points (currently only YourPoints has this option with easyJet).
The new programme The programme allows members to choose any flight, to any place, at any time, as well as a range of other travel options. If the flight or travel package required is available through eBookers or easyJet, it is available to buy with YourPoints. There are no restrictions or black-out periods, and even the airport taxes can be paid using YourPoints.
Members will earn 1 YourPoint for every £1 of qualifying spending on their NatWest cards. NatWest points out that free flights can be more quickly earned through its new programme. For example, to go to Paris in April using Air Miles, a spend of £8,000 using a NatWest card would have been needed. But with YourPoints, a spend of only £4,300 is required.
Membership requirements Initially, YourPoints will be available only to existing NatWest customers who collected Air Miles through their credit card. The programme was designed to reward loyal customers who regularly use their card and will be free of charge to customers who spend more than £1,000 a month. Other customers who want to join the programme will pay £3 per month for the privilege.
The new programme comes into effect from the date customers receive their June 2007 credit card statement, at which point customers will cease to collect Air Miles on their credit or charge card and will begin to collect YourPoints instead. Customers' existing Air Miles are unaffected.
Air Miles moves to Lloyds TSB At the same time, Lloyds TSB and Air Miles announced their new partnership. Starting from 1st June 2007, Lloyds TSB is to become Air Miles' sector-exclusive financial services partner.
The first Lloyds TSB product offering Air Miles will be the Duo Card Account, a 'two in one' payment card facility that offers one interest rate, one monthly statement, one PIN and two credit cards (an American Express card and a MasterCard) to allow customers greater shopping flexibility. Lloyds TSB has also promised to double the Air Miles earning rate for Duo Card Account holders compared to the rate previously offered by NatWest. The increased earning rate will be 1 Air Mile for every £10 in qualifying spend.
According to Colin Walsh, director of credit cards for Lloyds TSB, "This partnership gives us the opportunity to reward our 16 million customers for doing business with us. We aim to attract new customers and provide a wider range of benefits for our existing customers."
Currently, more than 8 million UK consumers collect Air Miles through the programme's points-issuing partners, which include household names such as Tesco, Shell, Southern Electric, and Interflora.
For additional information: · Visit NatWest at http://www.natwest.co.uk · Visit eBookers at http://www.ebookers.com · Visit EasyJet at http://www.easyjet.com · Visit Lloyds TSB at http://www.lloydstsb.co.uk · Visit Air Miles at http://www.airmiles.co.uk