Following the initial news that Barclaycard is to leave the UK's Nectar coalition loyalty scheme, Barclaycard has given The Wise Marketer its official comment on the decision, explaining the reason for its sudden departure.
From the end of August, when Barclaycard ceases issuing Nectar points completely (see Jul. 4th, 2005), it will instead be introducing a free travel insurance offer to woo consumers.
According to a Barclaycard spokesperson, the move follows extensive research which showed that, above all, Barclaycard customers says they value the peace of mind provided by the company through its back-up services, particularly while travelling.
Barclaycard's consumer affairs director, Mark Gonnella, told us: "We are constantly reviewing and developing the services and offers we provide to customers, based on their feedback The vast majority are now saying to us very clearly that they value the back-up support we provide, particularly when it comes to travel."
Gonnella added that the change in direction is a direct result of that feedback, and that the company will be sending letters to all of its customers in due course, explaining the situation to them.
Although it will cease issuing points after August 31st, 2005, Barclaycard stresses that customers' existing Nectar points will remain unaffected, and they will be able to continue collecting and redeeming points through other Nectar partners in the normal way.
New offer instead
Starting on September 1st, 2005, Barclaycard will instead introduce free travel insurance on holidays booked through the Barclaycard Travel Service and paid for using a Barclaycard credit card.
The company's travel service division now offers a range of benefits for cardholders, including: travel insurance for parties of up to six people (including all-important winter sports cover), a 5% discount on the price of holidays available from more than 120 operators (including late deals), and a distinct lack of the usual 2% credit card surcharge for holidays paid for with a Barclaycard.