How To Get It In & Keep It In – In A Wallet That Is

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Get your mind out of the gutter. This post will share common ways to get a credit card in a consumer’s wallet and keep it there.

Last month at the OWMD I had an interesting conversation with an American Airlines program strategy manager about credit cards and loyalty programs. We talked about why I have two American Airlines credit cards in my wallet, as well as what keeps those and other cards in my wallet. It was an interesting opportunity to share what I think directly with a strategy manager for a great loyalty program.

As I mention on my travel reward card page, credit cards are a big part of my strategy to earn and burn miles. Last year credit cards and travel helped us earn a little over 857,000 points and miles and burn through a little over 1,734,000 points and miles for trips to destinations we could not have otherwise afforded.

What Gets A Card Into My Wallet

Half of the challenge is to get a card into the consumer’s wallet, the other half is to keep it there.

1) Large Sign Up Bonus Offers

The single strategy to catch my attention and get a card into my wallet is to offer a large sign up bonus.

The British Airways offer (expired), the 75,000 American Airlines offer (expired), and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the 50,000 Chase Ink Bold and 50,000 Chase Ink Plus offers caught my attention. The big bonuses got the cards into my wallet (and some family member’s wallets) but the fight for the space in my wallet did not end there.

2) Attractive Program & Spend Bonuses

Another way a card can get in my wallet is by having an attractive program that offers spending and transfer bonuses.

The SPG American Express comes with a sign up bonus and it is an attractive card because it offers a transfer bonus of 5,000 points when you transfer 20,000 points to an airline program. Plus the SPG program offers great hotel redemption options including the cash + points option.

The Chase Sapphire preferred offers a 7% annual bonus and the hope to eventually redeem 90k for a business class ticket to French Polynesia. Plus, the Chase Ultimate rewards program allows you to transfer your points into a number of programs including United, Hyatt, and British Airways among others.

What Keeps A Card In My Wallet

The other half of the battle is to keep the consumer motivated to use the card so they will keep the card in their wallet.

1) Attractive Program & Spend Bonuses

Along with an attractive frequent flyer program or rewards program, using bonus spend promotions is a great incentive for consumers to continue using a credit card.

The American Express program frequently offers mini-bonuses around spending like the gift chain$25 statement credit offer, and even picked up a dinner check for my friend.

The Chase Ultimate rewards program offers a great shopping portal experience and offers spend bonuses like the 5x spend bonus at Dicks Sporting Goods.

The British Airways card was taken out of my wallet this year because the new Avios program did not initially appear to fit my travel style. But after my first Avios point redemption for only 7,500 Avois points, I have changed my mind about the usefulness of that program. The British Airways card also occasionally offers spend bonus promotions.

2) Transfer Bonuses

Attractive transfer bonus offers keep a card in my wallet. For example, the American Express rewards program occasionally offers transfer bonuses to certain programs. They have offered airline transfer promotions like the 40% Delta SkyMiles transfer bonus and the British Airways transfer bonus promotion.

Bottom Line

Travel reward credit cards can play a big part in any earning and burning strategy. By having an attractive sign up bonus and then offering incentives to use the card, a card will more likely get in and stay in a consumer’s wallet.

If you are considering travel reward credit cards, be sure to check out my post on how to avoid common credit card sign up bonus mistakes.


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About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. Chase Freedom for small domestic purchases. Sapphire for travel and purchases outside the US. SPG is still my “go to” Amex.

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