Airline credit cards: AirTran’s land with Chase
It was in September 2010 that Southwest Airlines — the nation’s largest carrier by some measures — announced its acquisition of Orlando-based AirTran Airways, and it has been nearly two years since the Department of Justice gave the deal its approval. So holders of AirTran-branded airline credit cards might by now be forgiven for assuming that nothing much was going to change for them. How wrong they’d be.
AirTran airline credit cards migrate
On Mar. 5, Chase Card Services announced that it was taking over AirTran’s credit card portfolio, effective Apr. 25, from previous issuer Barclays. Existing customers should soon find formal notifications of the change in their mail boxes, and those who wish to retain their accounts should receive replacement cards for use from Apr. 29. The old cards should continue to be used until that date.
In a press release, Chase announced that:
- Existing A+ Reward Dollar balances should be automatically transferred to the new account.
- Cardholders need to update with their new card details any recurring automatic payments set up on their old accounts. Although Chase didn’t say so specifically, you might want to time these changes around that Apr. 29 cut-off date.
- Any existing convenience checks can be posted to the current account only up until Apr. 25.
The new credit card
The press release went on to describe the new card, the AirTran® A+ Rewards(SM) Credit Card from Chase. It said that, at launch, this would offer cardholders:
- The same APR and annual fee that was charged previously.
- “Earning at an accelerated rate.”
- The ability to redeem rewards for travel to 97 destinations served by either Southwest Airlines or AirTran, including Charlotte, Memphis, Key West, Dallas, Nashville and San Diego.
- Access to online account management services via www.chase.com/airtran and the Chase Mobile App.
- The option to link their card to their Chase checking account as part of the bank’s overdraft protection program.
In a statement, Chase’s Naney Pandit, a general manager, was enthusiastic about the move:
Valued AirTran Cardholders will continue to have access to frequent flyer benefits that enhance their travel experience. Chase has designed benefits that allow Cardholders to earn quickly, redeem easily and fly to more destinations on AirTran Airways and Southwest Airlines.
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