TravelZork shares with me data on oneworld airline S7’s co-brand credit card acquisition. He attended a presentation by S7’s loyalty director Natalia Nikolaeva.
She offered details of the airline loyalty program’s co-brand credit card product. It’s actually shocking to me how few of her Russian customers earned the card’s signup bonus, only 11% for the base and 20% for their premium product. Ouch!
And she shared some great details of how they worked with their bank partner to launch the card, and how customers are learning about it.
But the most fascinating statistics center around what’s driving customers to sign up for their credit card. One data point in particular stands out: their inflight magazine is 5 times more effective than flight attendant announcements at getting customers to sign up for their card.
TravelZork relays that S7 Airlines had to discontinue their flight attendants promoting the credit card because their crews refused to do it.
In contrast United Airlines announced this summer that they were making inflight card offers mandatory. They also increased the bounty for successful applications from $50 to $100 for a promotional period.
United’s President Scott Kirby had come over from American Airlines where he knew that on board was their single most effective cardmember acquisition channel so he started the practice at United. Previously, he explained, United didn’t do it because their bank partner Chase wouldn’t pay extra for it. He understood that more cardmembers was good for both the airline and the bank so they had to find a way to make it work.
I share credit card advice all the time, but I don’t have a captive audience. You can read my posts or not. In contrast inflight entertainment pauses for flight attendants to make their announcements. Passengers especially don’t like having their naps interrupted on early or late flights. And sometimes the information given out about cards inflight is wrong.
However inflight credit card announcements aren’t going to go away no matter how much customers complain because in the U.S. they’re effective. At S7 in Russia? Not so much, the flight attendants are refuseniks.