Wednesday, January 27, 2010

American Express and Webjet join forces to shake up the loyalty market and open the skies to travellers

Webjet and American Express join forces to intensify competition in the loyalty landscape and make travel more affordable for consumers.    

From the 2nd February, American Express Cardmembers enrolled in Membership Rewards will be able to use their points to book flights online, accessing the full flight inventory available on Webjet - Australia's leading online travel agency1.  This gives travellers the opportunity to search, compare and select competitive travel offers across airlines.  

Travellers don't have to accumulate the full amount of points to pay for their travel booking on Webjet.  As long as they have 7,500 points, which equates to $75, they can pay the remainder with their American Express Card.  

Webjet CEO, Richard Noon says, "This is the first time that points have been offered as a form of currency on Webjet.  Our partnership with American Express succeeds in removing the frustrations commonly associated with other loyalty travel programs such as limited availability, long lead times for bookings or having to pay fees for redeeming a reward.

"Now, for instance, a traveller flying from Sydney to Melbourne return doesn't have to be locked into one airline's loyalty program and to the rates it charges.  Instead using Webjet they can use their points on Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Blue or Tiger Airways or even mix and match airlines using fewer points.  

Using Webjet, a traveller can clearly see what the best fare is and can select any available seat.  This is a huge win for consumers and we're delighted to be part of it."

Corrina Davison, American Express Vice President of Brand, Loyalty and Rewards says, "This partnership is a world first for American Express.  We're thrilled to be working with Webjet to create some healthy competition in the market and to make it easier and more affordable for people to fly.  Our research tells us that customers want to be able to use their points to travel where they want, when they want, without restriction.  Now they can use their points to see the world with more than 30 airlines via Webjet."

Analysis by Hitwise reveals that between 12 September 2009 and 16 January 2010, Webjet recorded the highest number of visits based on Australian usage when compared to other popular Australian travel websites.

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