Affinity Card

Updated: 2017-12-08.

An affinity card is a credit or debit card issued by a banking institution in partnership and co-branded with a particular frequent traveler program. The purpose of an affinity card is to incentivize bank’s customers to use the card by rewarding cardholders with points, or “miles,” in the affiliated frequent traveler program.

Examples are Citibank, who has affinity cards with American Airlines, and Chase, who has credit cards that offer United Airlines “miles.” This is a win-win-win marketing strategy: The bank will probably get customers of the frequent traveler programs that they are affiliated with; the travel program sells the “points” or “miles” to the banks; and the frequent traveler earns rewards towards their favorite frequent traveler program through purchases that would have been made whether they had an affinity card or not.

Affinity cards are famous with frequent flier programs and frequent lodger programs (hotels).

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