This isn’t a post you can take advantage of, unless you live in Germany or Austria, but it is another example of how the credit card industry is shaping the loyalty business.
airberlin is now giving status miles when you spend on their branded Visa cards.
The German card offers 1 status mile per €1 on purchases
The Austrian card offers 1 status miles per €1 on purchases AND cash withdrawals!
Not many people will be able to achieve status purely on the back of credit card spend. You will need to spend €25,000 to get the equivalent of BA Bronze, €50,000 to get the equivalent of BA Silver and €100,000 to get the equivalent of BA Gold. However it will certainly help people who do only a modest amount of oneworld flying achieve a decent level of status.
That said, some people will certainly be trying to play games with the Austrian card. Withdrawals of cash on the credit card are charged at 3% plus a flat fee of 35 cents. An average spender may be tempted to pay the fees required to top up their normal spending in order to hit the €50,000 target required for BA Silver-equivalent.
There is currently no UK airline credit card which gives status by default. Etihad Guest does give Silver status after one return flight to UK credit card holders.
It is different with the hotel credit cards:
the Marriott card comes with Silver status
the Hilton card comes with Silver status and Gold for spending £10,000
the Starwood card comes with Preferred Plus status and Gold for spending £15,000
the IHG Rewards Club basic card comes with Gold status
the IHG Rewards Club Premium card comes with Platinum status
Will we soon see our first UK instance of a credit card giving airline status for spending?
(To see our complete list of all current UK credit card bonuses, click here to visit our ‘Credit Cards Update’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)