JetBlue to End Partnership with American Express
JetBlue Airways Corporation will soon be dropping American Express as its credit card provider in favor of MasterCard and Barclays, according to multiple media reports. The JetBlue-American Express partnership began in 2005, and will expire at the end of this year.
This breakup comes just a week after American Express lost its contract with Costco. That partnership lasted for 16 years, and according to some sources, accounted for nearly 8% of American Express’ worldwide billed business.
Airline credit cards are highly valued among card issuers because of their high annual fees and frequent usage. Thus, airlines are able to choose from a wide range of card providers when determining which provider should offer their rewards programs.
The loss of contracts has not helped AmEx’s stock price, which dropped 9.2% in two days after last week’s Costco announcement. That’s the biggest drop over a two-day period in the last five years. However, AmEx still maintains a partnership with Delta Airlines, which accounts for 5% of consumer card spending with the company.
As of yesterday, JetBlue has a new CEO, Robin Hayes. This could be a partial reason behind the shift of credit card companies. Other changes to come include adding a bag check fee for fliers who buy the cheapest tickets, and adding extra seats to some of its planes.