JPMorgan’s Chase Card Services together with Avios Group Limited have announced the loyalty program of Iberia, Iberia Plus, as well as the loyalty program of Aer Lingus, AerClub, as point transfer partners of Chase Ultimate Rewards. Eligible credit card members of Chase will now be able to transfer their points into Avios if they want to travel to Ireland with Aer Lingus as well as to other destinations. They will also be able to fly Iberia to 30 Spanish cities, 60 destinations in Europe as well as to nine destinations in the Middle East and Africa.
“We know our cardmembers value flexibility and choice when it comes to their rewards so together with Avios, Aer Lingus and Iberia we are providing more options to help our shared customers make the most of their credit cards,” said Chase’s Loyalty Solutions and Ultimate Rewards head, Lorraine Chow Hansen.
JPMorgan Chase’ new partnerships with regards to transferring loyalty points comes a few weeks after the U.S. lender acquired fintech firm WePay for an undisclosed sum. According to sources however the amount paid for the startup was over $220 million. Some of the businesses that WePay counts as clients include Webconnex, Meetup and GoFundMe.
Besides having the acquisition act as its payments technology innovation incubator, the acquisition will allow Chase to expand its payment capabilities to small business customers numbering approximately four million. But even after the deal is closed Chase intends to have WePay remain a standalone unit.
Commercial banking unit
According to analysts the acquisition will enable Chase to beef up the offerings of its commercial banking division. This is a division that has proved extremely lucrative for the U.S. lender as in the last quarter it generated revenues of approximately $2.1 billion. This was a year-over-year increase of 15%. Net income on the other hand stood at $881 million. The acquisition will thus further cement the growth trajectory of Chase’s commercial banking division.
Chase’s acquisition of a fintech firm is coming at a time when there has been accelerating growth in the sector. With fintech firms providing financial services at a cheaper price and in a more convenient way it is feared that credit unions and banks are in danger of being replaced or at least losing some of their customers. Some fintech firms have applied for bank charters and this includes Square which sought a license in the state of Utah. Others have formed joint ventures with financial institutions.