In the first of it's kind in the airline industry, American Airlines has struck a deal with both Citi and Barclaycard and will work with both banks to offer a co-branded credit card.
This is potentially great news for us in the miles and points game and likely means another credit card offering American Airlines miles. In the past Barclaycard offered generous welcome bonuses and promotions on the U.S. Airway card, so this could mean another AA credit card offering 50,000 miles for a welcome bonus. However, the exact details have yet to emerge and we will have to see how things will unfold.
Before the merger, Citi offered American Airlines credit credits, while Barclaycard offered the U.S. Airways credit card. The new deal will now continue to keep Barclaycard in the picture and the bank will begin to offer co-branded American Airlines credit cards in the future.
Typically an airline only partners with one bank which issues it's co-branded credit cards. For example United, Southwest, and British Airways are with Chase and Alaska Airlines are with Bank of America.
However, it appears that American Airlines has agreed to keep both Citi and Barlcaycard in the mix and will allow both banks to offer a co-branded credit card. This is a first in the industry and may lead to other airlines following suit, which would be great news earning more airline miles through credit cards.
An interesting point regarding the deal is that both Citi and Barclaycard will have their own turf for marketing to new customers.
Per the article on Forbes: "Citi can market its card to customers online, through direct mail and in Admirals Club lounges, while Barclaycard reserves the right to advertise its card in airports and during flights."
Even though each bank will have different turfs for marketing, it doesn't sound like customers will be limited to signing up for a credit card through different channels (e.g. online or in a branch).
Overall this is positive news that Barclaycard will be able to issue a co-branded American Airlines credit card, but until then we will have to sit tight and see how things unfold.