US Bank, American Express continue battle over mile-earning cardsby Martin Moylan, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — American Express and US Bank are intensifying their battle over a million consumers who carry the Northwest Airlines' WorldPerks credit card issued by Minneapolis-based US Bank.
The WorldPerks card's ability to earn miles is being phased out starting this week, as part of Delta Air Lines' acquisition of Northwest Airlines. Over the next few months, all of the cards will stop earning frequent flier miles even though they'll continue to work for purchases.
Delta wants WorldPerks credit card holders to sign up for an American Express card. But US Bank vice president Bob Daly said customers are accepting the bank's new Flexperks card.
"The vast majority of our active cardholders are electing to activate their FlexPerks Visa cards and are off and running," Daly said.
The FlexPerks card provides reward tickets on many airlines, including Delta.
However, American Express executive David Rabkin said Delta has a key advantage.
"We believe that people really want to stay with the airline," Rabkin said. "Northwest -- and now Delta -- is the Twin Cities's hometown airline. And we believe they will want to continue to be able combine the miles they earn from everyday purchases with the miles they earn from flying."
Both US Bank and American Express are wooing customers with bonus miles and other enticements that put them on a fast track to getting free tickets.