Airlines, hotels and resorts that don’t already offer a credit card to use at checkout could soon be making the move.
In a statement to CBS News, Southwest Airlines announced it’s expanding its credit card offering to include rewards credit cards that can be used at all the major airlines.
The move comes as more travelers are choosing to book their vacations on their credit cards, said Bob Kremen, vice president of travel strategy at Equifax, a credit reporting agency.
That’s because rewards credit card rewards are typically a more flexible, convenient and less expensive way to save money than traditional travel rewards.
As more Americans choose to fly domestically, Equifax said its credit report database has grown from 10 million in 2008 to more than 30 million now.
That data helps the company help travelers and airlines understand how many Americans are making frequent international travel and what kinds of rewards are available to them.
The company says the new credit card offers will be available at the following participating airlines:American Airlines (AA), Delta Air Lines (DAL), United Airlines (UAL), United Continental Holdings Inc. (UALH), Southwest Airlines (LUV), American Express (AXP), Alaska Airlines (ALA), Alaska Travel (ALT), Virgin America (VI), Frontier Airlines (FR), JetBlue Airways (JBL), Spirit Airlines (SP), Spirit Express (SPX), Frontier Express (FE), Hawaiian Airlines (HI), American Eagle Airlines (AEM), Spirit, Inc. (STX), American Air Travel Association (AAVA), Southwest Express, Inc (SWA), Spirit Jet, Inc (SPJ), Jetstar Airways (STJ), Frontier, Inc., Jetstar Airlines, Inc, Southwest Express.
Delta, United, American and American Eagle are all in the process of rolling out the new rewards cards.
It will be a little over a year until all of the major carriers begin offering these rewards cards, but the move comes after the industry was in a state of flux as the credit card market continued to grow.
For the past several years, the credit cards have been offered by Southwest and Southwest Express and then by Southwest Airlines, but both were unable to provide the information needed to help the companies know which credit card customers were making frequent travel.
That’s not the case with the new card.
The company said it’s now able to provide more accurate information to help airlines and travelers make better decisions.