MasterCard Worldwide’s premium cardholders in Europe now may receive benefits from both The Hertz Corp. and Accor Hotel Group, the card brand’s European operation announced on Oct. 26.

MasterCard Europe is working to strengthen its premium product platform, which is designed for both small-business owners and affluent consumers, the company noted in a news release. A MasterCard representative could not immediately be reached for comment.

Through the Hertz partnership, MasterCard World Signia, World MasterCard, Platinum MasterCard and Gold MasterCard cardholders may receive benefits when renting a car through Hertz’s #1 Club Gold membership. The benefits may include car-class upgrades and discounts off international rates, according to MasterCard.

The collaboration with Accor enables cardholders to enroll in Accor’s A/Club worldwide loyalty program at an elite tier level. Accor hotels include Sofitel Luxury Hotels, Hotel Novotel, and Pullman Hotels and Resorts.

MasterCard is focusing on its affluent European cardholders, but offering premium rewards and benefits is not just designed for the European consumer, Megan Bramlette, managing director at Auriemma Consulting Group, tells PaymentsSource. Card companies and issuers are targeting this same type of consumer across the globe, especially in more-developed credit markets, she says.

In the U.S., JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s Chase Card Services unit revamped its advertising campaign for the Sapphire rewards credit card, which targets affluent consumers (see story). 

Additionally, high-end retailer Bloomingdale’s and American Express Co. in September announced the launch of a cobranded credit card that includes lofty perks for cardholders (see story). 

Card companies target affluent consumers because “they are the most profitable, provide the least credit risk and can help generate revenue for merchants participating in the benefits program,” Bramlette says.

Moreover, card companies seemingly are focused on “encouraging existing cardholders to deepen their relationship with the company and strengthen the bond between the holder and the card,” Bramlette says.

Affluent consumers also appreciate the benefits and usually want more for their money, especially for travel, she adds.

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