Is Barclays Fine Tuning Its Return To The Travel Card Market

by joeheg

Before launching a new product, banks conduct research surveys to gain insights into customer needs and preferences. This allows them to better understand their target market and tailor their product to meet the demands of their customers. Research surveys also help banks identify potential risks and opportunities associated with a new product, enabling them to make more informed decisions about whether or not to bring it to market.

Launching a new travel credit card can be a risky decision, especially if you plan on creating a new flexible currency instead of partnering with an established brand. No matter how great your product is, you’ll need to spend a significant amount of money on marketing and promotions to attract customers to sign up for a brand-new card. This typically results in financial losses for the first few years until the bank has established a customer base and doesn’t need to offer hefty signup bonuses.

Barclays knows this all too well, as they’ve launched both the Arrival+ and Arrival Premier cards in the past several years, only to close applications and leave the cards in limbo.

Sharon and I have several Barclays cards and I was targeted to be a part of the Barclays Research Panel. It sounds important but all it means is that the bank sends me a survey a few times a year. I find it interesting because it gives an insight into what Barclays is thinking for future products. If I can help them design a card that people want, I’m more than willing to help.

This is why I’m sure that Barclays is close to launching some type of travel card. While I’m not sure if it will be something like the imaginary Barclays card with transferrable points to all of their travel partners that I created, they have to be nearing the end of the process. A few months ago, I received a survey that asked how I book travel and it looked to be prodding if I’d book through a Barclays travel portal.

I just received another survey and this one is asking which card benefits I value the most.

I had to rank from 1 to 5 which one of these I’d want from a credit card:

  • ID Theft Protection
  • Luxury Travel Benefits (Like AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts)
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Concierge Service
  • Travel Assistance (Medical and legal referrals)
  • Emergency Medical/Dental Treatment
  • Baggage Delay
  • Travel Accident Insurance (Accidental injuries or death)
  • Emergency Evacuation and Transportation
  • Trip Cancellation and Interruption Coverage
  • Cell Phone Protection
  • Extended Warranty
  • Roadside Assistance

After ranking my top five, the next page asked:

When deciding which card to use for a purchase, which of the following statements is true, as related to the list of benefits you just reviewed

  • I often or always choose the card based on the benefits available on the card
  •  I sometimes choose the card based on the benefits
  • I seldom or never choose the card based on the benefits

The last question asked me to say how important I felt about three statements from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree.

Thinking again about the benefits you reviewed, how much do you agree with the following statements?

  • They give me peace of mind when I travel
  • I like having my purchases protected by them
  • I feel safer knowing that my card had identity protection tools built in.

Final Thought

From this survey, it looks like Barclays is deciding which benefits people want from their cards and which ones they’re ambivalent about. When it comes to a travel card, I’m always going to pick one that has baggage delay and trip cancellation coverage. When Citi removed those coverages from its products, they became useless to book most travel for me. I have roadside assistance from AAA and I don’t care about extended warranty coverage. Emergency Evacuation coverage is great and it’s one reason I use the Sapphire Reserve for most of our travel plans over our other cards.

Barclays seems to have put a lot of thought into their new offering, which is promising, given their past issues with cards.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

Cover Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

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