Virgin plans credit card

Branson group considers company-wide credit card to challenge rival British Airways’ scheme

Virgin plans to launch a credit card within three to six months, say company sources, in a move which would see it steal a march on rival British Airways.

BA, which unveiled a co-branded charge card with Diners Club International last month (MW July 19), is also understood to be considering launching a credit card, with NatWest Bank tipped as the most likely supplier.

The credit card would enhance customer loyalty, while Virgin and the credit card issuer could gather customer information through a shared database.

Virgin has been in talks with at least five companies for the past year, thought to include American Express and NatWest. Lloyds TSB has also been tipped as a possible partner. It is not known if the card will be co-branded.

Virgin says it has no immediate plans to launch a credit card. It believes there are potential problems in choosing a partner because of its close links with the main credit card companies, especially through its airline business.

“We might well go ahead with some kind of credit card project.

We have been thinking of building our Freeway scheme (the reward scheme centred on Virgin Atlantic Airways) along those lines,” says a spokesman.

A credit card would act as a linking mechanism across all parts of the Virgin group, which includes marketing operations as diverse as the Virgin Trading Company, Virgin Radio and Virgin Direct, the group’s personal finance arm.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here