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United Airlines Launches Into Prepaid Card Space With Mileage Plus GO Visa

[Friday, June 9th, 2017]

Many people think of co-branded airline credit cards as an option mainly for folks with good credit; these travel rewards cards are often marketed toward elite customers with a high spending limit. But a new prepaid card from United Airlines MileagePlus turns that idea on its head.

The MileagePlus GO Visa Prepaid Card is breaking ground, becoming the first prepaid card to allow customers the chance to earn frequent flyer miles for purchases they make with the card. United has partnered with Netspend to launch to card, which will be available in the summer of 2017. United’s MileagePlus customer loyalty program is a favorite among travelers, and has consistently been named the Best Frequent Flyer Program by Global Traveler magazine.

Netspend president Chuck Harris explained that the market for prepaid cards continues to grow, with demand at greater than ever before levels. Prepaid cards are a popular option for young people, and for people with limited credit, no credit, or bad credit. These folks often have a hard time being approved for a traditional, unsecured credit card.

“Our new MileagePlus GO Visa Prepaid Card will attract frequent flyers who may not know much about prepaid cards but have an affinity to United’s MileagePlus program and are looking for new ways to earn miles,” said Harris. “No other prepaid card in the U.S. offers the ability to directly earn miles through a major airline. We’re excited to reach out to this consumer with a great partner like United Airlines.”

United has garnered some bad press as of late, with an incident where a passenger was dragged off an overbooked flight making headlines and resulting in a lawsuit. In another instance, young girls traveling on an employee pass were not allowed to board the plane because they were wearing leggings.

However, the MileagePlus program continues to be popular, and the chance for a new type of cardholder to earn miles through spending will no doubt appeal to many. MileagePlus members will be able to order a MileagePlus GO Visa Prepaid Card online using their account number. The cards will be issued by Republic Bank and will be FDIC-insured.

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