Sept. 02--El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) this morning launched a new credit card, called Fly Card, in cooperation with Cal-Israel Credit Card subsidiary Diners Club Israel and the YOU customers club, a subsidiary of Alon Holdings Blue Square -- Israel Ltd. (NYSE: BSI; TASE: BSI).
Two new credit cards are involved: Fly Card and Premium Fly Card, which will enable their holders to accumulate El Al frequent flyer points whenever they are used.
For example, the Fly Card will give its owner one frequent flyer point for each purchase amounting to NIS 250 (the previous conversion ratio averaged one point for NIS 750). The card will also give a 50% discount on payment for an additional suitcase in tourist class, a permanent 5% discount in duty free on El Al flights, and additional benefits, including at chains affiliated with the YOU buyers club.
The Premium Fly Card will give its holders an even better conversion ratio of one frequent flyer point for a purchase of NIS 190.
"This is a real consumer revolution, because we have created the first connection of its type between an airline, a credit card brand, banks, and a retail group. This is a winning combination," El Al Frequent Flyer Club manager Lior Tanner said at a press conference.
El Al CEO David Maimon also spoke in terms of a revolution. "This innovative product will affect not only aviation, but also other consumer areas," he said.
Commenting on the selection of Diners Club Israel, Maimon said, "We chose Diners because of its affiliation with Diners Club International, its rapid growth in aviation and tourism, and its willingness to match us step for step. I know that Diners Club Israel is not yet on the same level as Diners Club International, and that worried us. We therefore met with representatives of Diners Club International, which gave us a commitment that a 90% rate of honoring the card would be reached."
According to Maimon, El Al has set a target for the next five years: issuing 300,000 new credit cards and 450,000 new customers in its frequent flyers club, making the total number 1.8 million frequent flyer club members.
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