SAN FRANCISCO and CHICAGO – Visa Inc. and United Continental Holdings, Inc. today announced a multi-year agreement extending Visa’s decades-long partnership with United as the airline transitions to a single loyalty program, MileagePlus. Through the agreement, Visa will become the exclusive payment network partner for newly issued cards of the consolidated United and Continental co-branded portfolio. The cards will be issued by Chase Card Services, a division of JPMorgan Chase & Co. United and Visa will also collaborate on broader initiatives including innovation and sponsorship opportunities.
“United and Visa share a commitment to leadership and innovation, and our partnership enables us to deliver industry-leading products, capabilities, experiences and rewards to our customers,” said Tom O’Toole, United senior vice president and chief operating officer of Mileage Plus Holdings, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of United Continental Holdings, Inc.
United has offered a portfolio of Visa card products since 1987, presenting United customers opportunities to earn MileagePlus miles while enjoying the convenience, global acceptance and security of Visa. The agreement maintains Visa’s current exclusive United MileagePlus Visa relationship, and extends the Visa exclusivity to all new United MileagePlus co-branded cardholders beginning in January 2012.
“Visa and United share a long and successful history of working together to bring meaningful benefits to consumers,” said Joseph Saunders, chairman and chief executive officer of Visa Inc. “Together, Visa and United with Chase have created one of the most popular rewards products in the world and we are pleased to extend our partnership with United, creating more opportunities to innovate and bring Visa to world travelers.”
As part of the expanded agreement, Visa and United have agreed to jointly develop new benefits for MileagePlus Visa cardholders, such as enhanced access and services on mobile devices and to explore opportunities to maximize their shared support of global sponsorships.