Prepaid card provider Netspend and United Airlines announced in a press release the launch of the MileagePlus GO Visa Prepaid Card, the first prepaid card program in the U.S. that allows consumers to directly earn miles for qualifying purchases.
This is good news for the growing number of Americans who are using prepaid cards for everyday purchases. In fact, the prepaid market has grown from less than $1 billion in 2003 to nearly $96.8 billion in 2015. And the total dollar value loaded onto these prepaid cards is expected to reach $112 billion by 2018.
The MileagePlus GO Visa Prepaid Card will be available this summer and will reward cardholder spending with award miles that can be redeemed through United’s MileagePlus loyalty program.
“The market for prepaid continues to expand. 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 Netspend President Chuck Harris. “We are also eager to offer the opportunity to earn airline miles to consumers who are looking for new financial solutions to help them manage their money. Several of our prepaid cards offer a loyalty component, but 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.”
Travelers can order a MileagePlus GO Visa Prepaid Card online using their active MileagePlus account number, and cards will be issued by Republic Bank. The card account will be FDIC-insured on a pass through basis and offers electronic alerts to help cardholders monitor spending.
“By partnering with United and Netspend, Visa is helping broaden access to payments for more customers,” said David Josephs, head of North American debit and prepaid solutions at Visa. “Together, we are continuing to innovate and develop new payment products that meet evolving customer needs.”