Emirates, the state-owned airline of the United Arab Emirates, is teaming up with Barclays to create a new co-branded credit card aimed at consumers in the US.
The new credit card is expected to be available as early as this year.
Rumours began to circulate in December 2019 that the two companies intended to become partners on a new credit card.
Although the final details have yet to be established, the UAE airline has already signed up to the partnership with the British multinational bank.
The move comes after the announcement of the new Delta SkyMiles American Express credit card, a partnership between Delta Airlines and American Express.
A number of airline companies are today competing with each other in terms of major perks such as generous sign-up bonuses.
The new partnership between Emirates and Barclays will see the Emirates Skywards credit card enable cardholders to have their points transferred to Emirates.
This effectively means that all points from Amex Membership, Marriott, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Capital One will be able to be sent to Emirates.
Cardholders will also receive priority boarding and check-in as well as access to airport lounges and a number of additional benefits that have not yet been revealed.
Some reports have also indicated that the new credit card may bring with it some spending requirements.
Jes Staley, the chief executive officer of Barclays Group, says that the new partnership with the biggest international airline in the world to offer US customers a new co-branded credit card in 2020 is a great opportunity for growth for the company.
The new partnership is also a new addition to the profitable and strong partnership that the company already has with a number of top US brands such as Uber and American Airlines.
Experts believe that the new credit card will have to offer perks that are more attractive than those already available from established credit cards if it is to tempt customers to sign up.
However, the Skywards credit card could do just that by making a priority of fees and taxis in return for the redemption of miles.
Emirates already has partnerships with as many as 15 other airlines, including TAP Portugal, Korean Air, Alaska Airlines, JetBlue and Japan Airlines.
In the UAE, Emirates has a co-branded credit card with the leading international financial institution Citibank in the form of the Emirates Skywards credit card, which was introduced 20 years ago in the Middle East back in the year 2000.
This credit card has won a number of different awards over the years, including Credit Card of the Year at the UAE Banking Awards and Best All Round Card from UAE Digest.
Mastercard also awarded the card the EMEA co-brand long-term achievement award.
Barclays already has a number of established airline credit cards in the US, including American, Hawaiian, Lufthansa and JetBlue.
The new credit card is expected to become available to US customers in the spring.