Bankinter and Air Europa enter into a strategic partnership for payment methods

Bankinter Consumer Finance and Air Europa to launch the Visa Air Europa SUMA credit card.

The chief executive officers of Bankinter and Air Europa, María Dolores Dancausa and María José Hidalgo, respectively, have signed an agreement whereby both companies plan to issue one million cards over five years.

The card is for all types of users, with no need to change banks and no maintenance fees. With any purchase, it also allows users to earn miles that can be used for flights with Air Europa and other partners in the Air Europa SUMA frequent-flyer programme, in addition to hotel stays, car rentals, petrol and even Amazon gift vouchers.

Bankinter and Air Europa have entered into a strategic partnership regarding payment methods. The Spanish airline, part of the No 1 Spanish tourism group, Globalia Group, has selected Bankinter Consumer Finance, a company wholly owned by Bankinter and specialised in consumer lending, to manage a credit card for its customers.

The new card, Visa Air Europa SUMA, aims to position itself as the credit card currently in the tourism sector with the most advantages for customers.

Bankinter and Air Europa forged this strategic alliance at the headquarters of Globalia Group in Palma de Mallorca, where María Dancausa, CEO of Bankinter, and María José Hidalgo, CEO of Air Europa, signed the corresponding agreement.

Accordingly, Air Europa will entrust Bankinter Consumer Finance with managing the Visa Air Europa SUMA card. This credit card allows customers and non-customers to earn points (called ‘miles’) with both their small daily payments (for anything from petrol to the daily shopping) and their large purchases. What is new is that customers may redeem their points for flights with Air Europa and other SkyTeam Alliance airlines, in addition to hotel accommodation, trips and even Amazon gift vouchers.

5,000 free ‘miles’: a trip to the Balearic Islands.

This card comes with plan that is completely open-ended, as customers do not need to change banks in order to acquire it. Furthermore, signing up for the card is entirely free of charge, with no maintenance fees. 

As a payment method, the card is totally adaptable to customers’ needs. Customers may opt to pay at the end of the month or under a deferred payment plan under terms and conditions that are very competitive for the ‘customer loyalty’ card segment. Through this method, customers choose either a fixed amount or a percentage of their card balance to pay each month.

Cardholders will have additional financial advantages as well. They will be able to transfer money from the card to their accounts, regardless of their bank. They will also have a real-time transaction alert system on their mobiles to help prevent any type of fraud.

As for non-financial advantages, users of this card may enjoy first-rate conditions for earning miles with daily purchases at any outlet and with Air Europa tickets. These advantages complement the Air Europa SUMA frequent-flyer programme with its Suma, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels. They include such perks as priority on waiting lists and priority baggage claim, check-in at the Business Class counter and one extra piece of checked luggage.

Just by activating their cards, customers will automatically earn 5,000 free miles, which amount to the equivalent of a flight to the Balearic Islands. Customers may sign up for the card on-line on websites of Bankinter (, Air Europa   (, and through other channels.

With this agreement, Bankinter and Air Europa have set an ambitious goal with plans to issue one million Visa Air Europa SUMA cards over the next five years while bearing in mind that this payment method is totally open-ended and without any affiliation requirements with the bank or the airline.

‘We want this card to be a reference within the payment method segment, and it has all the ingredients for it. It has been created for daily payments and carries an advantages programme that will benefit its users and is unique in the market’, remarked Alfonso Sáez, chief executive officer of Bankinter Consumer Finance. He further added that ‘at Bankinter Consumer Finance, we are very pleased to have been selected by Air Europa to manage their first credit card, as it verifies our expertise and our position in the payment method business.’

The head of direct sales at Air Europa, Bernardo Botella, echoed these remarks, saying ‘Our objective is to allow customers to earn miles every day and acquire the trips or services they wish very quickly. Therefore, we are creating a significant ecosystem of partners and transferring all its advantages to our customers, who benefit the most.’

Mr Botella also praised the work carried out by Bankinter Consumer Finance, thanking the entity for ‘its unwavering commitment to our programme’. ‘[Bankinter Consumer Finance’s] experience and professionalism’, he concluded, ‘have been fundamental in this process, and Bankinter Consumer Finance has turned out to be the perfect partner.’

Bankinter Consumer Finance is one of Bankinter’s strong initiatives for growth at a time when the economy is showing an increase in consumer lending. Against this backdrop, the Bankinter subsidiary expects to close out 2016 with more than one billion euros and around one million customers.

Air Europa, Globalia Group’s air travel division, is immersed in a plan to expand and modernise that involves setting up new destinations, upgrading its fleet and improving its on-board products. At the end of the year, Air Europa will open up two new routes to Guayaquil, Ecuador and Córdoba, Argentina. Furthermore, it will gradually add a total 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to its fleet by 2022. The airline has its Air Europa SUMA frequent flyer programme in order to enhance passengers’ experiences and thank them for choosing Air Europa.