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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

JAL USA Card



Japan Airlines (JAL) has launched a new credit card for the US based JAL Mileage Bank (JMB) members today called the JAL USA Card. The new card will replace JAL Family Club Premio Card, the current credit card for US based JMB members. The major differences between the two cards are JAL USA card does not require you to be a JAL Family Club member and option of choosing to earn 1 mile per $2 spent and 1 mile per $1 spent. JAL is currently running 4 campaigns to celebrate the launch of the new credit card.

1. No annual fee for the first year
$20 annual fee will be waived for new cardholders. It won't be waived if you currently hold the JAL FC Premio card and is switching over. But you can always apply for a new card and the $20 will be waived.

2. 5,000 JMB miles first flight bonus
The primary cardholder and 1 family member provided during registration could earn 5,000 JMB miles on their first international flight from application approval till November 30 2011. The ticket has to be purchased using the JAL USA Card.

3. 10% sector mile bonus
You will earn 10% sector mile bonus on applicable JAL Group flights taken between application approval and November 30 2011. This bonus will be on top of whatever bonus you earn. E.g. for JMB Sapphire, you will earn 110% sector bonus instead of 100%. Tickets have to be purchased using JAL USA Card (which sucks because I just purchased a ticket yesterday using my old Premio card)

4. Spending bonuses
If you spend more than a specific amount before November 2011, you will earn extra bonus miles. 500, 1,500 and 2,000 bonus miles for accumulating 1,000, 2,000 and 4,000 JMB miles through purchases respectively

I received conflicting information on campaigns 2 and 4. From the website, it specifically says you won't qualify for the bonus spending miles (i.e. #4) if you have received the 5,000 first purchase bonus miles from JAL FC Premio Card. But it did not mention you won't qualify for the first flight bonus. However when I called the application hotline, I was told that you won't qualify for the first flight bonus if you have received the 5,000 first purchase bonus miles from JAL FC Premio Card but your registered family member will still qualify. And you will be eligible for the spending bonuses. So if anyone has called the hotline, please let me know what they have told you.

For people with JAL FC Premio Card, the new card will have the same number. All purchases posted prior to the switch will be credited for your JMB account according to the Premio terms. After that it would be based on the new JAL USA Card terms, i.e. either 1 mile per $2 or 1 mile per $1. And you can cancel your JAL Family Club membership or change primary member of JAL FC.

I made a couple of phone calls to find out the above details. So hopefully I wasn't told the wrong information (but I have the feeling they did). Overall the call center which is operated by Prestige International USA Inc provided a very efficient and polite customer service. I would say it's even better than the JAL hotline And no wait time (probably cuz they just roll this out and I am one of the first few to call haha)

For more details on the campaigns and to apply for this card, you can refer to the JAL USA Card website. And here is the official press release.

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