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Dan Peltier
Oct 04, 2018 1:30 am

Credit Card Giant Chase Jumps Into Tours and Activities

Tours and activities partnerships like the one between Atlas Obscura and Chase seem like a win-win. Card companies acquire knowledge about trends in the sector, and what travelers are demanding. Meanwhile, tour operators get access to loyal consumers willing to shell out for the trip of a lifetime.
— Dan Peltier

As tours and activities become more in demand around the world, some credit cards are looking to be more than just the payment method you use to book a tour — card companies want to offer or lead the tours themselves.

Card providers like American Express, Citi, MasterCard, and Visa have offered exclusive discounts to flights, hotels, and tourist attractions for years and VIP access to events like concerts. But many cards still largely leave cardholders on their own when it comes to customized and tailored tours during their trips.

Now at least one company is starting to move more directly into in tours and activities. Chase has recently turned to travel publisher Atlas Obscura to create tours and experiences for its Chase Sapphire cardholders.

Atlas Obscura will offer 20 experiences, including multi-day tours to Mexico City, Colombia, and the Galápagos Islands, two tentpole events, and other experiences to Chase Sapphire cardholders during the next year. Cardholders gained pre-sale access to all trips on October 1, and the rest of Atlas Obscura’s audience can book the trips starting November 1.

Chase worked with Atlas Obscura on choosing which tours and experiences would be offered to cardholders, said Rose Annis, Atlas Obscura’s director of sales strategy and marketing. “For example, the development and approval process of the custom event in New York (New York Through Time) has been different than the international trips, and those trips will differ from our pre-existing events,” she said.

Atlas Obscura will handle all bookings and the tours and experiences will be co-branded as Atlas Obscura and Chase Sapphire products.

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