The tremendous popularity of credit card programs linked to frequent-flier miles has banks and airlines seeking ways to expand the programs and squeeze more revenue from them.
Some card issuers and airlines are adding ways to accumulate points, and some are loading on new types of rewards that customers can "buy" with their frequent-flier miles. But with many of the air-miles programs reaching a saturation point in the United States, companies are looking abroad for growth. Delta Airlines, for example, has an exclusive relationship with American Express Co. in the United States, but this year developed Visa-branded credit cards with banks in Japan and Chile. American Express has added eight airline carriers covering different geographic markets to its cobranding portfolio in the last two years.