High-Flyer Netcentives Signs Agreement With TWA

Many frequent-flyers would likely say that they deserve a reward for flying America’s domestic network these days, and an Internet promotional company which offers perks to do so might be the first to agree with them.

Netcentives, a San Francisco, California-based provider of Internet direct-marketing and promotional campaigns announced Monday that TWA Airlines frequent flyer program has joined its ClickRewards shopping network. The country’s eighth-largest airline became the eighth out of the world’s top 10 airlines to sign up with Netcentives since its inception in 1996.

TWA joins American Airlines, Northwest, British Airways, Continental, Delta, United and US Air as participants in Netcentives’ program. ClickRewards is Netcentives shopping network, which includes a number of leading online retailers and service companies. Barnes & Noble, E*Trade, Music Boulevard, Macys.com, GAP, garden.com, 1-800-FLOWERS and a number of others — some 40 in all — offer Netcentives’ Clickmiles to consumers who make an online purchase.

Miles To Travel

The Clickmiles translate directly into the airlines’ frequent flyer programs. One click mile is worth one of the airlines’ frequent flyer miles. Some of the incentives offered in the company’s network include one mile for one dollar spent at Music Boulevard, up to 5000 miles for opening a new account with E*Trade, up to 500 miles when shopping for books at barnesandnoble.com and unlimited miles when shopping at 1-800 FLOWERS.

Netcentives has also inked deals with Yahoo! and the MSN Shopping Network ,which offer ClickMiles when retailers shop at merchants connected with those sites.

The company is highly-regarded in the promotional industry, which is said to be a $130 billion (US$) a year offline industry. Last year, Netcentives was called “one of the 10 e-commerce companies most likely to succeed” at an Internet conference, and in March it was presented an award by the publisher of a frequent flyer magazine.

“It’s clear that ClickRewards has the potential to revolutionize frequent flyer rewards programs,” said Randy Petersen, publisher of Inside Flyer, in awarding the company the Freddie award, named after renowned British airline marketing innovator, Freddie Laker.

Netcentives was founded in San Francisco in 1996. After an initial round of financing, it obtained $10 million in venture capital funding in September 1997 and an additional $17 million in August of 1998. The company lured executives away from Highway One and Intuit, among others, to direct management.

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