UPDATE: Feb. 7, 2020: For the latest coverage on this story, see the follow-up.
Texas Capital Bank aims to appeal to travel-savvy customers with its latest venture, Bask Bank, a digital savings account that earns American Airlines AAdvantage miles instead of interest.
The Dallas-based bank said the new savings account allows customers to earn a mile for every dollar they save. The bank said there are no fees and no minimum balance.
"This new digital bank is the next step in Texas Capital Bank's ongoing strategy to meet customer needs," Keith Cargill, president and CEO of Texas Capital Bank, said in a statement. "We were one of the first to launch a digital bank over 20 years ago, and Bask Bank will open up new possibilities and rewards to customers across the nation. Even more importantly, the digital nature of Bask Bank will bridge the gap between physical and virtual banking to deliver a premier user experience beyond mere transactions by giving savers memorable and tangible benefits for their deposits."
Texas Capital said it aims to attract customers that want more than a traditional savings account that only returns “pennies on the dollar.”
Matt Quale, who was appointed president of Bask Bank, told the Dallas Business Journal he thinks Bask Bank could potentially garner more than $1 billion in deposits.
"In this low-rate environment we've been in for the last several years, there just isn't a lot you're getting out of your savings account," he told the publication. "As we started thinking about the concept and thinking about how can we help this tension that people have between living for today and saving for tomorrow, the idea of leveraging American Airlines' miles to actually give people a reward for savings, was a very powerful value proposition."
As digital banks tout convenience and simplicity over the more traditional models, they’re also using perks to further set them apart from incumbent banks.
German digital bank N26, which offers online banking through its mobile platform, recently expanded its Perks program, a debit rewards program that offers cash back and discounts from brands, including Booking.com, Lime and Headspace.
Nicolas Kopp told Banking Dive last week the U.S. consumer’s behavior around earning points inspired him to build out the bank’s Perks program.
"I found behavior around earning points really fascinating here in the U.S.," he said. "There is a real focus on where they're spending and what they're getting when they're spending, like on dining and travel. And that's much less prevalent in Europe than it is in the United States."