Name: David Rabkin
Title: Senior vice president, Consumer Lending Products
Company, city: American Express; New York, N.Y.
Number of employees: 63,500 worldwide
Recent project: Working to raise the bar in delivering value associated with our affinity cards, including partner-specific benefits like frequent-flyer rewards and services like priority boarding
First job: At 15, I scooped ice cream at Baskin-Robbins; postcollege, I was a sales representative for Proctor & Gamble in San Francisco.
Little-known fact about you: I’ve worked in 20 countries and lived in six, including two and a half years in Jamaica.
David Rabkin’s Business
Essential business philosophy: Strategy is what you do, which is not necessarily the same as what you say you will do.
Best way to keep a competitive edge: Be closer to your customers than your competitors are. Listen to them.
Yardstick of success: Is my team engaged? If you hire the right people, you create a meaningful, winning team.
David Rabkin as a Traveler
What is the most important item you take when traveling? My American Express card
How do you spend your time on board? Using my iPad; since the availability of in-flight Internet, this has become the ultimate device for work and entertainment.
What is your favorite restaurant in the world? Jardineira Café, São Paulo
What is your favorite destination in the world? Israel
About American Express
What do the American Express co-branded credit cards offer frequent travelers? At American Express, our heritage is travel. In fact, we are one of the largest travel agencies in the world and one of the world’s largest co-branded card issuers. Our cards offer a number of benefits for travelers, ranging from lounge access to hotel and airline loyalty program rewards.
In addition to our co-branded cards, we have credit and charge cards that feature our Membership Rewards Program, which allows cardmembers to pay for travel directly with points or transfer points into a frequent-flyer program like Delta SkyMiles.
Our Platinum card offers premium benefits like lounge access and an international airline program, as well as hotel benefits including late check-out, room upgrades when available and free breakfast when you book through our Fine Hotels & Resorts program. We also offer a Blue Sky Preferred card that features a $100 airline credit to use for incidentals like checked bag fees.
Which travel-related brands are affinity card partners? We have a full line-up of cards with Delta Air Lines which offer a range of benefits from complimentary bags and priority boarding to Medallion Qualification Miles and companion tickets. Our JetBlue card offers new discounts, like 50 percent off in-flight purchases. For hotel partners, we offer two co-branded Hilton HHonors credit cards, earning multiple points on every eligible dollar spent; and our Starwood Preferred Guest credit card is widely recognized as one of the best travel rewards cards.
What are the plans for the future in terms of affinity cards? We are always looking for new partners to expand our portfolio with benefits and services that appeal to new customers. That’s an ongoing process.
We’re also testing new ways to engage with our cardmembers through social media and dynamic emails. We’re using these channels to serve up special offers and deals from our partners that are most relevant to cardmembers in real time.
Are you looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own refined adventure of a lifetime. You can custom order your new Volvo, tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
The Airline Passenger Experience Association and SimpliFlying recognized United Airlines for providing a hospital-grade standard of cleanliness and safety during travel. Among the four largest U.S. carriers, United is the first to receive Diamond Certification, the highest in the new APEX Health Safety audit powered by SimpiliFlying.
Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.
A couple of my friends and I decided to rent a house in the Camelback Mountain area of Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains for New Year’s Eve. To find the perfect place, we used Vrbo.com; there were a bunch of properties to choose from, but, in the end, we decided to rent a place in The Village at Camelback.
The International Air Transport Association and Etihad Airways partnered to launch the IATA Travel Pass for passengers on the Gulf carrier. The IATA Travel Pass is a mobile app that helps passengers manage travel in line with government requirements for COVID-19 tests or vaccines. It will be initially offered on select Etihad flights from Abu Dhabi in early 2021, with plans to extend the offer if successful.
Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.
Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection recently debuted a complete redesign, now standing as a luxurious, modern mountain resort in Telluride, Colorado. At 10,540 feet, the ski-in/ski-out retreat boasts new social spaces, a refreshed lobby, a new boutique, a collection of new guest experiences and amenities, and wellness offerings. Additionally, Madeline features a collaboration with Olympian Gus Kenworthy, who helped create the hotel’s Recovery Ski Lounge.