I want to go on record and share my credit card predictions for 2012.
Obviously, these are predictions and are based primarily on how my gut interprets the facts currently available to me.
1. 2012 credit card sign up bonuses will not be as lucrative as 2011.
In 2011, we saw a ridiculous amount of generous credit card sign up bonuses. 50,000 points replaced 25,000 points as the standard offer.
There was also the Capital One 100,000 mile match offer ($1,000) and the British Airways 100,000 mile sign up bonus.
I don’t thing we’ll see a return of the frequency of large credit card sign up bonuses in 2011.
2. 2012 will be the year of targeted offers.
With the growing number of folks who are cycling through credit cards for the sign up bonuses, I think we’ll see more offers like the current 25,000 American Express Premier Rewards with a referral.
I suspect that there will be some very good offers that are only made available to a select group of people.
The obvious take away is that if you get a targeted offer, you’d better not pass it up!
Chase seems to be in direct competition with American Express, but right now the standard offer on the Premier Rewards is 15,000 compared to the Chase Sapphire Preferred 50,000 offer. For the business product, Chase is offering 50,000 and American Express 0 (Business Gold).
I suspect Chase will keep its bonus competitive in comparison to AMEX, but if AMEX doesn’t step up its game, Chase will scale back.
4. Award flights will be increasingly more difficult to find.
With all those miles floating around out there, more and more people will be fighting for the available seats. I don’t expect airlines to open up more award seat availability.
The good news is that there are still lots of options, especially if you have a clue about finding them and booking award seats. If you don’t, you can always use my award booking service.
5. Airline award chart changes will occur.
I’m predicting that United and American will change their award charts sometime in 2012.
I hope I’m wrong, but many of the other programs have recently made adjustments, and I suspect those two airlines are next.
6. Most people will sit idle while the big bonuses pass them by.
I know you good people are all on board, but I continue to be amazed at the number of people who know about these fantastic offers and pass them by.
Do you have any predictions for credit card and award travel in 2012?
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