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Good morning everyone, I’m sorry for the delay, but I have been diligently thinking about my 2017 travel predictions. I am going to channel my inner Nostradamus to come up with some outrageous travel predictions for 2017. Doctor of Credit has a good resource for all other 2017 travel predictions.
Disclaimer: I have made some travel predictions in previous years and I am more often wrong than right, but that losing streak has not dampered my prediction spirit. To see how bad I am at making predictions, please read A Look Back at my 2016 Predictions (Airlines, Hotels, Credit Cards & MS). I consider myself an optimistic pessimist (I prepare for the worst, but hope for the best), so these travel predictions will sound depressing.
- Southwest seems bent on making the Companion Pass very difficult to get unless you fly Southwest every week. I believe credit card signup bonuses will no longer count toward the Companion Pass and Southwest might kill the whole concept of the Companion Pass entirely or switch to a certificate program similar to the Alaska Airlines companion fare or Virgin America companion ticket.
- Other airline credit cards will adopt the Alaska Airlines companion fare (you pay full price and your companion pays up to $120) or the Virgin America companion ticket (you pay full price and your companion pays full price minus $150).
- American will introduce a basic economy fare class to compete/copy Delta and United.
- Alaska Airlines will introduce a new level of elite status (maybe MVP Gold 100K?)
- More airlines will get away from the 12,500 one way domestic ticket and start to introduce 5,000, 7,500, and 10,000 mile awards.
- British Airways will kill the 4,500 Avios award band globally and possibly remove one of their lower award tiers.
- Singapore Airlines will allow us to book Star Alliance awards online, rather than calling in.
- Hawaiian Airlines will get bought by a low cost airline, Southwest Airlines or JetBlue.
- We will see 1 or 2 more mileage matching promos, this time from a big legacy airline.
- My ~20,000 Spirit Airlines miles will expire and I won’t care.
- Hilton will buy Choice Hotels or Best Western.
- Hyatt anniversary free night certificates will be redeemable at category 1-5 hotels.
- Marriott will remove their silver elite status level and allow their anniversary free night certificate to be redeemed at category 1-7 hotels.
- Club Carlson will revamp the free night certificate after you spend $10,000 on their credit card to make them redeemable at international hotels.
- IHG will raise the annual fee on their credit card and put limits on which hotel categories you can use the anniversary free night certificate at.
- I will continue to receive timeshare offers from beautiful resorts and attend the presentations just for the freebies.
- Chase will tighten the 5/24 rule even more. Chase will add a new hotel transfer partner and remove an existing airline partner.
- Citi will stop issuing the Citi Prestige and focus more on improving the Citi Premier.
- American Express will add new transfer partners and remove the once per lifetime ban.
- Bank of America will introduce a high end travel rewards credit card.
- Barclays will introduce a high end travel rewards credit card (Barclays Arrival Prestige?)
- US Bank will introduce a high end travel rewards credit card (US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Infinite?)
- Discover will introduce a credit card with an annual fee to compete against the Citi Premier and Chase Sapphire Preferred (Discover It Feels Good to Travel Credit Card?)
- A new quarterly rewards credit card will compete against Chase Freedom and Discover It.
- Some random bank that no one has heard of will introduce an awesome travel credit card, but too many people will be approved for the card so the offer will disappear quickly.
- AMEX Offers will get much better, but American Express will crack down on the number of offers that can be linked to different cards owned by the same person.
- Chase, Citi, and Discover will introduce a program similar to AMEX Offers that people will love.
- We will see more bank account bonuses, but they will be less generous (limited availability with harder requirements).
- Gift card reselling will become more competitive and we will see 1-2 new competitors to The Plastic Merchant.
- PayPal My Cash Cards will no longer be sold.
- US Bank Visa Gift Cards from Kroger / Ralphs will no longer be sold due to fraud.
- More mobile payment platforms will be introduced and offer very rewarding promos.
- My 4 Nationwide Visa Buxx Cards will get shut down randomly and I will be very sad.
No matter what happens, I can guarantee that I will continue to travel the world, see amazing sceneries, meet amazing people, and continue blogging as often as possible. If you have any travel predictions of your own, please leave a comment below and we shall see who the real Nostradamus is. Have a great day everyone!