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!
Re: Credit cards – no expansion into chip and PIN by US issuers?
That would be a nice feature, I hope it happens :)
I’ll take a stab at this:
Amazon will further kill resellers in 2017.
American will revamp the boarding process to be more like United.
Delta will further devalue it’s FF program but will reintroduce some sort of award chart in the process.
Alaska and Virgin America will operate separate but share the frequent flyer and reservation process through 2017.
British Airways will increase YQ on some routes.
Norwegian will add additional USA destinations.
IHG will finally bring Kimpton into the points program in 2017.
Hilton will further devalue it’s points program.
The TSA will start allowing some odd item on carry-on’s like tooth”paste” that won’t be considered a “liquid” anymore.
I will finally find a use for my 40k in Spirit points (Oh why did you kill the MCI-IAH non-stop route?).
Amex will increase cost to transfer points to airline programs but they will add new partners.
Citi will buckle down on card apps like Chase did but Barclays won’t and will steal more customers in the process.
Alaska will improve it’s Hawaii first class seat product, maybe.
American will open up business class award availability for South America routes but will make Europe routes much harder to get award seats on.
Any airline that is introducing “premium-economy” will devalue award tickets by adding this tier into the award charts and making business and first much more costly.
US Bank will add new travel card partner of some sort. Hotel or airline.
Those are great predictions. I’m sorry you’re stuck with 40K Spirit Airlines miles – I feel your pain. Let’s see who is the better predictor!
How about Amex increases value of MR from 1c to 1.25c when redeemed for travel! They should also allow for MR at 1c to pay off charges.
Those would be very welcome changes to the Membership Reward program. I hope they happen.
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Hey Grant, just curious- what kind of points are you generating using your NW Buxx?
Currently, I am using my Citi Double Cash CC for 1% profit (2% cash back – 1% reload fee). I will probably switch it to earn Hilton HHonors points on my 2 Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve CC. $10,000 spend on each CC = free weekend night certificate.
I like some but your mention of Kroger and VGC made me cry just a little.
Kroger can keep the good VGCs, but in SoCal Ralph’s, there is so much gift card fraud it’s out of control.
Grant, how are you getting time share offers? I have been looking into this without much success.
I don’t have a secret for getting timeshare offers, but I subscribe to all hotel emails and most hotel chains have a timeshare division. I think if you have the co-branded hotel credit card, that helps too.
I don’t think Hawaiian will get bought this year. Maybe 2019-2020, but I’m hoping it’s JetBlue. Hopefully not Southwest or United.
The Hyatt anniversary night being redeemable for Cat 5 would be a welcome addition. Can hardly find a nicer Hyatt below Cat 5 anyway. But if they do allow it, I expect annual fee to go up to $95-99.
That would be $10-$20 more than the current annual fee, right? That would be worth it to me.
JetBlue would be good :)
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