Good morning everyone, happy almost New Years Eve. Earlier this month, Doctor of Credit wrote how bad travel bloggers are at making predictions (I came in last at 33% correct), but he only reviewed our credit card predictions. I made a lot of other predictions in January 2017, so let’s see how good or bad my predictions were. I covered airlines, hotels, credit cards, and MS. I will put my thoughts in bold at the end of each prediction.
- 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. Southwest Airlines did eliminate hotel transfers counting toward the Companion Pass, but credit card spend and sign up bonuses still count toward the Companion Pass. I am also the proud companion on my girlfriend’s Companion Pass.
- 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). No, I don’t think any other airline added a companion fare as a credit card benefit.
- American will introduce a basic economy fare class to compete/copy Delta and United. Yes, I got this one right!
- Alaska Airlines will introduce a new level of elite status (maybe MVP Gold 100K?) No, Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 75K is still the highest elite level.
- 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. Yes, I think Alaska Airlines announced cheaper awards on shorter flights.
- British Airways will kill the 4,500 Avios award band globally and possibly remove one of their lower award tiers. No, 4,500 British Airways Avios tier is still available outside the US.
- Singapore Airlines will allow us to book Star Alliance awards online, rather than calling in. Partially true, but not rolled out completely.
- Hawaiian Airlines will get bought by a low cost airline, Southwest Airlines or JetBlue. No, no one bought Hawaiian Airlines.
- We will see 1 or 2 more mileage matching promos, this time from a big legacy airline. No, no mileage matching promo like the JetBlue / Virgin America match last year.
- My ~20,000 Spirit Airlines miles will expire and I won’t care. Sort of, my Spirit Airlines miles did expire, but I still shed 1 tear.
- Hilton will buy Choice Hotels or Best Western. No, Hilton did not buy any hotel chains.
- Hyatt anniversary free night certificates will be redeemable at category 1-5 hotels. No, the Hyatt free night certificate is still only valid on category 1-4 hotels.
- Marriott will remove their silver elite status level and allow their anniversary free night certificate to be redeemed at category 1-7 hotels. No, neither of those things happened.
- Club Carlson will revamp the free night certificate after you spend $10,000 on their credit card to make them redeemable at international hotels. No, the free night certificate is still only valid in the US.
- 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. No, neither of those things happened.
- I will continue to receive timeshare offers from beautiful resorts and attend the presentations just for the freebies. Yes, I continue to get timeshare offers, but I haven’t gone on any timeshare presentations this year.
- Chase will tighten the 5/24 rule even more. Chase will add a new hotel transfer partner and remove an existing airline partner. Kinda, you can now only get a family bonus like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred sign up bonus once every 2 years. No new hotel transfer partner and no airline removed, Chase did add Iberia as a transfer partner.
- Citi will stop issuing the Citi Prestige and focus more on improving the Citi Premier. No, Citi still offers both credit cards.
- American Express will add new transfer partners and remove the once per lifetime ban. No, neither of those things happened.
- Bank of America will introduce a high end travel rewards credit card. Kinda, does a $95 annual fee on the BofA Premium Rewards CC count?
- Barclays will introduce a high end travel rewards credit card (Barclays Arrival Prestige?) No, no high end travel reward CC from Barclays.
- US Bank will introduce a high end travel rewards credit card (US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Infinite?) Yes, US Bank introduced the US Bank Altitude Reserve CC.
- 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?) No, no Discover It CC with an annual fee.
- A new quarterly rewards credit card will compete against Chase Freedom and Discover It. No, no new quarterly rewards CCs.
- 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. Maybe, did I miss this?
- 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. No, AMEX Offers are still not as good as they used to be. You can still enroll the same offer onto as many AMEX CCs that have the offer.
- Chase, Citi, and Discover will introduce a program similar to AMEX Offers that people will love. Yes, Chase did launch Chase Offers. Do they love it yet, that is TBD.
- We will see more bank account bonuses, but they will be less generous (limited availability with harder requirements). Maybe, but I think this is subjective. That also reminds me to calculate how much I made from bank account bonuses this year. Stay tuned…
- Gift card reselling will become more competitive and we will see 1-2 new competitors to The Plastic Merchant. Yes, there are smaller sellers that compete with TPM.
- PayPal My Cash Cards will no longer be sold. No, I think they are still sold, but you cannot buy them with credit cards, right?
- US Bank Visa Gift Cards from Kroger / Ralphs will no longer be sold due to fraud. Sadly no, people still buy these gift cards and end up getting caught up in gift card fraud.
- More mobile payment platforms will be introduced and offer very rewarding promos. Yes, Android Pay has decent offers and I hope Apple Pay starts having offers soon too.
- My 4 Nationwide Visa Buxx Cards will get shut down randomly and I will be very sad. Kinda, Nationwide ended the program, so everyone lost their Nationwide Visa Buxx Cards. I was very sad at the time, but I am doing better now.
As you can tell, I stink at making predictions. I hope you had fun reading my crazy predictions. If I messed up something, please let me know and I will fix this post ASAP. I will get my crystal ball fixed and will have another round of predictions ready for 2018. Have a great day everyone!