Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Why Are Rewards Credit Cards Being So Generous With Their Sign Up Bonuses?

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I wrote this article a week ago while on my Paris stopover, on my way home from my first awards travel booking. Sorry it took me so long to post it!
This year has been an amazing year for credit card sign up bonuses! I hadn't gotten into the points and miles game in order to take advantage of all these amazing deals. Some of these deals included:
Capital One Venture Credit Card - sign up bonus up to 110,000 points
Chase British Airways Credit Card - 100,000 sign up bonus
Citi Aadvantage Visa, Amex & Business Credit Cards - 75,000 miles each (I took advantage of this one, for 150,000 AA miles each, for both my husband and I)
Million Miles Secrets goes more into depth about these promotions.

Now, to the answer to my question, as to why rewards credit cards are being so generous with their sign up bonuses. According to a 2011 survey by Mercator Advisory Group whom surveyed  the payment preferences of consumers, only 64% of households said that they held a credit card. This figure is down 10% from 2009. Also, 40% of credit card holders are using their cards less. More people are using cash for their purchases since this way they only spend what they have. In my opinion, this is the reason we are seeing higher bonuses for credit card sign ups. The credit cards are trying to entice people to get their cards and get used to using them with the minimum spends they require to receive the bonuses. According to this survey, people tend to spend more on rewards cards than they do on other types of credit cards. And the more buyers spend on their credit cards the more the credit cards can collect from merchants, which means higher profits for them. I don't see this changing for the next few years until there are some major changes in the economy. Americans have learned to start saving, spend less and use cash more. So, the good new is, IMHO, we will keep seeing these great sign up bonuses.

Current Great Credit Card Sign Up Promotions:
I will be doing reviews on the Amex Premier Gold Card and Delta Card soon and making a concise list of the cards I recommend now.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card - 50,000 points see review here for more details.
American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card - 75,000 Membership Rewards Points, check here to see if you are targeted for this offer (I tweeted about this in the past and Million Miles Secrets blogs about this today). I have been targeted for this offer and plan on getting this on my next churn. I plan on holding onto the points to see which airline offers 50% bonus miles to transfer miles to their airline.
Gold Delta Skymiles Credit Card - 72,500 skymiles (although I calculate 77,500 miles?), also a targeted offer by American Express, check here to see if you are targeted for this offer.

Both of these Amex cards carry a 2.7% transaction fee, so I'm not loving these cards and I definitely won't be keeping the Delta Credit Card because I don't fly Delta, so don't need the extra baggage.

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1 comment:

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