Surely I am not the only one that misses the 100,000 point offers that seemed to come up on a much more frequent basis a few years back. The last time a card offered 100k points was close to two years ago–the British Airways offer for 100k Avios. Are the 100k offers coming back, or are we more likely to see offers hover around the 50k level?
The current card offer standard is between 30,000 points and 50,000 points, which is nothing to sneeze at, and in my opinion they are here to stay. It’s my best guess that we are unlikely going to see that many (or any) cards will offer 100k bonus points like they have in the past.
Why did we see a wave of 100k offers in the past?
Likely it stemmed from the impacts card issuers and banks felt during the economic downturn over the last several years. Simply, consumers were spending less and credit card companies were not bringing in as much from swipe charges from merchants. As credit card companies were fighting to have you spend your hard earned cash using their card, they launched highly lucrative offers. Off the top of my head I can list a few of the best past offers: British Airways 100k points, Capital One Double Miles Challenge for up to 100k miles, Citi AAdvantage 75k miles, etc.
Of course the crowd that religiously earns miles and points jumped on these offers and would love to see them come back, but I don’t think banks are as eager as they used to be. Does it really make sense for a bank to payout close to $1,000 worth of miles and points just to sign you up for their credit card? You can imagine that a lot of customers will turn them a profit from daily spending swipe charges and many that will carry a balance. But as a reader of WTM you are likely the one knows how to game the system and maximize your points earning from these lucrative offers. Like me you applied, earned the bonus, then possibly closed the card before the end of the year. Did you end up costing the bank money? That is hard to tell, and a question that for someone that understands economics and finance far better than myself to answer.
What is next?
More than likely, we will see a continuation of these 30-50k offers and periodically a higher 75k bonus offer for a limited time. The last time Amex offered 75k Membership Rewards points it went live for less than a week. We will probably see more ‘flash sale’ bonus offers for these higher bonuses. They make sense for the credit card company, release a higher offer until a quota is hit, then pull the offer down. My guess is that the demand and widespread coverage (i.e. bloggers, FlyerTalk, Fat Wallet, etc) on these offers is much higher than it has been in the past, and the response to these high bonus offers must be astounding. This is likely the story with the Barclay’s Lufthansa Miles & More 50,000 mile offer last week. The offer came out with a published deadline of December 15th and bloggers had links for five days before they were pulled.
But hey, this is just my opinion! What is your take on 100k bonus offers? Will they be back?
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