I’ve been in this game of cat and mouse with credit card companies for many years now. They change their offers, I ran after new ones. They increase their bonuses, I get a new card, they increase their fees, I cancel my cards. And with any business, change is the only constant. Offers come and go and credit card companies will try to make their offers seem better than another. Don’t believe me? Look at the Capital One commercials, its all about enticing you to get their card, because its the ‘best card out there’. Credit card companies will continue changing their bonus offers for as long as there is competition. Their whole reason for offering these bonuses is to entice you to sign up and hopefully stick around for years to come. Their credit card is a product and if they can get you to use it, then they make money. Every transaction, every bill, every interest charge, every yearly fee, every transfer fee, it’s all about profits in the end and the bonus points.. those are their traps.
Remember back in 2008 when banks where failing almost every day, credit card companies were shrinking their overall debts and closing accounts like mad? Yes even I was affect. How could ‘Chase’ close 2 of my credit cards when I had a credit score of over 780, never been late on a payment and had a very low amount of debt on my cards. Instead of just targeting consumers with a risky profile, they targeted everyone. How could CitiCards raise my interest rate to 29.99% and leave it there to this day?! I only keep it open because of the credit line I carry on that card, otherwise I would be a fool to use it.
Just a few short years later and people are making a huge deal about Chase lowering their bonus from 50,000 down to 40,000 points. Is it really a sign of the times? Are credit card companies going to do away with these huge bonuses? Will another bank, another card not come out with another great offer? My guess is that Chase will still be competitive with their new bonus offers, whatever they are. I’m not saying its not that big of a deal, because if you are like me, then 10k points is a big deal, especially since it’s the difference of hitting that magic number of 50k! Remember, my main goal is to maximize every point to my benefit, so losing 10k points is the difference between Economy Class vs First Class, and if you are like me, I’d rather fly First Class than to sit in the back of the plane, squished between seats. The way I see it is, I’m losing about $1,500 in flight cost. You can find tickets in First Class on United for 50k miles. Some airlines have different offers for their first class, while most are as low as 50k miles, some, like Delta can be as high as 80k miles for a first class ticket.
United is a direct transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards, which makes using Chase a bonus if you like to fly United.
I looked up flights from Anchorage to Tampa in September and found a flight for 50k miles. I haven’t flown United yet, but since the price of their first class ticket is 30k miles less than Delta, I would probably give UR and Chase another look. I’m used to flying on Delta, but since there are rumors of a change in their SkyMiles program, I am looking for other ways of diversifying my miles and points.
This same flight that cost me 50k miles would have cost me $2,060 just to fly in First Class. Now if I didn’t have miles in my United account, then signing up for a credit card that gave me 40k vs 50k points, means the difference of sitting in economy class. It can still be a good deal, if you don’t mind flying in economy class. To get to the second rewards ticket, you would need to put around $10,000 in purchases on your card to earn enough points for another free plane ticket. For me that isn’t worth is unless if I plan on putting all of my spending on one credit card and were to pass up on any new credit card bonus offers. Using $10k on other credit card offers would help me meet any spending requirement on new offers. For instance American Express offered 75,000 bonus points on their Gold card, if you were to spend $10,000 within 4 months.
This same flight from ANC to TPA would have cost $607 or 25k miles.
From around the web:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred 50,000 Bonus Ends On Tuesday
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Bonus Reducing to 40,000 Points
- Last Call For Sapphire Preferred 50,000 Bonus
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Bonus Being Reduced To 40,000 Points, April 3rd
So, should you get the card before the bonus ends? I believe this is a great deal with a great card! Ive used my card like crazy since getting it in the mail a few days ago. Out of 5 times of using my Sapphire card either shopping or eating at restaurants, 3 of those times I have received comments of ‘wow, that card is cool!”, or “I’ve never seen this card before.. ‘Yeah I just got it.. its made of metal!’.. Wow that’s sweet”, to “this card is heavy” as they look it over.
Will there be other better bonuses coming? If history repeats itself, then yes! I believe there will be many more amazing deals from many different credit cards. It’s just a matter of waiting for the right card for the right time. For my wife and I, this card made sense for our future travel arrangements.