In 2018 there were tons of changes to the credit card landscape in terms of discontinued cards, refreshed cards, and benefits. Here are my predictions for 2019.
My prediction is that American Express will continue to refresh their cards. Most of the co-branded cards like the SPG and Hilton cards were reintroduced last year, so I don’t see them making further changes.
The Amex Rose Gold made some waves, so it makes sense for them to refresh more cards to add more benefits and a limited edition color.
Rumor has it that the Amex Green card is getting a refresh soon. Maybe they’ll also release a metal version to increase demand.
The Amex Business Platinum card is getting a refresh in Feb 2019 with an increased annual fee and WeWork credits.
The trend seems to be:
Increase the annual fee
Add new benefits to justify the increased annual fee
Limited edition color
Barclays might launch a new premium travel credit card based on their failed attempt in 2018. Hopefully,, it will include an attractive signup bonus and useful benefits.
The main issue is that it’s a balancing act between being profitable vs competitive benefits. I see them launching a card with a bonus that has tiered rewards.
Bank of America
For BoA, I see them either doing nothing or launching a new card with a $450 annual fee. It seems like the only card missing from their travel lineup is a luxury credit card.
If they do launch a luxury travel card, it will probably cater to existing high-value customers that have assets with them. It would be a customer acquisition cost to sell more investment products.
If you look at Capital One’s marketing strategy, it seems to be that they look at the current landscape and add benefits accordingly.
We’ve seen this when Capital One refreshed the Venture card to be competitive to the Chase Sapphire Preferred. They added airline transfer partners, global entry credit, and 2x on dining.
I see them adding a benefit like Priority Pass, but most likely it will be a limited number of passes per year.
I also see them adding more strategic partners to offer discounts. In the past, they’ve partnered with Uber and Hotels.com to provide cardholders with exclusive savings.
I don’t foresee Chase adding new cards or benefits since 2018 was a year full of deducting them. What’s likely to happen is that they implement a tiered intro offer to more of their cards.
We also haven’t seen any retention offers for the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
However, it seems like they’re adding more exclusive events for Chase Sapphire cardholders. This is a good marketing/customer acquisition tactic for Chase to get right in front of their target market.
If every event I attended had a Chase Sapphire Lounge that offered free or discounted refreshments, I would keep a Chase Sapphire card around.
We already know that Citi is revamping the Citi Prestige card sometime in Jan 2019 to compete with the Chase Sapphire cards.
Aside from the Citi Prestige revamp, I don’t see them doing much in 2019.
Discover reduced some of the most valuable benefits of their card in 2018. It seems like they’ve accepted their place in the market and won’t do anything in 2019.
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, vendors or companies, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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