All good things come to an end…and credit card rewards are now under scrutiny, given how prolific and profitable the churning community has become. Here’s my thoughts – enjoy! Add me on Instagram: GPStephan
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Recently there have been report, after report, after report on the not-so-bright future of credit card churning, and looks like the golden days of incredibly lucrative sign up bonuses for free stuff MIGHT be coming to an end.
The problem here…if you want to call it a problem… is that credit card rewards got TOO good. Companies like Chase Sapphire Reserve and American Express began offering incredible signup bonuses to lure customers. But this is only sustainable for so long before too many people begin to outsmart the system…like us…and begin using their “customer acquisition” as an exploit for profit.
Vox.com published that:
“Sources have told the Wall Street Journal that companies like Citigroup, JPMorgan, and American Express are currently talking about reassessing their credit card rewards program because they’ve realized they’ve been offering too many rewards.”
These recent moves by credit card companies were for customer acquisition. They WANT people to get in the door and become customers…and they’re hoping most people will be lazy and not cancel their card, they’ll never redeem their points, and maybe they’ll continue using the card once they get it. Credit card companies only make a small portion of their money from interest…they make the vast majority of their profit from transaction fees the merchant pays every time you use your card. So for people who just stop using their card after meeting the minimum spend, then use the points…that’s obviously NOT profitable for them.
I DO think the golden era of credit card churning is coming to an end. It won’t be gone entirely, but they will absolutely begin changing up how they offer points and how they reward brand loyalty.
We’ve already seen it happening…Chase Sapphire Reserve down to 50,000 points. Chase is now only allowing one sapphire card per customer. Other chase cards gave up price protection. They’ve began limiting how many guests you can bring in the priority pass lounge. And I personally think we’ll continue to see fewer and fewer rewards in the coming year.
However, the good news is that I highly doubt this would ever go away, entirely…while they may have offered TOO MUCH in the past, they’re still going to offer SOMETHING – it just might not be as good. Or maybe we’ll see smaller rewards coming annually.
I also think we’re going to start to see these credit cards also giving you bonus on OTHER banking services, which is where they can start making A LOT more profit. For instance, open up our checking account…and once you’re in our system, we’ll get you a car loan, a mortgage, personal banking, investment management…and your LIFETIME value will vastly outpace the reward we give you upfront.
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