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Another Shift in the Miles and Points Industry

As we wind down a strong credit card sign up bonus year, there may be a possible shift in the industry.

Avery from DCTA recently wrote a post about How Ontario’s New Law Could Ruin it All, along with my post Ban on Expiry of Loyalty Miles and Points Has Passed in Ontario. I think it’s safe to say that we are both worried about devaluations coming down hard. Which means that we may need to change up our strategy again.

This is not the first time that I wrote a post like this:

So if 2016 was a strong year for credit card sign up bonuses, that means that we will probably see a pull back in 2017. Furthermore, credit card companies are clamping down on churning with more strict rules across the board.

Some questions that come to mind.

Cash Back

Is it time to switch to cash back? It will probably be less frustrating? There is no question that cash back is more reliable, because you can more easily predict your return. Unfortunately, the current cash back market is still not as lucrative as the miles and points world, but cash back is catching up. If we see a few more higher sign up bonuses, along with more multiplier bonuses, they could really be close the gap.

Manufactured Spending

For those of you willing to take the risk, is manufactured spending going to become the norm to generate more miles and points? Just be careful, because as more people get on board, companies are going to be closing up our options in a hurry. Unfortunately, they can shut down an option while you’re in the middle of it, which means that your money can be held in limbo.

Retention Bonuses

Because the ability to churn is becoming more limited, it is probably time to make a stronger push with credit card companies to negotiate a better retention bonuses, especially waving annual fees. It would be so much simpler if credit card companies already built in retention bonuses based on annual spending.

More Online Shopping

This is actually something that I have been shifting towards a lot more lately. I am really enjoying the bonus points offered by shopping portals. This actually has a collateral effect, because less and less people are going to shop at physical stores. Look at that, credit card companies having an effect on physical stores?

Conclusion

My point today is that the industry is going to shift all the time, and often times without much notice. So it is important to constantly stay updated and be flexible enough to adjust your strategy along the way to really maximize your rewards. At first thought, it really does feel like a lot of work. But as I always say, the more work you put in, the more you will be rewarded!

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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