Introductory Bonuses Have Changed But Aren’t Going Away

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By Casey B. Miller | Jun 27, 2012 | Updated: Sep 12, 2019

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With ongoing change in the credit card industry it is nice to know that the new account introductory bonuses are not going away, despite the bevy information that seems to be turning through the rumor mill.

If you are a savvy consumer then you may already have noticed that the internet is littered with articles regarding the disappearance of the beloved introductory  bonuses.

This is the benefit that you receive for opening a new card account, kind of like a “thank you for your business” reward. What many well-read consumers may have noticed, though, is that there is concern over the lessening of these kinds of rewards.

It does not help, of course, that recent credit card reform has caused many banks and lending institutions to tighten their grip on interest rates and benefits.

Still, recent research performed by Credit-Land shows that although the rumor mill is churning quickly, most of what you’ll find out there is simply just cross talk.

In fact, it is actually pretty easy to find many credit cards offering superb introductory bonuses to attract new customers:

  • The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card is offering as much as one whole week at any Marriott property after a single primary purchase
  • The British Airways Visa Signature Credit Card, for example, is offering enough miles for two international flights or four domestic flights after making a single purchase (with no minimum requirement)
  • The Hyatt Credit Card from Chase is offering two nights at any luxurious and elegant Hyatt hotel (or other property), just for making a single introductory purchase; valued at $1,000

Of course, these cards are only available to consumers with excellent or better-than-average credit, but it is worth noting that they are available.

Still, you may be surprised that more and more credit card companies are looking for ways to offer these kinds of benefits to consumers across the board. At the same time, some companies are making them a little harder to obtain, and this is probably what is causing the industry-wide scare.

Tony Mecia of CreditCards.com says that British Airwarys, for example, has cut their initial reward in half, offering only 50,000 miles after the first purchase.

By doing this, cardholders now need to spend $20,000 to get the full 100,000 mile bonus that used to be standard with this card. While you still get the double flight rewards (two international seats or four domestic seats), it might turn some people off.

Of course, he explains that is a bit frustrating that Citi’s ThankYou Premier card points are harder to earn, but he does not address the fact that the card offers more bonus points than ever before.

For example, any cardholder who spends $2,000 a month on a Citi card will be able to earn 60,000 ThankYou Rewards points, which is 20 percent more than before. Indeed, you may have to spend a little more, but the bigger bonus is definitely a better benefit to the responsible cardholder.

This is especially true when you consider that the average family in America spends approximately $1500 per month on living expenses, entertainment, food, supplies, and personal care (among other monthly commodities).

These are all things that could be easily charged to a card and then paid off at the end of the month. Doing this, then, would not only net you zero debt at the end of the month, but you will also get $600 worth of gift cards in the ThankYou Rewards program, which can be applied to Zappos.com, Amazon.com, and more.

This is completely in accordance with what Ron Shelvin, analyst with the Aite Group, says:

The economics of the business is allowing [credit card companies] to not have to sweeten the deals to the extent they have in the past two to three years.

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