I follow a lot of blogs on travel hacking, which are great sources of information not just on techniques, but also real-time updates on deals and offers. I try to pass along some of the most effective tips and offers on this blog. A few years ago, sign-up bonuses on credits card used to pop up almost daily. 50,000 here, 75,000 there, 100,000 occasionally. Each bank had a portfolio of amazing offers and loose restrictions on receiving them. Those were the glory days.
Occasionally, there were some rumors or stories about a certain card having tighter restrictions for approval, but nothing really changed. In 2014, American Express changed their policy on Consumer cards, limiting sign-up bonuses to once-per-lifetime. I learned this the hard way, as I wrote in December of that year. My once go-to Delta AMEX cards were now off the table. I was pretty devastated, but I still had the AMEX Business cards to play with.
Last year, Chase decided to follow, cracking down on application approvals, limiting the majority of their cards to only those customers with a minimal number of credit cards to their name. All the travel hackers were basically told, “no more for you.”
Two credit card companies isn’t a lot right? When it comes to travel rewards bonuses, AMEX and Chase own it. There is barely a card worth having that these two companies don’t offer.
And now, it’s gotten worse. I knew this day was coming, but have been in denial. Today, via Miles to Memories, AMEX has instituted their once-per-lifetime bonus rule on their Business cards as well. This means that I am officially done with AMEX. Forever. No more Delta bonuses, no more Membership Rewards. It’s over.
Citi will follow soon and then the game is up. Perhaps one day it will return. For now, I need to think long and hard about my future…