Visiting the Banks in New York

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Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. Facebook fans know that I’ve been in New York, taking in the sights with my mom and Emily, eating more than I should, and that I’ve been meeting with our favorite banks!

If you’re not following Million Mile Secrets on Facebook, you’ve been missing out on a few Southwest discount codes, real time updates of our travels, and the occasional “I can’t believe he said that!”

It is pretty clear that banks realize that they have to ratchet down the customer acquisition cost by lowering marketing expenses which means lower commissions to affiliates and also lower sign-on bonuses.  Banks independently talk about an unsustainable “arms race” of sign-up bonuses, but are aware that a high sign-up bonus is the easiest way to get folks to apply for a new credit card.

We’re also going to see offers which require higher spending to get the full sign-on bonus (think Chase British Airways & Chase Ink Bold), offers which require you to hold the card for a second year, limited time offers to persuade folks to sign-up immediately (AMEX Business Gold and Platinum), and cards which offer a benefit which makes the card worth keeping after the 1st year (think free bags or free hotel nights with certain cards).

But I don’t see this as a bad thing.  There has to be something in it for the card issuers as well, otherwise they wouldn’t issue travel rewards cards.  As always, nothing remains the same and we’ve still got it very, very good!

Some folks were asking about a public 100,000 Chase Sapphire Preferred offer, but that just isn’t going to happen.

I can’t share everything I know (a lot of conversation was off the record), but here are some intentionally vague details and informed speculation (I also won’t be able to answer many comments or email asking for more details)!

The sign-up bonus on the British Airways card really is going away on July 18, 2012.

There may be a new business credit card (as opposed to their current charge card) coming out soon in Q3 (July to September) with a decent sign-on bonus from a bank which offers the boldest business cards in the market.

If a credit card had a history of increasing the sign-up bonuses during a certain period, that pattern may be repeated again – as early as this summer.

Banks are aware of unofficial links which offer a higher sign-up bonus (they read the blogs AND the message boards) and you may see them disappear faster than usual once their IT infrastructure is streamlined – so prioritize those offers when you apply for cards. No, I don’t earn a commission when you apply through an unofficial link, but you get more miles!

Executives realize that cards which offer points which can be transferred to airlines and hotels are attractive to consumers, so perhaps there may be some innovation in that area.

Bank are aware of “gamers” and build measures such as caps on points earned to prevent abuse by gamers, or blacklist gamers from future products.

Savvy miles and points users make up a very tiny proportion of the US population, so not all offers are designed with us in mind.

I’ve got more meetings in the morning, before I head back to Kansas, but I’ve had a wonderful time in New York!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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