Banks are reinvigorating the market for the travel card, boosting rewards in an effort to grab new customers eager to see the world on their credit card company's dime. The new promotions will feature more introductory miles, faster miles accumulation, and incentives for big spenders to use their cards in the first few months of ownership.
In February, US Bank intents to raise initial bonus points on its FlexPerks card. This comes after JP Morgan doubled its bonus miles on a British Airways Visa card, and Bank of America and Citi are announcing better introductory rewards to their new customers.
The reward hikes don't come without their costs. New customers will have to increase the amount they spend during the promotional period to see any gains in points. For example, US Bank's miles incentive will rise to 20,000 bonus points when a new customer spends $3,500 in the first four months of ownership. Previously, US Bank required customers to spend only $2,500 in five months for 17,500 points. Likewise, Chase will ask customers to spend more than $20,000 in the full year to receive 50,000 bonus points, an amount which would typically require a customer to spend $50,000.
Credit card companies lose money on introductory offers hoping to make up for the losses in the long haul. Savvy credit card customers can use these cards to their advantage, getting free airfare and travel thanks to hefty promotions from major card issuers. Be on the lookout for better and better travel rewards as consumers shift from a cash back mindset to new luxurious rewards.