In my earlier post on this topic, I discussed the Mega Bonuses Credit Cards are doling out and their impact on us the consumers. In this article, I continue with a detailed analysis on how some of these specific very large bonuses impact the Mileage marketplace for us, the frequent travelers, who earn their loyalty rewards the hard way – by flying the miles and sleeping in the hotels.
Are we being out earned by someone with a good credit history and an Internet connection, who may have never left their zip code?
Let’s look at three of these mega-offers. Actually, these are not all as bad as they sound for us frequent travelers.
British Airways – 100,000 miles
This one is bad! a 100,000 miles (and they offered this last year too) is four round trips within the US or two round trips to Europe! That is massive dilution. Given that BA miles are already pretty difficult to redeem. This one is bad news. I did get this one my wife too. I personally had a BA card many many moons ago and am hence, in-eligible.
Capital One Venture Card – upto 100,000 points
This one was interesting. It was a ‘Mile Match’ You had to already have had the miles on another airline to get a match on Capital One. This one had no dilution effect on the Miles market and CapitalOne points do not work that way. To redeem these you spend the money on travel – air, car or hotels – using your Capital One Venture Card and then redeem the points to ‘pay’ for that travel on your credit card statement. For the travel vendor, this is actually a revenue transaction and hence, does not impact the reward inventory at all. Both my wife and I got these ones. (We went on a mini-app-o-rama, as The Nomad suggested).
American Express Membership Rewards card – 50,000 points
First of all, this one was not offered to everyone – although I saw a similar offer for one day on their Business Gold Card, I think. As The Nomad explained, you have to call and ask for it – YMMV. This can have a dilution effect. American Express Membership Rewards can be transferred to Airline Miles or Hotel Points. If that is what people do with these, then yes, they would dilute the market. If they redeem them for American Express booked travel, them there is no devaluation. Those are revenue transactions for the travel vendor. I did not get this card (my wife used this same offer a couple of years ago). Personally, I am waiting for the 1,000,000 mile Membership Rewards offer. Believe me, it’s coming…
Share your thoughts on these mega-bonuses by leaving a comment.