Back in December I laid out the argument that big credit card bonuses are here to stay. The crux of the argument was that big bonuses are necessary to cut through the clutter and get consumer attention and action, and that the bank have gotten savvier overall in how they hand out these bonuses — that they’re marketing spend that’s among the most effective things they can do to attract new customers, most of whom they believe will be profitable.
And it turns out that credit card executives, more or less, agree with me.
Mommy Points offers a great summary of what credit card executives see as the future of big bonuses and how they award miles and points, based on their comments yesterday morning at the Randy Petersen Travel Executive Summit.
Top leadership from Chase, US Bank, American Express, Barclays, and Capital One were all on the panel.
Bottom-line: We shouldn’t expect to see many 100,000 mile bonuses, but 30,000 – 50,000 point bonuses are here to stay (effectively an ante) and card companies like it when we have more than one of their cards rather than one of theirs and one of their competitors’.
We can also expect to see more targeted bonuses, based on what card companies know about us — the kind of spend we’re doing on a card and the kind of spend they think we’re likely to do but aren’t doing on a card. That’s a way to shift their wallet share. But cardholder benefits and customer service are also important to long-term retention and get focus from the executives as well.