Stealth Credit score Card Devaluations: Is This the New Regular?

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Stealth Credit Card Devaluations

Stealth Credit score Card Devaluations

This week we noticed one thing that I imagine might turn into a development within the bank card business. Two completely different banks basically devalued current bank card choices by launching new “prettier” variations of their playing cards. A devaluation disguised as a brand new product launch if you’ll.

Chase IHG Adjustments

The primary financial institution we noticed do that was Chase with their IHG co-branded card. The previous card got here with a $49 annual payment and a free evening at any IHG resort annually together with a 10% factors rebate and Platinum standing. Chase determined to separate their choices into two new playing cards whereas discontinuing the previous one.

Stealth Credit Card Devaluations
Two playing cards with much less advantages are higher than one!

The primary of Chase’s IHG playing cards is the decrease tier IHG Rewards Membership Traveler card. This card comes with a $29 annual payment which is decrease than the previous card, however gone are Platinum standing advantages together with an annual free evening. The one factor compelling about this card is the sign-up bonus. (Which is greater than will be stated about Barclays new card. See beneath.)

On the upper finish, Chase additionally launched the IHG Rewards Membership Premier card. This actually is the true successor to the previous IHG Rewards Membership providing from Chase. This new Premier card has a better $89 annual payment, Platinum standing, a free evening annually restricted to inns which price 40,000 factors per evening or much less and fourth evening free advantages.

The True Headline

Okay, so Chase “launched” two new playing cards, however did they actually? No! For my part they basically raised the annual payment on their previous card from $49 to $89 and adjusted the 10% factors rebate to a fourth evening free whereas gutting the free evening profit. On the identical time they did launch a brand new decrease tier card. As I stated earlier than, a devaluation disguised as a brand new product launch.

I’ll say that the previous IHG Rewards bank card supplied an outsized worth with its $49 annual payment and free evening good at any IHG property. This was a deal that was virtually too good to be true and I’m not stunned in any respect to see it going away. As a very long time IHG Rewards Membership cardholder I’m saddened by these developments, however actually it’s simply Chase aligning with the market.

Barclays Devalues Arrival Plus (IMHO)

Stealth Credit Card Devaluations

Whereas I can considerably clarify Chase’s strikes as a choice to separate their choices and reign in a card that was maybe too beneficiant, Barclays strikes this previous week baffle me. The financial institution will say they launched a brand new bank card of their Arrival Premier, however I don’t see it that manner. (I received’t argue that they did technically although.) For my part they merely closely devalued their Arrival Plus card and adjusted the identify.

Don’t imagine me? Let’s have a look at the proof. First, when the Arrival Premier launched, the Arrival Plus went away. Additionally, each playing cards earn 2X miles on all purchases. The brand new Premier card retains the previous card’s redemption scheme the place money redemptions are valued at 1/2 cent every and journey redemptions need to be $100 at minimal with a 1 cent worth. Sadly the brand new Premier card loses the 5% rebate that the Plus had.

Sure, the Barlcays Arrival Premier did add in switch companions and a International Entry credit score, however it additionally has completely no sign-up bonus and a better annual payment. So let’s see how the Arrival Premier is only a devalued Arrival Plus.

Annual Payment:

  • Arrival Plus – $89 waived the primary yr sometimes
  • Arrival Premier – $150 not waived

Signal-Up Bonus:

  • Arrival Plus – 40,000 miles after $3K spend in three months
  • Arrival Premier – Nada

Factors Redemption Rebate:

  • Arrival Plus – 5% rebate on factors redeemed
  • Arrival Premier – No rebate on factors redeemed

Factors Transfers:

  • Arrival Plus – No switch companions
  • Arrival Premier – Factors are transferable to pick companions at 1.Four-1.7:1.

Large Spend Bonus

  • Arrival Plus – No huge spend bonus
  • Arrival Premier – Spend $15Ok and get 15Ok bonus miles. Spend one other $10Ok get one other 10Ok bonus miles

Do you see it now? The Arrival Premier is the Arrival Plus. As a substitute of saying modifications to their present card they merely modified the identify and disguised it as a brand new product launch. The “new” card has the identical miles incomes and redemption construction. In two sentences I might put it this manner, “The Arrival Premier is the Arrival Plus with a better non-waived annual payment, no 5% redemption rebate and no sign-up bonus. In change they added switch companions and a International Entry payment credit score each 5 years.”

Contemplating you may earn 2X on the whole lot earlier than and will get 40Ok-50Ok miles as a sign-up bonus on the previous card, this can be a huge devaluation. I do suspect that Barclays will finally add a bonus to get this card, however for now it represents one of many worst values within the premium journey card house given the excessive annual payment and lack of sign-up bonus.


This development of devaluing bank card choices whereas disguising it as a brand new product launch is a troubling one. I actually don’t blame banks for aligning their merchandise with present market developments and to be trustworthy I feel this tactic might be a wise one. On the down aspect as a buyer I’m unhappy to see each the previous IHG Rewards bank card and the Arrival Plus turn into a factor of the previous. I cherished them each.

What do you assume?

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