As the economy slowly improves next year I think we will see the number of business travelers increase and the airlines will slowly accommodate the increasing numbers with more flights and higher fares. After several years of hard times, the airlines will be much more conservative in adding fleet and flights. The days of euphoria are behind us for now, and we’ll have to look harder for the bargains and deals. We also will lose a competitor late in 2011 as the merger of United and Continental continues to progress. Expect further increases prices in a less competitive marketplace.
I don’t expect a Double Elite Qualifying Miles promo in 2011 except on certain specific routes of renewed competition. And the fees will continue. With increase in demand and the public already having adjusted to the excess garbage fees, expect more of the same on that front.
Hotels will also be in store for increased occupancy rates. Part of the excess room inventory will have disappeared with some foreclosed properties not coming back into play, but you can’t take a hotel in and out of service as easily as an airplane. We will still find available rooms and a competitive hotel marketplace. I’m guessing as business travel increases, we’ll see more bonus opportunities and promos as the chains try to induce us to use their product.
Credit Card Bonus offers will continue to flourish and be bountiful. Banks are greedy and having extra card holders is not a major expense, but can be a huge source of income. They will continue with tighter underwriting guidelines, but still be actively pursuing our business.
I have absolutely no qualms about trying a new credit card if the offer is right. I’m always looking for a credit card that fits me better than my SPG card. I’ll keep giving everybody a try, but they had better offer fantastic customer service and huge rewards if they expect to keep me after the sign up bonus is earned. Until you learn how to keep my business, I will keep looking for the ultimate credit card. It last happened about 4 years ago with the Citi Thank You Points bonanza days. I’ll gladly go back to that kind of bonanza.
In short, I think we are overall winners in the travel market for 2011. While we will probably see higher airfares and the same or more garbage fees, hotel prices will only increase slightly and bonuses should abound. And to cover those slightly increasing airfares, we will have the opportunity to earn large sign up bonuses with more card applications and debit card offers to come.
2000 Starwood Points for Taking a Test Drive
Rick, just a follow up on the Acura deal. If you don’t live near a W hotel, you can call one and ask for them to fax you the certificate you need for the promotion.
Help with a New Credit File Starts on Monday
I received numerous requests from our newbies with no or limited credit for more info on starting a credit file. It will run Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. I hope you find it helpful and as always, I welcome your comments and questions.
A Blog for the Mechanically Challenged Like Me
My buddy Tom has been a licensed contractor for 35 years. He can fix or repair anything including doing a complete remodel on our condo on Hilton Head. Tom has started a blog offering free advice for around the home repairs that will save you money as a do-it-yourselfer.
Here is the link to Tom’s blog HandyManforFree.blogspot.com