Happy 2013 from Sydney, Australia!
When my son Andrew suggested we make the trip to see the fireworks display in Sydney Harbor we jumped at the chance. Without question it was the most amazing display I have ever seen in my life. Seven barges in the harbor. Fireworks from the rooftops of the Sydney skyscrapers. Fireworks from jetskis in formation and exploding from under the surface of Sydney Harbor. The flotila of boats in lights in the harbor was amazing and beyond description. I’ll try to get you some photos in the days to come, but nothing can compare to seeing it live. Katy and I wish you all a Happy New Year and suggest you give it a go here next December 31st. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Now lets take a look at 2013 personally and for the travel game.
On a personal note, I’ll hopefully be a grandfather again in late April or early May. Carter will be getting a new baby sister and I’ll have babysitting duty with Carter, as Katybug chips in with the new one. I don’t think 20 months is too young to take him to his first baseball game do you? The University of South Carolina ballpark is right down the street from his house. I’m sure we will be taking a travel hiatus around the birth and for a couple months thereafter. My only real travel goals are taking Claire to Italy for her dream trip and spending as many days as I can on Kauai. Of course if a dynamite mistake fare appears, I’ll surely find time for it.
For the travel game, I expect 2013 to be a year of change. I envision a legacy carrier attempting the switch to a revenue based awards program. I’m not thrilled with the idea, but I think the time has come for one of the biggies to give it a try.
I can see good and bad for the credit card game. I’m predicting sign up bonuses remaining similar to 2012 levels, no monster offers, and if anything, a tightening of restrictions on earning the sign up bonus. Also expect an increase in minimum spends to earn those bonuses. The credit card companies now have sufficient numbers of cards outstanding and they will just be tweaking profitability on each card. This will probably include the tightening of the Ink Bold/Plus to Vanilla Reload card gig. It is just too good to be sustainable long term.
Debit and prepaid cards will continue to jump into the mileage mix. With so many small time operations in the game, some of them are sure to make value calculation errors and our gang will be in the forefront of groups finding the hidden value.
Hotel and rental car promos will stay with lower promotion benefits. As the economy improves, their occupancy rates will continue to increase and the need to offer big incentives will diminish. I think the same will hold true for rental car promos.
As more people jump into the game, I’m guessing we will have to work harder for our most profitable bonuses. We may all need to become eBay or Amazon sellers of merchandise to reap the big bonuses. That means more time and more risk to garner the big miles stashes.
All the above are predictions only. The only thing I’m confident of is our ability as “players” to stay ahead of the corporate crowd when figuring out how to win the game. Individual entrepreneurship will always win out over corporate policy and restrictions, if, we work together to share what we have learned.
Let’s see how well my predictions work out.
Deal of the Day
For today’s Deal of the Day American Airlines AAdvantage® has provided 2500 AAdvantage® miles for the best deals, fares, promotions, anything related to American Airlines, their oneworld partners or AAdvantage® partners. Add it to the comments section of this post or this afternoon’s Deal of the Day post (with your first name, last initial, and home airport) to be eligible to win.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Annual Fee: $95 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The Sapphire Preferred offers 2x points on dining and travel, and no foreign transaction fees, making this the go-to card for travelers.
This card accumulates Ultimate Rewards points, which are very valuable for transfer to United and Hyatt. Overall, this card is a great choice for maximizing earnings on dining, travel, and every day spend.
- Earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate RewardsSM
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- No foreign transaction fees, plus Chip and Signature enabled for international travel.
- 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value — that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points.
- 24/7 direct access to dedicated customer service specialists
- Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95