A while back, the mysterious figure known as Marathon Man lamented the end of numerous good deals. His list:
Ø Portals for Staples GCs are gone
Ø Green Dot cards went cash only for most everybody and so Rite Aid is almost useless now
Ø Wmt not taking Vanilla branded GCs
Ø Some major store chains not stocking or ringing up any Meta GCs
Ø TD GO is gone
Ø You cannot get a ST card anymore
Ø VR is gone
Ø UA deval
Ø Hilton Deval
Ø Hyatt semi deval
Ø MRs being less doable if miles are based on ticket costs
Ø AP is gone as pf NOW
Ø Chase cracking down again (Miles Professor wrote about it recently)
Ø Evolve devolving rapidly (I can’t even find a biller that works and when you do, it shuts it down)
Ø Everyone now realizing every prepaid from Bancorp is crap
Ø Citi AA cards reduced to 50k if even doable
Ø More stores and chains going cash only for MO or knowing more about our “type”
Ø Wmt stopped doing Amex BP
Ø Amex saying you can only get the sign up bonus once in a lifetime
Ø Amex GC is gone from % portals
Ø Plink is gone (who cares, but still)
Ø Stouffer’s rewards program is gone as of Dec (yah big deal lol)
Ø Delta to go to rev based next year
Ø MR cannot be transferred to another person unless it’s the Authorized User
Ø Alaska debit is gone
Ø Avios scare (everyone is so paranoid this is understandable)
…(This list was made just before CVS went down to $2k and was presented only days before BLUE died for hundreds of people–$1k spenders and $400k spenders)
The carnage has continued. Just recently, for example, we’ve seen the Arrival Plus nerfed, plus crackdowns on card churning at Citi (AA), Chase (UR-earning cards), B of A (Alaska Airlines), and Amex (all personal cards). I’m sure many of you reading this can list other favorite recently deceased deals below.
I used to be one of those folks who figured that new awesome deals would rise up to replace them, but I no longer believe this to be the case. Where is the new Amazon Payments? At risk of sounding like the proverbial grumpy old man, The Golden Age of points and miles is over. Sure, it’s still possible to get plenty of points and miles, but by and large it’s a lot more difficult than it was a year or two ago. And by “difficult” I mean some combination of time-consuming, expensive, or esoteric.
It’s a simple tragedy of the commons. There was a good thing to be had, more or less for free, which drew more and more people into this hobby to the point where our favorite banks and retailers had no choice but to take notice. It’s well-nigh impossible to publicly share a smokin’ hot deal anymore without it being killed swiftly.
What say you, readers? Are our best years long gone? Or is there more yet to come?