2023 is just beginning, but the world of miles and points is constantly changing(mostly for the bad). From the devaluations of airline and hotel programs to the removal of official award charts, lots can change in a short time. Here are 3 wild predictions that I have for 2023.
Prediction 1: Saver Award Space on United & American will be harder than ever to find
Saver award space is already a pain to find. With American Airlines also making changes to their award chart, it’s only a matter of time before saver award space becomes near impossible to find. As of today (Jan 2, 2023) there is still sporadic saver award space on some popular routes such as SFO to London Heathrow. One way flights in Business can be found in August for 72,000 AA miles and $5.60 for taxes and fees.
United Airlines fares no better. Several years ago, the airline moved towards dynamic pricing. Gone are the days of 60,000 points in business to Europe and 70,000 to Asia. While some of these saver flights could still be found, I think saver space is going to be scarcer than ever.
Prediction 2: Annual fees are going to increase
As we continue to experience inflation, it’s only logical to expect annual fees to continue to climb. Since premium luxury cards from Amex recently increased, I have a hunch that many others will follow suit. I also think Amex may increase the annual fee on co-branded premium card offerings such as the Delta Platinum or the Hilton Aspire credit cards.
Which Card is most likely to see their annual fee increased?
I think we will see increases in annual fees for the Capital One Venture X, One co-branded Amex premium card, and potentially the United Club Card(Chase’s Ultra Premium United Airlines credit card offering).
Prediction 3: One Other Major Airline will Copy the American Airlines Loyalty Points Model
As Airlines continue to profit substantially from co-branded credit cards, I believe another major U.S. carrier will follow American Airlines’ footsteps and copy the loyalty points model. The ability to earn elite status from credit card spend, shopping portal activities, hotels bookings will only increase profitability. I can see another big airline using a similar method to further entice customers to spend on their credit card and use their shopping portal. In my experience, most of the time airline shopping portal offer rates lower than Top Cash Back or Rakuten.
My Final Thoughts
These are just 3 bold predictions I have for this year. While I’m hoping none of them turn out true, I will revisit this post at the end of the year to see how I did.