Are you looking for insight into the future of travel credit cards? With the industry having undergone a series of changes due to lockdowns, many travellers are curious about what lies ahead.
As we move into 2023, consumers anticipate new reward offerings developments and changes in lounge access and streaming partnerships.
This article will explore 6 bold forecasts that could shape the travel credit card industry in the coming year.
From potential restrictions on lounge access to increased competition from “buy now, pay later” options, these predictions will help you stay ahead of the curve when planning your next vacation.
Read on to learn more about what 2023 has in store for travel credit cards!
Table of Contents
1. Emphasis on Travel Protections
In recent years, travel has become increasingly unpredictable, with both shutdowns and overwhelming demand leading to flight cancellations. As a result, travel protections have become an important selling point for rewards credit cards.
For frequent travellers, travel protections are essential. Credit card companies will continue to focus on travel protections and evolve their coverages to meet the needs of cardholders in 2023.
Credit card companies may offer coverages, including trip cancellation and interruption insurance, lost luggage insurance, and travel accident insurance.
When choosing a credit card, it is crucial to consider the travel protections offered. A credit card with comprehensive travel protections can be valuable for frequent travellers.
2. More Restrictions on Lounge Access
Travel credit cards increasingly offer access to airport lounges, but overcrowding is becoming an issue. To address this, American Express has announced that in 2023 it will no longer offer free guest passes for Platinum cardholders.
Other travel cards, such as Priority Pass, may also change their lounge access programs. The exact details of the changes remain to be seen, but one example could be a limitation on the number of visits allowed or a change in the procedure for guest passes.
The restrictions also extend to additional services traditionally available at these lounges, such as complimentary meals and drinks.
It is likely necessary to pre-book your lounge access before arrival at the airport and arrive early enough so you can still make it through security before your flight departs.
Alternatively, some travel cards may provide additional benefits, such as discounts on food and beverages at select airport restaurants or retail outlets.
Travellers should remember that these restrictions may apply even if they carry multiple cards from different issuers.
Furthermore, checking with each issuer’s terms and conditions before making any booking decisions is essential, as some offers may have blackout dates or other limitations.
3. Changes to Platinum Card Offerings
The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the market’s most sought-after travel credit cards and may undergo some changes in 2023.
There is potential for an annual fee hike, which could put off some potential applicants. However, it’s essential to consider the card’s value – such as credits and perks – before deciding.
For instance, cardholders can get up to $200 in airline fee credits each year when they book flights with their eligible airlines.
Plus, there are no foreign transaction fees when you make purchases abroad. The card offers complimentary access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide through Priority Pass Select membership.
You can even get exclusive discounts on hotel bookings through Rocket miles and earn 6X points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants and supermarkets.
These benefits are sure to be a draw for those who travel often, but it’s essential to factor in the potential for an annual fee increase when deciding if this card is right for you.
It’s unclear what 2023 has in store for The Platinum Card® from American Express, but knowing its features can help you decide if it’s worth considering as your primary travel credit card.
4. Expansion of Streaming Partnerships
Streaming services have become a go-to for entertainment and relaxation as people spend more time at home. Credit card providers are taking advantage of this trend by introducing rewards programs dedicated to streaming platforms.
For instance, American Express has recently partnered with the Disney/Hulu bundle, allowing cardholders to receive credits when they subscribe or renew their subscription.
To keep up with the competition, other credit cards are joining the streaming bandwagon, too; Citi may soon offer credits for Netflix.
Card issuers don’t stop there—they’re also offering incentives like exclusive access to new shows or subscription discounts. For example, Chase customers can get a free trial of HBO Max if they use their eligible Chase credit card to pay for it.
Furthermore, some banks give points for every dollar spent on streaming services as part of their rewards program.
Therefore, it’s clear that streaming partnerships are becoming increasingly popular among credit cards, and we expect this trend will continue in 2023 as well.
5. An Upgrade for the Chase Reserve Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders may be in for an exciting surprise in 2023 as the card could see a significant upgrade.
The card was once popular among travellers, but recent changes have made it less attractive. Its annual fee has increased to $550, and its rewards structure has not kept pace with the competition, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
To compensate for this, Chase has attempted to add more value to the Reserve by offering credits for Instacart and partnering with DoorDash.
There may need to be more for travellers looking for more from their credit cards. Fortunately, there is hope that 2020’s version of the Reserve will be significantly improved come 2023.
Rumours have been circulating that Chase may add even more benefits, such as no foreign transaction fees or additional bonus categories. These would provide much-needed relief to travellers tired of paying extra fees to use their cards abroad.
Furthermore, increasing bonus points on select purchases could make it easier to accumulate valuable rewards faster. It is unknown what upgrades may come with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card in 2023, but one thing is sure:
If you’re a current user, keep a close eye on all updates between now and then to experience all-new rewards or features!
6. Increased Competition from “Buy Now, Pay Later” Options
As the travel industry continues to evolve, so do the rewards and benefits associated with travel credit cards. One trend likely to become more prominent in 2023 is increased competition from buy now, pay later (BNPL) options.
BNPL services offer a simple and convenient way for consumers to make purchases without worrying about long-term debt or interest payments.
In 2021, the use of BNPL for everyday necessities grew by an astonishing 434%. In response, some credit card companies may compete with BNPL by introducing their post-purchase instalment plans.
These plans would provide similar convenience and assurance that comes with BNPL services while allowing users to reap the rewards associated with credit card spending.
For example, a credit card provider may offer a plan where customers can spread out their payments over several months while still earning cashback or points on each purchase made.
Additionally, some providers may offer incentives such as no-interest periods or free additional rewards when customers opt into one of these instalment plans.
This could be especially beneficial for customers looking to make large purchases where interest costs outweigh any potential rewards earned through traditional credit cards.
Ultimately, increased competition from BNPL services will likely result in more significant innovation and better value deals for consumers in 2023.
As credit card companies strive to remain competitive and valuable, customers should benefit from more attractive offers and benefits than ever before.
Conclusion: What These Predictions Mean for Travel Credit Card Users in 2023
With the ever-changing nature of the travel industry, it is difficult to predict what 2023 will bring for travel credit card users. However, we can make educated guesses about how things may look shortly based on recent trends and changes.
One exciting trend is the increasing competition from “buy now, pay later” options like Afterpay and Klarna. These services allow customers to purchase items online and pay for them over time with no interest or additional fees.
Travel companies will likely embrace this payment method due to its popularity and convenience, which could mean more discounts for cardholders when booking flights or hotels. Another trend likely to continue is an increase in restrictions on lounge access.
With air travel still uncertain, luxury lounges are expected to become even more exclusive and expensive. This will mean that only those with deep pockets or elite credit cards can gain access, making it harder for budget travellers to find respite while travelling.
Finally, credit card issuers will likely expand their streaming partnerships to enhance their rewards offerings. Chase Sapphire Reserve Cardholders can already enjoy discounted Netflix subscriptions and other entertainment benefits; however, other providers may soon follow suit with their partnerships with streaming services like Hulu and Disney+.
Overall, 2023 looks set to be a year of change for the travel credit card industry as issuers adapt their rewards offerings in response to changing consumer needs and preferences. Those who stay ahead of these changes could reap significant benefits if they use their cards wisely.
- As a personal finance and credit cards expert, I provide valuable insights and advice on budgeting, saving, investing, and debt management. I am also an expert on credit card rewards programs and help readers make informed decisions about which cards are right for them. My goal is to help people improve their financial literacy and make better financial choices.
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