What Went Down in 2018 – The Best And The Worst – A Year In Review
This article is coming out a little later than I wanted it to. We are almost a full month into the New Year but I still thought it was worth writing. I wanted to do something similar to what I did for 2017 – a 5 biggest wins and 5 biggest losses. But, with the timing of the post I am just gonna cram them together and do a quick overview. I will give you the 3 biggest wins of 2018 and a slew of losses, because there were many. Share your biggest win and loss of 2018 in the comments section!
The Wins of 2018
It was a rough year no doubt but we were able to sneak a few wins while taking all those haymakers. Here are what I thought to be some of the bigger ones.
The Aspire card was launched early in the year and it was a stunner! I could not believe the value it offered. I wholeheartedly thought the perks would get nuked going into 2019 but it has been holding strong. Even if the free night takes a little while to get to you it still essentially pays you to keep the card. Amex even rolled out some awesome 150K upgrade offers throughout the year too.
The Iberia Avios deal offered a chance at some huge value. I did not partake in the offer because of the time constraints in terms of booking but many did and saved a ton on their flights.
Other Notable Credit Card Launches
This is how sad of a year it was. Rounding out my 3 wins were some other credit card launches or rebrandings. The Chase World of Hyatt card came out and took over the throne of hotel credit cards. Chase also launched the Chase Ink Unlimited Business card which is the business version of the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. Unfortunately both of these are now under 5/24 law but more on that later.
The Losses – There Were A Many
And now to the dark side. Here are the worst of 2018…I had a lot to choose from.
2018 will always be the year of TPM, there was no story bigger. The gift card reselling company went belly up early on in the year and wiped out the profits of many in it’s wake. We recently updated you on the fact that the Missouri AG will not be pursuing legal action.
The Death Of Gift Card Recycling
In quick succession GameStop, Best Buy, and Meijer all stopped allowing the purchase of gift cards with gift cards. This was a profitable play for people with the know how. Amazon also stopped selling their gift cards online which made it more difficult to recycle with them as well.
Chase 5/24 is nothing new but there were still some co-branded cards offered by Chase that we could grab every few years. Chase shut those down late in the year and put everything under lock and key. They also nuked the most valuable perk of any of their cards putting limits on the IHG anniversary night. They didn’t stop there though they also rolled out the 48 month rule on Sapphire cards just as the Chase Sapphire Reserve was approaching 2 years old.
I think this was the second biggest story of the year and one that cost some people $10,000 plus. American Express finally stopped allowing Amex Offers to be used on multiple cards. They also back charged anyone who used their 10% off Staples offer more than once.
SPG Cards Become Useless
The last topic I wanted to cover was the devaluation of the favorite tool of many. The SPG personal and business card used to be a mainstay for non bonus spend. But with the Marriott/SPG merger the earning power of the card was reduced by a third. The change made the cards essentially a Quicksilver competitor. This cut many deep and I am sure Amex is feeling the loss of their swipe fees right about now.
As you can see it is a good thing 2018 is in the review mirror. It was a pretty terrible year for the hobby but we continue to march on. It takes more knowledge and patience than ever to come out on top! Hopefully 2019 opens up some doors.