Did you take a Labor Day weekend trip? Or was cost too prohibitive? You’re definitely not alone if you fall into the latter group.
Forty-two percent of a recent study’s participants passed over vacations because the trips were too expensive.
Many of us enjoy significantly discounted vacations thanks to points earned from business travel and/or credit card spend. We fly business class for the price of coach. Or sometimes without paying anything except the taxes and surcharges (there are ways around that, too).
But is the “cost” of points and miles getting to be too much?
We’ve seen airlines such as Delta charge ludicrously high sums for award travel. Hotel chains and their bank partners are devaluing credit card anniversary night perks (though $49 for a hotel night is still a darn good deal for many properties, if you ask me), getting rid of lounge access, and cranking up award prices in general.
Credit card annual fees aren’t going down, either. The Platinum Card from American Express (learn how to apply) and Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN (learn how to apply) both cranked up their annual fees to $550 and $595, respectively. They imposed restrictions on Centurion Lounge access, ditched the Priority Pass restaurant benefit, and stopped allowing gift cards to credit as airline incidentals.
To be fair, though, the personal Platinum card added a $200 annual Uber benefit and Saks Fifth Ave credit. The business flavor carries a 35% Membership Rewards rebate (down from 50%…) and Dell statement credit.
If you actually use the benefits, the costs offset themselves. But are the annual fees getting to be too much? Or can you live with them?
Personally, I’m getting much more interested in no-annual-fee cards with decent welcome bonuses and/or earnings such as the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Chase Ink Business Unlimited, and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card (learn how to apply).
It’s pretty much inevitable that costs rise. But have you had to cut back? Are you keep or canceling cards? Are you not able to take as many trips as you once did? Or are you not affected?
Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below.