The days of credit card users getting just about anything and everything in rewards are over, as issuers gird for choppy earnings.
“There’s no question that banks are concerned about the credit card rewards arms race eating into their profits,” said Matt Schulz, an analyst with CreditCards.com.
“Credit card issuers are grappling with an uneasy future,” according to Bill Hardekopf, the founder of LowCards.com. “So some of the side perks, not the cash rebates, are disappearing.”
For instance, card industry observers note that Discover recently eliminated product warranty, purchase protection and auto rental coverage for its card users.
Chase Sapphire Reserve is eliminating price protection and the ability to earn three points per dollar on the first $300 spent on travel, which is reimbursed as a travel credit.
The three points will begin after the initial $300 is spent, according to a card industry observer. This summer, Citi also will reduce some features on its price protection program, Hardekopf said.
“We are seeing an overall trend toward card issuers cutting back certain benefits,” said Kimberly Palmer, an analyst with NerdWallet.