Posted by William Charles on January 7, 2019
Misc

Published on January 7th, 2019 | by William Charles

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A Look Back At Mine & Other Sites Predictions For 2018 – How Did We Do?

Every year I like to make a number of predictions for what I think will happen in the upcoming year, but before I do that I like to have a look at my predictions from the previous year. A number of other sites also made predictions for 2018 so I thought why not have a look at theirs as well.

My Predictions

Original predictions found here

  • Best Basic Savings Rates Will Hit 2% APY. When I made this prediction the highest basic saving rate was 1.65%, we are now up to 2.5% so well above the 2% APY I was predicting. The fed raising rates definitely helped here. One point to me.
  • 2%+ Credit Cards Will Be A Thing Of The Past. This one was kind of a cheat, I wrote it before the USAA and JCB cards were discontinued but published it after the fact. We also briefly saw Chase offered 3% back first year on the Chase Freedom Unlimited. You also still have the Alliant card offering 2.5%/3% back still. Zero points to me.
  • Southwest Will Announced Negative Changes To Companion Pass For 2019. I said the either the pass would cost more points, credit card points wouldn’t count or some other major negative change would happen. It definitely got more difficult to get the pass with Chase adding new restrictions, but I was expecting a much more dramatic change. Zero points to me.
  • Mobile Wallets Will Dominate. I think I’ve made this prediction three years in a row, it’s never been right but I’d say this year it’s actually be the complete opposite. Samsung Pay basically killed their rewards program by reducing the amount of points you earn by half and also increasing the number of points required for redemption. I’m going to give myself negative one point for this prediction.

As you can see I end up with a total of 0 points out of 4 predictions.

Frequent Miler

Original predictions found here.

  • A US airline will introduce Basic Economy awards. Delta does offer basic economy awards on some routes now. One point.
  • A hotel chain (or brand within a chain) will eliminate resort fees. Unfortunately not the case. Zero points.
  • Marriott will offer free breakfast to Gold and Platinum elites at resorts. Technically this is incorrect, Marriott gold members don’t get free breakfast. That being said it was just really a rename of elites. One point.
  • Marriott will announce details of the combined Marriott / SPG rewards program and it will look a lot like Marriott Rewards. Marriott did announce details of the new program. I guess the award chart is similar (especially for 2018 pricing) but with the introduction of peak and off peak pricing it’s not that similar. I’ll give this a half a point.

2.5/4

Milenomics

Original predictions found here

  • An Overall Strong Economy Will Be Awful For Traditional Miles and Better Still for Bank Points. Not really sure how to measure this one. N/A
  • Competition for payment processing will heat up and we will be the beneficiaries. This seems to be another mobile payments prediction. Gonna have to give this one zero points as well.
  • Rising oil prices will push airline tickets up in cost. According to this, airfare increased by an average of 3.5% in 2018. The highest since 2011. We also saw crude oil prices increase as well. One point.
  • The end of 25,000 points for low level domestic flights. Don’t think this has happened. Zero points.
  • Credit Cards: Sign up bonuses will trend upward. I’d need to see some hard data, I think all things being equal credit card bonuses are always going to increase when it comes to miles/points as those miles/points are being devalued at the same time. That being said, it felt like bonuses did increase on average. One point.
  • Citi Double Cash Will Devalue. This card is still going strong. Zero points.
  • At least one major GC issuer will start to issue GC without PINS. Again I don’t remembering this really happening. Zero points. 
  • Interest rates on savings will continue upward. The true AOR will return in 2018 or early 2019. Interest rates have continued to increase, but we still aren’t at the stage that dumping it into a CD is that attractive. To be fair this prediction was for late 2018 early 2019 and I don’t think we are far from this occurring. I won’t rate this one yet.

2/6

No Home Just Roam

Original predictions found here

  • Marriott Added As A Membership Rewards Transfer Partner. This was more a result of the merger than anything else, but still correct. One point.
  • La Quinta To Launch A New Credit Card. La Quinta is still surprisingly without a co-branded credit card partner. At the time I thought this was a good prediction. Zero points.
  • IHG To Add Benefits To Spire Elite Status. As far as I know nothing was added, but I care so little about elite status I might have forgotten about something. Zero points.
  • Chase Will Increase The Number Of Cards Not Impacted By 5/24. Sadly this one was correct, now all Chase cards fall under this rule. One point. Zero points Update: Apparently I can’t read, this was suggesting the complete opposite.
  • Hyatt Will Allow Rewards Stays To Count As Eligible Nights Towards Status. This was actually announced at the end of 2017, but after the No Home Just Roam article was posted. One point.
  • IHG Will Increase The Annual Fee On Their Credit Card. Chase launched two new IHG cards to replace the old one, in the process the annual fee was increased. One point.
  • Citi Will Launch / Relaunch Spending Offers On Their Credit Cards. Unfortunately we haven’t seen anything on this front. Zero points.

3/7.

Running With Miles

Original predictions found here

  • Southwest Companion Pass. Similar to mine and just as wrong. Zero points.
  • SPG Program Disappears. SPG/Marriott merger was finally completed in 2018. One point.
  • Revenue Based Award Tickets. More airline programs have gone towards dynamic pricing, but it’s not strictly revenue based in most cases. Zero points.
  • Fewer Approvals. This is fairly vague, but there were definitely more credit card restrictions put in place to reduce the amount of approvals in 2018. One point.
  • Premium Economy is the New Business. I honestly don’t really follow this sort of stuff close enough to know. N/A
  • Mobile Rewards. Again similar prediction to mine and again just as wrong. Zero points.

2/6.

TPG Predictions

Original predictions found here

  • Big bonus opportunities will still be available. Talk about a broad non-prediction prediction. I guess this was right, but I’d hardly classify it as a prediction. I’ll give a pity point on this one.
  • Bank of America will try to get another foot in the door. Bank of America didn’t release any new high annual fee card in 2018. Zero points.
  • Interest rates will rise. This was specifically talking about credit card interest rates, but interest rates across the board increase. One point.
  • You can skip the signature. Actually a really good prediction, in April all of the major credit card payment networks no longer required a signature, although merchants may still request one. One point. 
  • Your face will replace your card. I don’t know of any merchant/card issuer using face ID as a verification tool in this way. Zero points.
  • Complaints about your card may fall on deaf ears. The government shut down hasn’t helped and it does seem the current government is hell bent on removing as much funding from the CFPB as possible. One point.

One pity point, three points and two zero points. We will call it 4/6 or 3.5/6.

Jeffsetter

Original predictions found here.

Honestly I don’t follow Hawaii closely enough to know how accurate any of the predictions are.

Final Thoughts

I’m in the process of writing up my predictions for 2019, although after reading back how poorly my predictions did last year I’m wondering if I should bother. I think No Home Just Roam had the best predictions for 2018, 4/7 is a good result and some of the predictions aren’t things I would have been confident of saying going into 2018. Update: I’m stripping No Home Just Roam of the title considering they got the Chase 5/24 really wrong. Title will instead go to Frequent Miler.

 



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Brandon
Brandon

No Home Just Roam was wrong about the Chase cards. The prediction is cards would NOT be under the 5/24 rule. The exact opposite happened and ALL cards ARE affected. Should be 1 less point.

Jack - NJ
Jack - NJ

+1

Ry5
Ry5

No! Do the predictions!

chris
chris

“Chase Will Increase The Number Of Cards Not Impacted By 5/24. Sadly this one was correct, now all Chase cards fall under this rule. One point.”

you misread it. Prediction was the opposite and he was wrong.

Jags
Jags

For Milenomics: Citi did devalue Double Cash—Price Rewind was nerfed. Although that really affects all Citi Cards.

Vic
Vic

Yeah I don’t think that counts as wrong since it’s affecting all cards. DC itself wasn’t really changed

Vic
Vic

Yeah I don’t think that counts as wrong since it’s affecting all cards. DC itself wasn’t really changed

tro
tro

The payout cap was decreased and it’s not great, but that’s not the same thing as completely nerfing for people using the program as intended. There are things I don’t like about Citi but how they’ve handled Price Rewind so far is not one of them, especially when you compare to their competitors. In fact it’s the opposite, it’s one of the main reasons I’ve stuck with them. I do hope that program is sustainable going forward.

Alen
Alen

Bad luck on last year WIlliam! As always, I love the blog and read it every day (multiple times a day). Keep up the good work. Question — this year I’m planning on signing up for some credit cards — Do you have a page on here which only has referrals for various offers for YOU and/or Chuck? Sometimes I want to sign up for a new offer and want to help out the blog — but I don’t want to surf through articles to find your referral link. Any thoughts? Thanks!

Stephen Pepper

As a couple of other commenters have pointed out, I was wrong on the Chase prediction – I thought fewer cards would be affected by 5/24, not more.

You were also more generous regarding the IHG card than I was to myself. I gave myself 0 points for that as the old card was grandfathered in with the lower fee, so my actual prediction – that the fee would increase – was incorrect even though the underlying reasoning – that there’d be a devaluation on the card – was correct.

Brandon
Brandon

I respect people who can admit when they are wrong. But I think you should get the point for IHG. Generally, issuers seem to keep current holders happy by keeping the old terms of AF. In fact, when the Savor was increased to 4% with an extra category, I expected current cardholders to get the no AF version to get the extra category. Capital One was extremely generous and gave current cardholders the better rewards with the grandfathered no AF. And they also reopened my Savor that I closed the day before the announced changes. I also got the extra $50 that was added to the signup bonus less than a month after I got the original Savor (Premier Dining rewards). In my opinion, best 3 pull I ever got.

tro
tro

“Mobile wallets will dominate” is kind of a confusing header for your prediction, which was more about increased competition for mobile wallet share. Either way, I think -1 is too harsh. Samsung Pay did reduce rewards a lot but still had some good promos. Chase used some form of mobile as a 5% category in two quarters. To me I would say 2018 felt about the same as 2017.

And anecdotally I think overall usage and cashier familiarity did increase noticeably in 2018, even though it’s far from dominant.

fjd
fjd

TPG predicted “You can skip the signature” after 3/4 of the major processors in the US had already announced that they were dropping the requirement. Discover and Amex had announced the April 2018 change back in November. The only thing close to a prediction in the paragraph they wrote about it was “By the end of that year, I expect that pens will disappear from most checkout counters.” In my experience the pens have disappeared from zero checkout counters, even the ones that no longer require signatures.

ZERO POINTS

Brandon
Brandon

I agree. Just cause the standard is allowed doesn’t mean anything for us. I had to sign for $10 of beer at the store the other day. And every Square based terminal. My grocery store requires it after a certain cost is hit with purchases. All sigs are still unchanged. I would count it as correct if only purchases that have tips were the only signatures.

Jack - NJ
Jack - NJ

According to the WSJ article you sent out last week, startup bonuses are down on average, not up.

Biggie F
Biggie F

Just to get in my first complimentary comment of the new year: This post typifies the intellectual honesty and just plain hard work and attention to detail that makes this blog so useful.

Peter
Peter

lol – “Talk about a broad non-prediction prediction. I guess this was right, but I’d hardly classify it as a prediction.”

Here’s my 2019 prediction – I predict that TPG will still be around at the end of the year 😉

Abey

Love this post. And absolutely do predictions. It gives a certain hype and hope for a brighter future even if it doesn’t end up happening 😊

Abey

My 2019 predictions:

(1) Amex will get stricter with Business cards and occasionally request business documents, (like BOA, Barclays and US Bank).

(2) Citi will finally launch their own Business card like a TY Premier or Prestige version.

(3) Chase will announce a 2x UR card on all purchases similar to Double Cash, Spark, Blue Plus but will have an annual fee.

(4) Hyatt will raise the 5K category 1 hotels to 6-7K.

(5) With the flooding of Priority Pass cards, Lounges will get stricter and add restrictions and limitations.

Stan
Stan

my 2019 prediction is TPG remains an obnoxious worthless trash site

Mark

Bwahahaha. I’ll wager money on that.*

*I will wager the money using my garbage Capital One card (affiliate link here) that earns 1.5 crap miles for all gambling purchases.

flip
flip

I write for a popular NFL fan site and generally do not write articles that are popular with the norm. When I am wrong they love to point it out but when I am right I rarely get accolades for it. That is just part of the game of writing and looking into the crystal ball.
Do the article, if you’re wrong, you’r wrong. No worrying about spilled milk.

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