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Maybe it’s the widening wealth gap, or maybe it’s just an increase of travelers finally recognizing that with a little bit of finance savvy, dream trips are possible, and rewards credit cards are one of the best ways to do that.

Whatever the reason — the premium credit card market is hotter than ever. So much so, some credit card companies have raised annual fees. Amex Platinum went from $550 to $695 per year, in response to increasing demand for high end perks.

According to Amex, the gamble paid off, with greater customer growth than usual.

And now, that means rumors are everywhere about potential newcomers to the game, which are just pining to be added to added to wallets everywhere.

While no details are actually “confirmed”, here’s what we’ve heard about rumored cards from inside sources, intriguing surveys and leaked documents which wound up on the world wide web, which could end up a reality, or not.

The last two time rumors leaked, they were about upcoming Chase Sapphire changes, almost all of which came true, and about Amex raising the Platinum card annual fee, which also came true!

A “Premium” Hyatt Card

Hyatt is the only major hotel chain which doesn’t offer a credit card unlocking “near” top tier status in the United States. Judging by the success of the Marriott Bonvoy cards and Hilton cards, there may be a market. That, or a market for a business card.

Best guesses based on rumors and other industry factors are that Hyatt will launch either a premium credit card, perhaps offering top tier “Globalist” status, or a business version of their card, to help encourage more business spenders to choose Hyatt over other co-branded hotel credit cards.

Hyatt has one of the most rewarding loyalty programs, particularly for top tier elites. The answers to many of these questions are expected within the first week of October.

A Capital One “Premium” Card

Capital One has been on a tear for the last two years, transforming Venture, Spark and Savor cards into beasts in their own categories, with much more travel savvy.

Huge 100,000 point welcome bonuses aside, the Venture and Spark Cards added airline and hotel transfer partners, as well as arguably the best way to book flights on the planet, with the new Capital One Travel platform.

Square that with Capital One opening not one — but two airport lounges in the USA, and all scents indicate there may be a bigger play coming. Capital One expects its first lounge to open in Dallas before the end of month, followed by a second location at home base in Washington Dulles.

So what could a new Capital One “premium card” bring? Well, who knows! But, the investment into flight prediction tools like Hopper could mean expanded air travel booking benefits, into territories other banks haven’t gone.

It could also mean filling a gap, with a more personal and customized approach, rather than some cards which are now kind of like an expensive coupon clipping book.

It could also just all be hot air, as many rumors tend to be, with no card at all. The bank isn’t letting any secrets out on whether a new card is on the way at all, but many are speculating there’s more to come.

Ultra-Premium Marriott Bonvoy Card?

Marriott already offers a high end card option with the Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card. Surveys sent to cardholders suggest American Express may be tinkering with the offering, or considering adding yet another card to the portfolio.

As compiled by Frequent Miler, the potential changes are so specific, they almost point to a specific card coming to market. A new series of “free night” vouchers, which count for higher end hotels also suggests something “new” or different is on the way.

Specific insights suggest the card, if it ever happens (or changes) would carry a $650 annual fee, but offer hundreds in credits toward dining, as well as elevated elite status and other features which accelerate perks with Marriott Bonvoy.

Again, these are all rumors, but the specificity of surveys and leaked documents make for interesting reading. It could represent the first $650 hotel group credit card, unless another group gets there first!

Greater Jeopardy Brings Greater Loyalty?

As the rewards game expanded, so too did the number of people looking to take advantage.

That meant millions of people taking out numerous cards, to get the best of each one. Since welcome bonuses can take years for banks to make back, the new ultra-premium market asks a big question.

If people spend more to hold a card, are they going to be more driven to spend heavily on the card, and use its benefits heavily to recoup the upfront “annual fee” costs?

If that happens, people might become more loyal to a specific hotel chain, holding just one card which “does it all”, rather than having lots of cards which don’t. It may lead to consumers holding fewer cards, but doing “more” with the ones they have.

If all these rumors come true, there could be three very exciting additions to the high end credit card market, which brings more rewards than ever before.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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5 Comments

  1. “ Hyatt is the only major hotel chain which doesn’t offer a credit card unlocking top tier status in the United States.”

    Which Marriott card offers top-tier status? Not a troll, just curious as if there is one, I’d sign up now.

    Personally I hope Hyatt does not offer a Globalist card as I earn it the “hard” way.

    1. Not the top most tier but you get Gold Elite status in Bonvoy with an Amex platinum card. Which has worked well for Marriott because now I have stayed with them enough to have earned it “the hard way” and am on my way to higher tiers.

      The only thing I would like is for my membership to reduce the higher tier requirements since in the current system I basically need to still earn gold in stays before I can move up.

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