TPG readers offer their 2020 credit card perks wish list

Jan 6, 2020

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As 2019 winds down, our team is looking at what’s ahead for credit cards in 2020. We saw some major changes in 2019, including the discontinuation of travel and shopping protections on Citi cards, a major upgrade for the American Express® Green Card, a welcome boost in popular credit card rewards structures and an expansion of cards offering cellphone protection.

The information for the Amex Green Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

We asked members of the TPG Lounge Facebook group what new card perks they would most like to see in 2020. Personally, I’m a Southwest Airlines superfan and I want my carrier to follow the lead of other airline cobranded credit cards and allow me to earn more Rapid Rewards points in categories such as dining and groceries. A boost to the number of points you can earn for Southwest-related travel and on its hotel and rental car partners would also be welcome.

Here are the answers from our readers, broken down by category and slightly edited for context.

Earn/redeem points and miles

David M.: I would love to see one credit card rule them all, with 3x to 5x per dollar on all spending. I‘d also pay for the ease of using that card.

A Celebrity Cruise ship (Photo via Getty Images)
A Celebrity Cruise ship. (Photo via Getty Images)

Josh S.: I would like to have cruises coded as either 5x or 3x travel on American Express Membership Rewards® cards without having to use the Membership Rewards travel portal.

Christopher B.: Have The Business Platinum Card® from American Express bring back the 50% rebate on points redeemed for flights instead of the current 35%.

Allison T.: Have Citi add American Airlines as a transfer partner

Loren M.: I’d like to see American Airlines as a Chase Ultimate Rewards or Membership Rewards transfer partner.

Mike B.: I’m a Southwest superfan as well. I’ve committed full force to Chase Ultimate Rewards to get the higher points per dollar and then transfer them since Southwest is a Chase partner. I would like to see Chase come out with more 4x and 5x bonus categories across its entire product line to compete with cards such as The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card. The information for the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Carmela P.: I would like more credit cards to let me earn status with pure spends above the sort of entry-level status that some currently grant. For example, my Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card  gives me Gold status, but I’d put more spend on it if I could get to Platinum status with pure spend (Note: Bonvoy Brilliant cardmembers can earn Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status after making $75,000 in eligible purchases on their Card in a calendar year). Enrollment required for select benefits.

An Alaska Airlines E175 at Portland International Airport. (Photo by Edward Russell/TPG)
An Alaska Airlines E175 at Portland International Airport. (Photo by Edward Russell/TPG)

Shane C.: I want a premium Alaska Airlines credit card that comes with lounge access and more spend categories. Maybe the airline could also give out status miles at certain levels of spend.

Finch S.: The United Airlines credit cards went from waiving 100% of the elite status spend requirements (up to the Platinum level) after putting $25,000 on the card to now only waiving 13% of the spend requirements for Gold and 8% for Platinum after putting $24,000 on their card. This is an extreme loss of value, so I would love it if United gave their credit card some sort of advantage and usefulness again. It now collects dust on a shelf.

Mike C.: The Chase Sapphire Reserve needs to pump up the points to compete with 5x on other cards and maybe offer 3x for gas. Mark A. wants to see a 75,000-100,000 CSR sign-up bonus.

Christopher B.: Give us credit cards that earn extra points for charitable contributions, such as the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature Card.

The information for the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Lauren A.: Offer a referral bonus for the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Credit card perks

William T.: I would like the Citi® Prestige to bring back all of the perks it took away on Sept. 22, 2019. 

Simon B.: I just want the American Express Priority Pass restaurant perk back. That perk was removed on Aug. 1, 2019.

Chase K.: It’s a pipe dream I know, but I’d love to see Centurion and/or Sapphire private terminals with tarmac transport to the gate. 

Noah R.: I’m an Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan MVP 75k and I’d like to see the airline offer better mileage-earning opportunities on car rentals and hotels, similar to the United Airlines/Hertz deal.

(Courtesy of Delta Air Lines)
A CLEAR line at JFK Airport. (Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines)

Ian H.: I’d like to see The Platinum Card® from American Express and Chase Sapphire Reserve expand offer CLEAR. It’s nice that it offers CLEAR on the American Express® Green Card, but some other options would be nice, too. David O. wants to see CLEAR offered on all American Express cards. Kurt E. took it even further, asking that CLEAR access come on all travel-related credit cards or as part of airline status.

Holly H.: Credit cards are systematically removing the car rental coverage they used to afford cardholders. I WANT IT BACK.

Ayan S.: I’d like to get United Club access with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. I wouldn’t mind paying a slightly higher fee for it.

Robert B.: Marriott Bonvoy should go back to the metallic card. The old metal card felt heavy and solid, while the new plastic card feels cheap and flimsy.

Brian D.: Better lounge access for the Chase Sapphire Reserve would be awesome, especially considering there really aren’t that many lounges in the U.S. 

Choose your benefits

(Photo courtesy of The Points Guy)

Jeffrey S.: Citi® Prestige and other cards: Why not give us some credit card benefit customization? For example, allow us to choose between trip/travel insurance or Priority Pass access.

Ann W.: I want hotel-branded cards that currently provide annual free-night certificates to instead issue a set number of points that can be combined with additional points in my account to reserve a higher category property. For example, I get an annual Marriott free-night certificate with a maximum of 35,000 points. Rather than try to find a 35k-point hotel night, I’d rather combine those points with an additional 15k-25k points for a nicer hotel.

Harold M.: I want the Amex Platinum card’s [up to] $200 airline credit to be used for any travel, e.g., hotels and car rentals, and not restricted to one carrier. Enrollment required for select benefits.

New credit cards

An Airbnb property in South Africa. (Photo courtesy of Airbnb)
An Airbnb property in South Africa. (Photo courtesy of Airbnb)

Jeffrey S.: I’d like to see an Airbnb credit card as a disrupter in the hospitality credit card field.

Randall W.: I want to see a premium World of Hyatt card along the lines of the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card.

The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Bottom line

There were some common wishes on readers’ credit card perks list. An overwhelming number of you really want cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Membership Rewards-branded American Express cards to offer higher points per dollar spent on top categories. I could see the pitchforks and torches are out over Citi’s decision to slash most of its travel and purchase protections while keeping the Citi Prestige’s $495 annual fee.

American Airlines fans want to see the carrier added as a transfer partner for American Express, Chase and Citi. And speaking of Amex, many of you were not happy about losing the Priority Pass restaurant benefit. There was a fervent wish that cardholders be able to choose from a list of perks and the hope that other cards will add CLEAR as a benefit, as American Express did with the Green Card.

Will all of these come true? We’ll check back at the end of 2020 to see how many of your wishes were granted.

The information for the Citi Prestige has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Featured photo by Getty Images

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.