Credit Cards

Expect great bonus offers and crypto rewards

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Several interesting credit card offers appeared last year and could get even better in 2022.

Key points

  • Credit cards with crypto rewards are my pick for the biggest trend of 2022.
  • Card issuers are also likely to launch more valuable introductory offers and special benefits.
  • It wouldn’t be a surprise to see some annual fee increases this year.

2021 was a great year for credit card enthusiasts. Card issuers offered some of the best bonuses we had seen in a long time, offered interesting benefits and launched new credit cards.

There is only one question now: What will come in 2022? Although we can never know for sure, we can try to predict some of the major credit card trends that will define this year.

1. Crypto credit cards will be the next big thing

Crypto has been on a hot streak, both in terms of value and recognition. The cryptocurrency market as a whole grew from approximately $780 billion to over $2.2 trillion in value during 2021, several of the largest coins became household names, and the Super Bowl was filled with commercials for cryptocurrency apps. .

If I had to make one prediction for 2022, it would be more credit card companies expanding into crypto rewards. There are already some crypto credit cards available, but it is still an area with a lot of room to grow.

Most likely, we will see more crypto platforms launching their own card products. Card issuers may also add cryptocurrency as a way to redeem points with some of their rewards credit cards.

2. Card issuers will continue to offer big sign-up bonuses

Sign-up bonuses are one of the most popular incentives card issuers offer to new cardholders. There were several high-value bonuses in 2021, as American Express, Capital One, and Chase all had 100,000-point welcome bonuses available that year.

Expect to see more big bonuses throughout 2022. It’s an effective strategy for credit card companies to attract new customers. Keep in mind that bonuses are often only available for a limited time, so if you see one you like, it’s best to apply for the card as soon as possible.

3. More credit cards will offer balance transfers with a 0% introductory APR.

Balance transfer offers were hard to find during the early days of the pandemic. There weren’t many credit cards that offered a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers in 2020, but this benefit started to return last year.

Consumer debt also returned last year. According to the Federal Reserve, revolving credit balances (such as credit cards) increased 6.6% in 2021.

With more people carrying balances, card issuers are likely to continue to bring back balance transfer credit cards. These are another way to attract new customers, as they give you a way to lower your credit card interest rate.

4. Advantages will be more diverse and more difficult to use

The features of the best credit cards have become much more specialized in recent years. For example, there are cards that offer monthly spending credits with major fitness brands like Equinox and Peloton, and complimentary membership cards for Walmart+ and Instacart Express.

As card issuers expand their partnerships, they will continue to offer these types of benefits that work with specific brands.

Consumers aren’t always fans of these benefits, and I can see why. They can be difficult to use, and if you don’t use them, they’re worthless. On the other hand, I have found services that I like solely because of the credit card offers that were available to me.

There were some big annual fee increases in 2021. American Express’ Platinum Card® jumped from $550 to $695 per year (see rates and fees). Chase increased the annual fee for Chase Sapphire Reserve® from $450 to $550, which it had originally planned to do in 2020. It delayed that change a year due to the pandemic.

I think more annual fee increases are on the way in 2022, most likely on cards with annual fees in the $70-$250 range. Most of these cards have been charging the same amount for years, so card issuers cards may decide it’s time to raise rates.

There’s some good and bad news in the credit card trends I’m predicting for 2022. If this year is anything like 2021, we should at least have plenty of new and valuable offers to check out.

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