New Year

Credit card products and sign-up offers are constantly changing. In 2017, we said hello to some new cards like the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve, but we also said goodbye to some old favorites. Here’s a list of credit cards that got the axe in 2017.

Hilton Cards from Citi
Hilton Ascend
A silver lining to the discontinued Citi Hilton cards.

Back in June, Hilton decided to make American Express their exclusive credit card partner. Thus, we said goodbye to the sign-up bonus for the Citi Hilton Honors Reserve and the no-fee Citi Hilton Honors cards.

While I never had a chance to sign-up for either, my fiancé got the Reserve card which paid for our two nights at the Waldorf Astoria Rome Cavalieri. Current cardholders will be converted to the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend card or the no-fee Hilton Honors American Express Card in January.

Chase Fairmont Visa Signature

In January, the sign-up links for the Chase Fairmont cards went dead and gone was our ability to earn two free nights at Fairmont hotels. In August, all existing cards were converted to Chase Sapphire Preferred. I’ve never had the chance to stay at a Fairmont, and now I probably never will…

Another thing about the death of this deal is that we’re seeing a trend in sign-up bonuses changing from free nights to points (like switch in the Hyatt card sign-up bonus last June).

American Express Gold Card

The regular Amex Gold card (not the Premier Rewards Gold) was discontinued over the summer. This is not a huge loss for the churning community because this card didn’t have a public sign-up bonus, though it was possible to get a 25,000 point offer in incognito mode. Oh well…

MERRILL+ from Bank of America
Merrill Lynch MERRILL+ Offer
Goodbye MERRILL+, you’ll be missed.

This sign-up bonus was short-lived but was a pretty sweet deal. The 50,000 point offer could be worth up to $1,000 in airfare depending on how you redeemed the miles. Basically, Merrill Lynch has a travel portal with access to pretty much any flight you can find elsewhere. Any flight costing up to $500 costs 25,000 points. If you find a flight over $500, points are worth 1 cent each. For example, a flight costing $535 would require 25,000 point for the first $500 of the ticket and 3,500 points to cover the additional $35. To get the best value, you could book two flights worth as close to $500 as possible.

This card has since been discontinued but all existing cards remain as is. I still have it since it has no annual fee, but I’ll probably close it soon to downsize my Bank of America cards given the four card limit.

Bank of America Better Balance Rewards

BBR was the no annual fee card that kept on giving. You could earn up to $120 per year just by paying your balance! Unfortunately, this card became unavailable for new sign-ups last May though existing cards remain as is. While the card had no sign-up bonus, it was worth getting if you kept it open for several years as the rewards would eventually add up to a decent chunk of change. Lucky for me, I’ll continue earning my free $120 per year as long as I can.

Final Thoughts

Credit card products come and go, and unfortunately we had to let a few good cards go in 2017. However, we have a lot to look forward to in 2018 with new Hilton products from Amex and new credit cards from Marriott. Who knows what else is in store for 2018!

Did you miss out on any of these cards in 2017?

 

 

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