Vermonster wrote:For me, many of the airline cards offer little value. I have never been brand loyal to an airline, I am price loyal. The few times a year we do travel never need a checked bag, and rarely have a layover long enough to use a lounge. From my experience Delta is at least 10% more expensive than another flight which wipes out any savings I would get from a Delta card.
Airline cards also tend to offer little incentive to use the card outside of buying tickets for that airline. I think cards like the CSP and EDP offer better rewards to us regular spenders that aren't hopping on a jet every month. I think if either of those AF goes up to $125 it puts it in the same category of the Gold.
Airline cards are great for some people (those who are loyal to an airline, fly often, check bags, and/or fly with a companion who also has a bag).
One airline card I don't get is Citi AA Gold. It has a good signup bonus for a $50 AF card, but I don't see why anyone would keep it past the first year. It doesn't offer a free checked bag or lounge access - just boring rewards and savings on in-flight purchases. If someone flies AA enough to really benefit from savings on in-flight purchases, then that person would probably be better off getting a higher-tier Citi AA card.
EDP and CSP can justify the AFs easily - at least with my spending. I know Chase did some trial run of CSP at higher annual fees, but I think they are back to $95 for everyone.
I could see EDP with a higher AF. Maybe Amex thinks it's too new to be nerfed without irritating customers, but Amex seems intent on raising fees, and EDP seems too good a value as it is. They could also raise the 30-swipe threshold to 40 or reduce the 50% bonus to 25%. EDP already has the $6k grocery constraint that BCP once suffered, so I don't think BCP can give hints.
On the other hand, maybe Amex wants to keep value-focused EDP customers and won't nerf the card for a while. Maybe they figure that most of the people who still have the Gold won't object to further nerfing.