Vattené wrote:I got it a little before they took it down. Had I known at the time that applications would be closing soon I may not have applied for it, but I have it now so I'll get the most out of it I can while it lasts and just have to see what my options are when it is inevitably discontinued. It's a cash back card, so it's not like I'm building up points in a system that will be dead soon. The rewards will be just as useful up until the point that the card finally dies.
I agree basically the only people that knew about it were probably people using it for 5% and little else. I think the SM may have had better chances if it weren't such a niche card. If it were marketed more heavily (and not co-branded with Sallie Mae student loans or at least made more clear you don't need Sallie Mae student loans to get value from the card), more of the general public may have gotten it and it may have had more use as a general spending card overall. Ah well, that's just the nature of rewards programs. It's nice if they last a long time, but one can't rely on it.
Right. Other than rotating cards like Freedom and Discover, pretty much every 5% card has either been discontinued (Citi Forward, Sallie Mae), or changed considerably (Cash+). Permanent 5% cards just don't seem to be sustainable. The rewards programs that have stuck around longer are the more "basic" ones: 1% on purchases, 2-3% on certain things. While those are unexciting to us, those are the ones that are likely sustainable. If Citi doesn't make expected profit with the Double Cash I have no doubt in my mind it will be pulled eventually for example. Quicksilver with 1.5% is probably borderline, but Capital One has a lot of "starter" customers who likely pay interest (at 23% etc) so that probably helps.
I agree had it not had the "Sallie Mae" branding it may have been more popular but I doubt Barclay's would have offered it as just a straight Barclay offering. I assume because it was cobranded, some of the costs were shared. As you stated, it's cash, not points, so it's expensive compared to points systems (where the issuer can change the value around to suit their profit needs).