With all the controversy surrounding Canada Day, we might not have as much flair today, but our mid-term report is still going ahead since this has to do with miles and points world! This post is the halfway mark of 2021. We published our 2021 New Year’s wish list back on January 1st and the final report will be published on New Year’s Eve.
Keep in mind that all wishes are generally a win/win/win scenario for everyone (rewards company, retailer and customer) involved in the transaction.
Here’s a quick recap of the grading system:
- A+ Exceeding expectations with nothing more to improve on (almost impossible to achieve this grade, but I listed it to put some perspective on the spectrum)
- A Awesome job
- B+ Good job
- B Decent, met expectations
- C Acceptable
- D Better than nothing
- E Nothing changed, no improvements
- F Fail, went backwards
Now onto the mid-term report card of our wish list. Note that the items are listed in the order of preference.
1) A sense of normality to travelling
For this item we are using 2020 as the benchmark. So far in 2021, travel seems to have loosen up worldwide, however, Canada actually tighten its travel restrictions at the start of the year with the mandatory hotel quarantine rules for air travelers, along with the proof of negative Covid test result when crossing any border. Some of the rules are set to be relaxed a bit on July 5, 2021 onward, however, they will still be stricter than in 2020. Unfortunately, that means this item gets a failing grade. Hope to see a turnaround before the end of the year!
2) Either a new co-branded airline or hotel loyalty credit card
Hoping for a new high profile travel credit card seems to be a pipe dream at this point in time. I thought with the travel industry way down, it might have been an opportunity for loyalty companies to team up with a credit card company to generate some cash flow. Basically, loyalty companies sell their miles and points to credit card issuers, who then distributes those rewards to cardholders. Regardless of what the roadblocks are, there is still no progress on this item to date.
3) One credit card company cracking the top 7
Our last Rankings post was on December 1, 2021, but nothing much has changed since then, which is why we have yet to post an updated list. We did see a few unique temporary promotional offers from credit card issuers, but no new permanent cards that would have significant movement in the rankings. So for now, this gets a stagnant grade.
4) More Progress Towards High Speed Trains
There has been some discussion on introducing hyperloop (i.e. ultra-high-speed travel) between Calgary and Edmonton. Some argue that now is the time for Canada to introduce high speed trains, especially because the Canadian economy took a hit and investing in infrastructures that can benefit a lot of people would be a good move.
There seems to be a lot of talk (e.g. like support for a study for high speed trains), but still no action. But at least there seems to be a consensus that we should have high speed trains in Canada, but justifying and footing the bill for it is another story.
5) A Brand New Transferable Points Program
For this item, I would have settled for a company who would have expanded their transferable points program, such as in December 2020 with the American Express Choice Card which was a nice addition to the industry allowing people to obtain a no annual fee card which earns points that are transferable to Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors. However, there is so far nothing new in 2021. There is still time before the end of the year.
6) Incentives to Retain Credit Cards for the Long Haul
We did see some higher sign up bonus incentives offered by different companies. But that’s just the nugget for the initial sign up of the credit card. What I am looking for is rewarding spenders. Basically, by offering annual bonuses for a certain amount of spending, it would encourage cardholders to retain their credit cards beyond the first year and decrease the amount of churning (i.e. theoretically decrease the number of people who cancel their cards before the first year anniversary). As much as I like a good sign up bonus, I would think that less churning is a win/win/win scenario.
The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card is the perfect example of what I am suggesting (see item in bold):
- $139 annual fee
- Earn 30,000 Scotia Rewards sign up bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months (if you apply before July 1, 2021)
- Earn 10,000 Scotia Rewards bonus points after spending $40,000 in a calendar year
Either way, there have been no improvements here so far this year.
Based on the self-evaluated scores that I have been giving out, I think I may have been quite ambitious on my wish list. Which is why this is a wish list and not a prediction. Either way, I do hope to see some improvement before the end of the year.
What are your thoughts about our wish list? Please let us know in the comment section below!