Happy New Year!!
Below is my 2020 wish list. Note that I generally provide a mid-term report on Canada Day (July 1) and a final report on New Year’s Eve. To be fair, all wishes need to be a win/win/win scenario for everyone involved in the transaction, which includes the loyalty company, the retailer and the customer.
I also ranked what my most pressing wishes in order of preference.
1) More Co-Branded Airline and Hotel Loyalty Credit Cards
This has been the most frustrating wish year after year with no progress. It has been years that any new co-branded airline or hotel credit cards have been introduced to the market. Can you even remember the last one? (AMEX Marriott Bonvoy doesn’t count as it was a transition from AMEX SPG).
So this wish is going to firmly stay in first place until it happens.
2) A Brand New Transferable Points Program
If we cannot fulfill the first wish, I can settle with this second wish. For this wish to be complete, it needs to be a brand new program similar to American Express Membership Rewards, HSBC Rewards or RBC Avion. An expansion of the Scotia Rewards program would be nice too (e.g. adding airline and hotel transfer partners).
3) Incentives to Retain Credit Cards
Last year saw some decent progress with the new Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card adding a retention offer (earn 10,000 bonus points for spending at least $40,000 annually) which offsets most of the $139 annual fee. So I am shifting this wish down the list as it is less pressing, but I am still hoping that we can pick up from last year and continue the trend of adding more to the market.
4) More Progress Towards High Speed Trains
I will be watching VIA Rail’s current High Frequency project (in the Quebec City – Toronto corridor) very closely this year as I do believe that it is a game changer for the region. Depending on its potential success, it should set the tonne for more projects across the country, which is what I am looking for.
5) One Credit Card Company Stepping up in a Big Way
As we start a new decade, I think it’s about time that one company really stepped up its game in a big way to shake up the industry. This is in reference to my Ranking the Credit Card Portfolios of Each Canadian Financial Institutions post that I publish once or twice a year (depending on how many significant changes to the industry).
In the past decade, we saw the collapse of Capital One and Chase Canada, as well as the rise of American Express (completely running away with first place) and HBSC making the jump up to the big leagues (albeit still some kinks to work out). I am hoping to see another HSBC this year stepping up in a big way.
I went back to my usual 5 wishes per year because of a relatively successful 2019. Basically I will keep the list shorter when I am not hopeful, but a longer list when I am more hopeful.
More importantly, what would you like to see in 2020? Please let us know in the comment section below!