Happy New Year! 2021 Wish List

Happy New Year Everyone!!

A new year means a new wish list. Note that we 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. The 3 wins includes the loyalty company, credit card company and customer. Furthermore, most items on the wish list are long shots, which means that it is not easy to get a high grade. But that is what makes it so much fun for me!

Grading System

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)
  • Awesome job
  • B+ Good job
  • B Decent, met expectations
  • Acceptable
  • Better than nothing 
  • E Nothing changed, no improvements
  • F Fail, went backwards

Now onto the wish list. Note that I also ranked what my most pressing wishes in order of preference.

1) A sense of normality to travelling

2020 was a rough overall year for the travel industry. So my first item on the wish list is that I hope to see some sense of normality by the end of 2021. It might be too much to ask for beginning of the year, but hopefully by the end of the year everyone can travel like normal again. With all this talk of the “new normal”, maybe what I should really say is: “travel more freely”. Either way, I just hope that people can travel without so many restrictions by the end of the year!

2) Either a new co-branded airline or hotel loyalty credit card

This item seems to be such a long shot year after year, so I changed the wording slightly. I am just hoping to see a NEW co-branded airline or hotel loyalty credit card. Which means, that it needs to be a company without an existing partnership in Canada, so existing companies will not be able to participate here. For example, it cannot be Air Canada expanding its relationship with another financial institution, but it can be IHG Rewards who does not currently have any relationship with any company. I will give partial credit if we see an expanded partnership, such as American Airlines is only a transferable partner of RBC Avion, but does not offer any co-branded credit card that earn miles directly.

Basically, we really want to see more competition!

3) One credit card company cracking the top 7

We recently published our post: Ranking the Credit Card Portfolios of Each Canadian Financial Institutions. In that list, I hope to see a company jump into the top 7 and knock someone out. Two companies would be better, but let’s go with one, as it is tough enough already.

The reason for this item is because with Capital One Canada (almost knocked out) and Chase Canada (completely knocked out) down and pretty much out, I would like to see some other companies step up and fill their shoes. What better than having someone crack out top 7 list and apply some pressure to the existing companies by dropping someone down the list!

4) More Progress Towards High Speed Trains

In the event that item 1 on this wish list does not come true. Or the “new normal” really does come out, I expect to see more travel / vacationing within Canada. All the more reason to have a better train system.

It is a pipe dream, which is why it is on my wish list!

5) A Brand New Transferable Points Program

I still believe that CIBC Aventura or Scotiabank Rewards will eventually expand their program to be transferable at some point in time. At least, I feel that it is in the works, but lots of details to work out. But at this point, even though I feel that those two companies are the closest ones to offering this, I would be even happier if another company decided to step up instead. I’m looking at BMO Rewards or even Air Miles?!

6) Incentives to Retain Credit Cards for the Long Haul

I normally cap my list at 5 items, but going to get a little greedier this year and go for 6 items. There has been a lot of progress made on this wish item (e.g. Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card offering 10,000 Scotia Rewards bonus points after spending $40,000 annually), which is why I dropped it to the bottom of the list. But with American Express really clamping down on churners (i.e. shutting down accounts without notice), let’s continue to see more progress here. By offering more incentives to retain credit cards for the long haul, it will reduce the need for churning for sign up bonuses, which I feel is a win/win for the industry and consumers.

What is on your wish list? Please let us know in the comment section below!


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