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Happy New Year! 2023 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 have the goal of being a win/win/win scenario for everyone: “loyalty company, credit card company and customer”. In some cases it is just win/win because one party is not involved; for example a credit card company who offers in-house loyalty program with the customer as the other party.

Grading System

Before we get going, below is a 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.

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

I’ve had this on my wish list pretty much since I started this list back in 2015. This makes the 9th year in a row. The first few years felt like a long shot to begin with, considering 2015 was the year we had 3 major closures: In 2015, we saw the end of two major co-branded card: Capital One Delta SkyMiles credit cards and Capital One IHG Reward credit cards. Now it is coming up on a decade.

Furthermore, last year, we saw the end of MBNA’s Alaska Airlines and Best Western co-branded cards too.

So, I am definitely going to be stubborn, now more than ever, this HAS TO BE the year that we see a new co-branded credit card!!

UPDATESlight correction, Air France introduced a co-branded credit card in 2022. So my wish item is not as exaggerated as mentioned above. But two major closures last year balanced out the new card. So my wish item stays the same, hope to see more co-branded cards introduced to the market, hopefully was just the beginning!

2) Overall enhancements to train service in Canada

Over the years, I have always hoped to see more high speed trains. It is still a long way to go, but it seems like they are moving that along. However, those high speed trains only cover the busier Windsor to Quebec City corridor. But what about the rest of the country?

Hopefully, we will see more expansion and upgrade ideas elsewhere in the country for improved rail service.

3) Major upgrade to an existing loyalty program

In past years, I have always hoped for a new loyalty program who will add airline and hotel transfer partners. That has not happened yet. But last year, we did see some major upgrades to the Scene+ program due to their stronger partnership with Scotiabank, who really set the standard for me in recent years. They really made some major enhancements to their program (albeit at the expensive of Air Miles). So now my hope is that someone else will also take the leap. Otherwise, we end up being very top heavy in Canada in terms of loyalty programs.

Furthermore, cash back offers are too competitive these days that smaller loyalty companies can start falling behind. Maybe it will take a merger, but I really do hope to see a company step up in a big way!

Thoughts

Instead of going for quantity, I am going for quality this year. I wanted to put more emphasis on the 3 mentioned above, so I am going to cap it here. Any upgrades to the ones listed today is already a huge deal for Canada. So let’s hope we see something happen!

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

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