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My 2021 Predictions for the Miles and Points World

Note that predictions and wish list (from yesterday) are slightly different from each other. A wish list is more of a long shot, but really nice to have. A prediction is something likely to happen whether good or bad. That being said, I focus on more positive geared predictions as the idea is we want to focus on competition. Pointshogger focuses on maximising (not minimising) rewards for Canadians! 

Back in 2016, I began a tradition of trying to predict the travel / rewards market in Canada. The first year was rough, but it got better over the years. How did it go in 2020?

Below are my previous scores:

Recap of 2020

Let’s see how I did in 2020:

  • New co-branded airline or hotel credit card: This item was on my wish list as well. Normally wish list items are a long shot, but I really thought there was enough momentum in the works to build up towards this item. Unfortunately, this did not come through, so 0/1.
  • Credit card company crashing: Two words: Capital One, 1/1
  • One of the Canadian airlines is going to make a bold move: Air Canada probably made the most moves this year to up their game. For me to get points on this one, another airline would need to make a bold move to compete with Air Canada. The only one I can come up with is Flair Airlines with its unlimited flight pass, but not enough to get full marks, so 0.5/1.

I finished 2020 with a 1.5/3 score, which is lower than last year.

Predictions for 2021

Looking back, I realise now that I was probably a little aggressive with my predictions last year. I was going to double down this year and be aggressive again. But there is so much uncertain in the industry that I feel that my conservative predictions are long shots already. So let’s try these:

1) A retail program becoming more competitive

Right now, I would say PC Optimum, Air Miles and Scene Rewards are some of the more competitive retail loyalty programs out there. Most would say they are not yet as lucrative as hotel and frequent flyer programs. But I think this might be the year that someone steps up in a big way, since travel is taking such a big hit. At the very least, the door is wide open for someone to step up. So I expect that either one of the three above mentioned companies take a big leap or someone else makes the jump!

2) A new kid (credit card) in town

Two years ago, I predicted that we will see a new revolutionary card. Last year there was none, and I did not predict it either. Two years later, I think we are due to see one. The reason I say this is because spending habits have changed quite a bit in Canada, so the market is open for something new!

3) Airline or hotel merger

With the airline and hotel industry taking such a beating, I think it’s only a matter of time before we see another merger. I kept it more broad by mentioning airline or hotel, so for me to get full marks, we need to see a significant merger, not simply a buyout of one of the smaller boutique chains by a major company.

What are your predictions for 2021? Please let us know in the comment section below!


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