New Year’s Eve! Recap of 2016

Another year has gone by. So once again, our annual tradition of recapping what I was hoping to see at the beginning of the year. We already did a mid-year report on Canada Day, so this is just closing the loop.

Tomorrow, I will writing about my wishes for the new year. For now, let’s close out this year’s report card (yes, I plan to start adding a grading)!

Here’s how my grading system works:

  • 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
  • Acceptable
  • Better than nothing 
  • E Nothing changed, no improvements
  • F Fail, went backwards

1) Strong Year for Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses

It is confirmed, 2016 has officially become the year of the credit cards! The latest one since 2013. This was an awesome year for higher than normal sign up bonuses.

What I mean by the year of the credit cards is that this was a really strong year for added sign up bonus promotions and offers across the board.

Grade: A

2) Incentives to Retain Credit Cards

This wish has always been long shot. The Delta Air Lines and IHG Rewards co-branded credit cards used to offer some decent spending bonuses that help justify the annual fee. Spending bonuses are essentially the best way to provide an incentive to retain a credit card, because the bonus received should at least help justify the annual fee.

I have always felt that these incentives are a win/win scenario. Unfortunately we did not see any improvement throughout the year.

Grade: E

3) More Co-Branded Airline and Hotel Loyalty Credit Cards

No movement here at all throughout the year. At the very least, I was hoping to see American Express Membership Rewards or RBC Avion add a new airlines or hotel transfer partner.

Grade: E

4) More Cash Back Credit Cards

There were 4 new cash back credit cards worth mentioning. Compared to item number 3, I would say that’s a pretty good job. I can’t give the extra + because there was no new credit card that is competitive enough to make a dent in the market.

We saw the addition of:

Grade: B

5) Improved Safety and Security for Travellers

I think that airlines and border security agencies are doing what they can to help ensure a safe travel environment. There is always improvement that could be made, but it costs money.

  • B Good job, meets expectations


  1. I may have raised #3 a level simply because of the fact that you can transfer Membership Rewards points to Marriott now through SPG. I took advantage with the travel packages due to this. Better than nothing!

    1. Very true. Though it wasn’t AMEX’S doing to increase that value. So I’ll leave the ratings be. Thanks for pointing it out!

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