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New Year’s Eve! Recap of 2019

As we close out 2019, we continue with our year-end series to recapping out wish list from the beginning of the year. This report card is a continuation from our mid-term report back on Canada Day.

Keep in mind that all wishes are generally a win/win/win scenario for everyone (loyalty company, retailer and customer) involved in the transaction.

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

1) Incentives to Retain Credit Cards

The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card added a nice retention offer (earn 10,000 bonus points for spending at least $40,000 annually) which offsets most of the $139 annual fee.

The other existing cards that already offer a nice retention (regular offer, i.e. not counting what you call in for) include:

  • American Express Marriott Bonvoy Card (annual Free Night Award)
  • American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business Card (annual free night award)
  • MBNA Alaska Airlines World Elite MasterCard (annual companion pass)
  • RBC WestJet World Elite MasterCard (annual companion pass)
  • RBC British Airways Visa Infinite Card (companion award ticket)

Overall, I am happy to see one company step up to the plate.

Grade: B+ 

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

2016… 2017… 2018… 2019… still nothing… yikes. I guess at least there were no discontinuations this year so we are not giving the bottom mark.

Grade: E

3) A Brand New Transferable Points Program

I am still hoping that Capital One to introduce something similar to what they did in the United States. That being said, the American Express Business Edge Card was added to the Membership Rewards portfolio. Even though it is not a brand new transferable program, it does add to the competition. But because it is not a competently different program, I cannot give a higher score.

Grade: D

4) More Progress Towards High Speed Trains

CBC wrote an article over a week ago which tried to answer the big question: Will Canada ever get high-speed rail? The article is not very positive, but at least we know that VIA Rail is working on something (in the Quebec City – Toronto corridor) to increase the speeds of trains by adding more designated rail lines. That’s still a step in the right direction for me. I may upgrade the score in a future year once the trains start running properly and passengers feel the difference.

Grade: B+ 

Conclusion

Overall, I think that we had a decent year. Generally my wish list is a long shot and it has not done so great in previous years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018).

Did I miss any improvements this year? Please let us know in the comment section below. Until then…

… the day is young, so enjoy the rest of 2019 and I will see you tomorrow, in the New Year, wish my 2020 wish list!

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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