As we close out 2022, we continue with our year-end series of grading our wish list from our first post of the year. This report card is a continuation of our yearly mid-term report back on Canada Day (July 1st of every year).
Keep in mind that all wishes have the goal of being a win/win/win scenario for everyone involved (credit card issuer, customer and third party loyalty company), so that it is fair across the board. In some cases it is just win/win because one party is not involved (e.g. a credit card company who offers an in-house loyalty program and the customer as the only other party).
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)
- A Awesome job
- B+ Good job
- B Decent, met expectations
- C Acceptable
- D Better than nothing
- E Nothing changed, no improvements
- F Fail, went backwards
Now, onto grading how we finished the year.
1) Either a new co-branded airline or hotel loyalty credit card
Exactly what I said during the mid-term report: “For years now, still no progress here. Not even a rumour to work with?”
I have included this item on my wish list since the first entry in 2015. It started back then because that was when we saw a series of closures including Capital One’s Delta SkyMiles and IHG Rewards, as well as MBNA’s Choice Privleges co-branded credit cards. I was hoping someone else would step up and fill some of the void that was left behind. But it has been so many years, yet still nothing. To make matters worse, we saw the end of the MBNA Alaska Airlines, as well as the Best Western co-branded credit cards. Two major hits to the industry.
At the mid-term we had an “E”, but now we have to switch to a failing grade…
UPDATE- As per comment from Patrick S, new Air France co-branded Brim credit card was introduced in 2022. New grade below. This balances things out from the recent closures.
2) One credit card company making a significant jump
We recently posted our rankings (see: Ranking the Credit Card Portfolios of Each Canadian Financial Institutions). There were some minor changes to the list, but no one company made a significant jump.
Scotiabank is now fairly solid in second place, due to TD’s drop and Scene+ expanding its rewards program. Also, Rogers Bank expanded with the Connections credit card to their portfolio which now further separates them from the companies ranked below them, but not enough to leapfrog the ones above. They are trying to make some noise in 2023.
We will see how that plays out, but at least it is better than nothing.
3) More Progress Towards High Speed Trains
More progress here since our mid-term report, with the Federal Government making an announcement on October 31, 2022: Government of Canada advances the procurement process for High Frequency Rail. VIA Rail continues to work to increase the speeds of trains between its Québec City-Montréal-Ottawa-Toronto corridor. The Request for Qualifications is anticipated to begin in early 2023, so hopefully this continues to move in the right direction.
Overall, more progress was made since the mid-term, so we can even most the score up a notch!
4) A Brand New Transferable Points Program or New Partnership
Scotiabank and Scene+ teamed up last year, but they made some major upgrades to their points program this year. They are still missing the ability to transfer to partner airlines and hotels. With Scotiabank playing a much bigger role with Scene+, they have the ability to really expand the program further.
This wish item has been a staple for years now, but now that we saw so much progress with Scene+. Unlike item #1 (mentioned above) I can now pull this off my wish list for the foreseeable future.
5) One Airline other than Air Canada Breaking Out
Flair Airlines really took their business up another level this year and close out the year strong with a major expansion of their service. Even though they had some hiccups along the way, hopefully this sets them up for an even stronger 2023. I would love to see Flair Airlines be a top 3 airline in Canada in the coming years, while keeping their business model as is.
Furthermore, Porter Airlines is expanding westward by adding a flight between Toronto (YYZ) and Vancouver (YVR). That is a significant move that would put them in direct competitive with Air Canada and WestJet. Looks like moving to Pearson airport has opened up a few more doors for Porter.
I am looking forward to seeing what these two companies have in store in 2023 to heat up the competition!
Keep in mind that the wish list is always a long shot to begin with, so any sort of progress is always a win in my books. Last year ended up being the strongest year ever in terms of fulfilling my wish list. This year looks to have finished at about the same!
Tomorrow we will release out 2022 wish list. In the meantime, what are your thoughts about our wish list? Please let us know in the comment section below!