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Happy New Year! Starting 2015

As 2014 came to a close, I am hoping to see many more new initiatives in 2015. The year 2013 was the year of the credit card sign up bonuses, so I thought there was a lot of momentum going into 2014. However, 2014 had way less significant sign up bonuses and promotions compared to 2013. So hopefully an off year means a bounce back year in 2015.

Below are my 2015 wishes from financial institutions, loyalty programs and the transportation industry:

1) More transfer bonuses between programs. RBC Rewards (Avion) has its fair share of transfer bonuses in 2014, but nothing that we have no seen before. American Express Membership Rewards continues to remain still. Transfer bonuses to Aeroplan have remain status quo. So going into 2015, I am hoping to see some older transfer bonuses revived or some new transfer bonuses that we have no seen before.

2) More incentive to retain a credit card beyond the first year fee waived. It is no secret that first year fees waived encourage us to sign up for credit cards. But the annual fees make us want to cancel the credit cards. If credit card companies offered spend requirement incentives, we may have more incentive the retain the credit card and pay the annual fee. For instance, if there was a requirement that we spend $10,000 per year and we receive the annual fee waived the following year. It is so easy to come up with an incentive to help us out on this fee factor that pushes us to want to cancel the credit card.

3) More co-branded credit cards. Co-branded credit cards are an affiliation between a loyalty program and a credit card. For example, a credit card that earns Aeroplan points. With the loss of several co-branded credit cards (e.g. Best Buy Reward Zone and Choice Privileges) this past year. I feel like there is an opportunity for more loyalty programs in Canada to have an affiliated credit card. That would really help promote that loyalty program. There are still so many airlines and hotel programs that do not have a credit card in Canada that earns their points, so I would like to see more choices.

4) More reward availability. I feel that there are just too many blackout dates or very limited rewards to choose from. Companies probably prefer to keep it this way, but it is definitely frustrating for customers.

5) Improved safety and security for travellers. I believe that I will always include this factor as a wish of mine. This is probably the most important factor of all and we can never be too safe. So long as we find a balance between being disruptive to passengers to go along with safety and security.

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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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