Predictions has yet to be a yearly tradition for me, but I may start.
Recap of 2016
Last year, I did not fair too well. All things considered, I think I was essentially 0.5/3. Here’s a quick recap of last year:
- Discontinuation of the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest co-branded credit cards (looks like I was 1 year too early, seems more like it will be discontinued this year).
- Elimination of Chase Canada (one prediction that I am glad that I am wrong about, the merger between Marriott and Starwood may actually have solidify Chase Canada).
- Continuation of a Competitive Cash Back Credit Cards Market (this is where I am giving myself 0.5, because there were 4 minor cash back credit cards being introduced to the market this past year).
If you are curious, below are the 4 new cash back credit cards of 2016:
- National Bank Echo MasterCard
- ICICI Bank Rubyx Visa Platinum
- Laurentian Bank Visa Dollars
- Desjardins Cash Back World MasterCard
Predictions for 2017
So let’s give the new year a try.
1) Devaluations With Air Miles
This one is probably inevitable. With the new law being introduced by the government of Ontario and Air Miles cancelling their would-have-been 5 year hard cap expiry, I can’t see how Air Miles is going to retain their current reward redemption schedule.
2) Another Increase in the Cash Back Credit Card Market
Yes, I am making this prediction again. I really do feel that the industry is shifting towards a cash back approach. Credit card companies are going to capitalize on people’s frustration with loyalty companies (especially due to expiry policies and reward redemption devaluations).
Cash back is just so much easier to predict for consumers. And generally, you may have already noticed that credit card companies do not offer lucrative sign up bonuses with cash back credit cards, which seems more profitable to me from their perspective.
3) One company will step out of the shadows
The last time we saw one of the smaller credit card companies step out of the shadows and really make a bang is Capital One when it teamed up with Costco. It really put them on the map. I am expecting another big bang this year. Let’s see which one of these smaller credit card companies it will be…