Happy New Year!!
A new year, also means a new wish list! Below is our 2018 wish list, which we will provide a mid-term report on Canada Day (July 1) and a final report on New Year’s Eve.
To be fair, I believe that my wishes are a win/win/win scenario for everyone involved in the transaction.
1) Incentives to Retain Credit Cards
At some point, I would hope one credit card company would catch on to this idea. So it is going to continue to be my primary wish list item until I see it as a regular occurrence. Keep in mind that this item is specifically related to credit cards with annual fees. Generally, you can call credit card companies to ask for a retention offer, which I wrote an extensive post about. However, retention offers are not system wide, they are dealt with case by case. Furthermore, if you do not make that phone call, you are generally not offered anything.
I am looking for system wide retention offers that people know up front. Where I believe that credit card companies can come out ahead is that it will reduce the amount of churning.
2) More Co-Branded Airline and Hotel Loyalty Credit Cards
2017 came and went without a single new airline or hotel partnership with any credit card company. I hope that 2018 will be different, because it is very slim pickings at the moment. There are only 2 co-branded hotel credit cards (Best Western and SPG), and 3 co-branded airline credit cards (Aeroplan, Alaska Airlines, WestJet). Technically, we do have transfer partners with American Express, HSBC and RBC, but I think there is room for more partners.
3) A Brand New Transferable Points Program
As mentioned above, Canada technically has 3 transferable points programs (HSBC, Membership Rewards, RBC Avion). However, I think that we are due for a new program with at least 5 transfer partners to major airline and hotel loyalty programs.
CIBC went backwards with its Aventura program, by eliminating Aeroplan as a transfer partner. BMO may have a slim chance with its BMO Rewards programs. However, I think that Scocitabank is the leading candidate with its Scotia Rewards program.
If I had to choose, I would prefer seeing one of the smaller credit card companies take this leap instead, so that they can compete with the bigger credit card companies.
4) High Speed Train
Last year, I asked for improved rail service, but I will just be direct this year. I would like to see a high speed train, at least for parts of Canada. A pipe dream would be a high speed rail connecting us to the United States, especially between some of the major cites. I would start with the Toronto-Montreal-Boston-New York route.
To be fair, I am only looking for a concrete announcement. Obviously it will be highly unlikely to announce and build everything within 2018. But feel free to prove me wrong!
5) One Credit Card Company to make Significant Strides
Every few months release my credit card company rankings. There are slight changes here and there. Aside from HSBC this year, there has yet to be a credit card company making a huge leap up the rankings. There are company who have a huge drop though.
I hope that this is the year that one company really steps out of the shadows and make a bold move.
6) Improved Safety and Security for Travellers
Even though we can never be 100% safe, there is always room from improvement. One wish that I will always have is for everyone to arrive safely at their intended destination.