Back in 2016, I began a new tradition of trying to predict the travel / rewards market in Canada. The first year was rough, but it got better over the years. How did it go this year though?
Below are my previous scores:
Recap of 2019
Let’s see how I did in 2019.
- New Revolutionary Card: We added two new game changer cards to the industry this year, both business cards: American Express Business Edge Card and Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Business Card. I was going to give myself 0.5 for each, as they are not super significant, but because there are two new cards, we can add them up (0.5 + 0.5) for 1/1.
- New Co-branded Airline or Hotel card: This wish and prediction has to come true at some point no? Still a no go this year, so 0/1
- One of the Canadian Airlines is going to make a bold move: I really thought one of the airlines was going to step up in a big way to compete with Air Canada. Porter and Air Transit were about to team up with Aeroplan and it would have been a game changer for them. Instead, in 2019, we saw Air Canada taking even more steps by attempting to buyout Air Transit. I really thought Porter, specifically, was going to do something big after missing out on teaming up with Aeroplan, but that did not surface. WestJet was more of a long shot. But we have to give credit where credit is due, Air Canada’s $13 billion buyout is a major move, so 1/1.
I finished 2019 with a 2/3 score, tied with last year.
Predictions for 2020
Let’s try again this year!
1) New Co-branded Airline or Hotel card
This has to be the year! I cannot even remember the last time we saw a new co-branded airline or hotel card. Can you? From what I understand, some credit card companies are in negotiations (or at least keeping their eye out) in trying to find a partner that works, but nothing has gone through yet. This should be there year where something.
The reason I say this is because Air Canada is going to be fully integrated with Aeroplan in June 2020, and if they maintain their partnerships with AMEX, CIBC and TD, they essentially have monopoly in the market in this sphere. I don’t think anyone expects a smooth transition in terms of fully integration from Aeroplan to Air Canada.
So this is the year for someone to jump on competing, especially during the glitches, right?
2) Credit Card Company Crashing
I usually try to keep my posts as positive as possible, but with so much new competition being introduced to the market (namely lots of companies offering cash back or fixed rewards credit cards), I think the bubble is about to burst and someone is going to come crashing down.
This prediction was triggered by the popular no-foreign-transaction fee card, Home Trust Preferred Visa Card, who is devaluing its card where we will no longer earn cash back on foreign purchases. I expect a lot people will give up their card, which is a preview of what is to come with some other companies as I do not feel that the cash back competition is sustainable.
This is probably one prediction that I am fine with it not coming true though!
3) One of the Canadian Airlines is going to make a bold move
With Air Canada / Aeroplan being fully integrated in June 2020, I think that at least one of the other major Canadian Airlines is going to make a splash to try to compete. Otherwise, Air Canada will end up having an even larger monopoly in Canada, which I do not see happening.
What are your predictions for 2020? Please let us know in the comment section below!