Back on New Year’s eve, I made a few recommendations to financial institutions, loyalty programs and the transportation industry. Then on July 1, 2014, I had a Mid-Year Report. Now we can do a full year’s report.
talked about how 2013 was a great year for credit card sign up bonuses. I also talked about what I would like to see in 2014. Since we are at the mid-point of the year, this is a great opportunity to revisit my recommendations :
1) Stop devaluations.
The first half of 2014 was pretty bad with all the devaluations. But the second half was less brutal. Though to be fair, most companies make their changes in the first half of the year. That is why I always recommend to diversify our points portfolio because some companies are hit less hard than others, but we never know which one will take the largest hit.
Result: Average. Not too good, not too bad.
2) I would like to see loyalty programs and financial institutions make some bolder moves at improving their programs so that they can capitalize on a bigger market share.
This past year, 2014, was actually the year of the discontinued products. We also saw a lot less higher than normal sign up bonuses. It seems like companies did well enough in 2013 to earn their market share that they took a rest in 2014.
Result: Poor, decreased competition.
3) I’ve been waiting for more transfer bonuses between programs.
Result: Below average. We saw promotions that we’ve seen before, so mostly status quo and nothing new and exciting.
4) Hopefully credit cards sign-up bonuses will continue to increase and first year annual fees waived.
Seems like we went backwards. We started the year with more credit cards waiving its annual fee and we ended the year with significantly less competition.
Result: Poor. Not much more to say about this other than hope for a better 2015.
5) Higher cash back credit cards that have no annual fee.
We saw new no annual fee cash back credit cards issued by American Express, Canadian Tire and Capital One which can be found in the Top No Annual Fee Cash Back Credit Cards page. I would say this is a win on this category!
Result: Very good. Glad to see some exciting new products for this factor.
6) I hope to see improved safety and security for travellers.
Result: Always room for improvement.