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Changes to the Air Miles Reward Redemption

According to a report by CBC News, it looks like Air Miles decided to change up their reward options. Air Miles has been accused of hiding reward options for certain members.

Apparently, Air Miles finally admitted that they previously gave members access to different rewards based on their individual personal preferences. Whatever that means??

New Reward Program

Going forward, Air Miles claims that members will have access to rewards based on their status level (i.e. blue, gold or onyx). This essentially confirms that individuals do have access to different reward redemptions. This makes the program extremely inconsistent. Again, what does personal preference even mean? What if our preferences change? Or just because we may buy something 100 times, there will be that 1 time that we will want to redeem that 1 item that is missing, because it is an item that is only a one-time purchase anyway.

Status Qualification

Below are the requirements to qualify for the different statuses:

  • Blue (free sign up)
  • Gold (collect at least 1,000 miles in a calendar year)
  • Onyx (collect at least 6,000 miles in a calendar year)

The one beauty of Air Miles is that you do not need to have “qualifying miles”. Every mile counts!

Essentially, the higher the status you have, the more access to rewards you will have.

Sneaky Move

I am fairly disappointed by Air Miles with this move. First of all, now we have confirmation that they were hiding reward options from certain customers. Furthermore, they already gave elite status members special access and discounts to certain reward options anyway. So this isn’t really a new initiative.

Playing Right Into Their Hands / Devil’s Advocate

To be fair, I think this is a smart business move by Air Miles. Once the expiry policy kicks in on December 31, 2016, I am fairly certain that a bunch of miles are going to expire, and this is really going to help Air Miles’ bottom line.

Furthermore, this move will weed out all the people who are not interested in going through all these obstacles to keep up with the program changes, devaluations, etc. The people who will stick around are people who fully understand their system. Therefore, once they write off all those miles, they will have the extra cash to launch some new initiatives for loyal customers instead.

Who’s Giving this Up?

Personally, I am going to keep using Air Miles, because I have been earning and burning, so I will not have any miles expiring on December 31, 2016. But I am very curious, because I have my doubts on whether that many people are actually going to give up their membership.

So by a show of hands, who’s actually giving up the Air Miles program?

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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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