Air Miles announces changes to rewards program
Published Tuesday, March 14, 2017 10:34AM EDT
Air Miles is making changes to its program in an apparent bid to appease cardholders still angry by an unpopular points expiry policy.
The rewards program has announced it is bringing in changes to make it easier for cardholders with fewer miles to access rewards. Now, up to 40 per cent of the merchandise in the Air Miles catalogue will be available through a combination of cash and Miles.
Previously, only selected items were available for “Cash and Miles.”
As well, while all members will be able to access the online rewards catalogue, the program’s Gold and Onyx level members -- Air Miles’ “most engaged collectors” -- will be entitled to tiered pricing.
Gold collectors will be able to receive up to 10 per cent off the merchandise, which includes kitchen gadgets, electronics, movie tickets and more, while Onyx collectors will receive up to 20 per cent off.
“The more engaged collectors are with the program, the more they get out of it,” Air Miles said in its announcement.
Finally, in a bid to be “more responsive” to cardholders, Air Miles says it will be introducing 24/7 customer support through its Facebook and Twitter accounts.
All the changes will come into effect on April 3.
Last year, Air Miles faced a surge of customer anger over a plan to void unused Air Miles after five years. As the Jan. 1, 2017 deadline loomed, customers fumed that they were being forced to spend points they had been saving for years, with some members even threatening a lawsuit over the matter.
When Air Miles announced in December it was halting the points expiration plan, members who had already redeemed their miles in a panic voiced even more anger.
Air Miles says all the changes it introduced this week are designed to offer collectors “more flexibility and better service… while providing greater value for the most engaged Collectors.”
Earlier this month, the head of the Air Miles rewards program sent a letter apologizing to the program’s 11 million active cardholders, saying the loyalty program had "learned very difficult, public and humbling lessons" last year.