AIR MILES program changes
I log in to check my AIR MILES account frequently, usually several times a week, and I try to keep up to date on the latest news. Today, I was stunned to learn that a new program called AIR MILES Cash will be implemented in the very near future and that AIR MILES earned after December 31, 2011 will be date stamped and expired after five years (Aeroplan miles are expired after seven years).
The AIR MILES Cash program will begin in March 2012 and it is optional. If the AIR MILES collector chooses this option, this means you will be able to redeem your miles in-store, like cashing in PC Points earned with the PC Financial Master Card at the Loblaws chain. You can select the earning of your reward miles to go towards:
1. AIR MILES Cash
2. AIR MILES Cash and Dream (both new and old programs simultaneously), or
3. Dream Balance, which is simply keeping your account as is.
So far there are only 5 participating sponsors listed for Ontario: Jean Coutu, Metro, Rexall/Pharma Plus, Rona, and Shell Retail (gas station store). 95 reward miles will translate to $10 cash that can be applied to your purchase at the checkout. This works out to a cost of $0.105/mile. Currently, it costs 175 reward miles for a $20 voucher at Metro or Jean Coutu, making each mile worth approximately $0.114. I suppose a penny per mile doesn’t sound like much, but even a small reduction is going to result in some serious cost savings for the company. So far, I have not received any correspondence from AIR MILES, either through letter mail or e-mail. The only information that has been released is contained in the following links: AIR MILES Cash Overview and AIR MILES Cash FAQ’s. What remains to be seen is how the rewards catalog will be affected. I’ll keep my readers posted as soon as I have more details.
Update (December 29, 2011):
I finally received an email tonight from Neil Everett, Executive Vice President and
Chief Marketing Officer, AIR MILES Reward Program. This message was timestamped 8:03 pm EST, which means my readers truly got the scoop!
Earlier today, I was contacted for comments by Marivel Taruc of CBC News. However, I did not check my email until it was too late. Her AIR MILES story aired tonight at 6:00 pm, without my participation.