Air Miles changes rewards options after complaints

Rewards displayed to be based on status level



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If you’re one of the frustrated Air Miles collectors who feel like there are rewards being kept from you, there’s good news. Air Miles has adjusted the rules for its loyalty program, putting an end to limited rewards options, reports CBC.

Before this, the company gave members access to rewards based on their personal preferences. But after receiving complaints, Air Miles has changed its tune and announced that members’ access to rewards will now be based entirely on their status level or tier within the program: gold or onyx. (Gold status is achieved by collecting at least 1,000 miles in a year, while reaching onyx status requires collecting at least 6,000 miles.) The onyx tier has the widest selection of rewards.

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So what does this mean for you? Now, depending on your status level, you will have access to all the rewards offered to card holders in those tiers—not just the ones that the Air Miles formula tailored to your personal tastes. Collectors felt that the tailored rewards offerings meant the company was hiding merchandise from them and not being transparent to all collectors. This new change to the loyalty program should solve that.

If you have Air Miles that expire at the end of this year and become worthless, here are smart tips on how to redeem them now.

12 comments on “Air Miles changes rewards options after complaints

  1. don’t send accounts on what will be cancelled Jan 1. I want to use my milage on a trip next year and you won’t tell me haw much I will loose. Phone calls take hours to talk to poeple who are alive. I have been with air miles for 24 years (92) and not so shure now.


  2. It doesn’t matter whether it is air miles or aeroplan or other point collecting card.
    It is just a gimmick to make you spend more and use credit cards more.


  3. I think CBC is being duped!!!. Today October 7, I tried to place an order for 2 head phones, a vacuum, and a TV…total points 34,500. Paced order and it came back “this order cannot be committed due to system error” Tried a further 16 times including signing out from Air miles, signing in again, and reordering…Same result each time.. same message. Talked to Air miles, after 3 hours waiting, and employee Shawn said to resign in …told him done that…. he said give him a moment and while he was away I re-entered my order and Bang got my order. Shawn comes back on and I tell him order went thru and thanked him. After I hung up, I printed order out and only then noticed order had been changed and no TV on order. Phoned back and got employee Nusrat, after an hour wait. Went thru whole scenario and asked where’s my TV? Told her TV I wanted for 19,500 points, had now disappeared but that all thru 3 hours of retries …the TV was showing as available, but now, not on site. She transferred me to Tristie and this employee gave me the song and dance of “Oh it must be out of stock but more stock is coming …keep checking back. To which I replied “Can you not put my name down for the TV I didn’t get for your system failure?” and Guess what ? Her reply “Oh no we can’t take names for items out of stock”…OR Is it the item is not available? If I have the points for it?? Same crap being poured out by Air miles in this fiasco. Won’t allow you to get their merchandise so they can make me forfeit my points or buy something they want to get rid of and have excess stock and keep their costs down with right-off of my points . This is just plain wrong!!!!


    • I had a similar experience as Brent when trying order the same TV that required 19,500 points. I first attempted to place my order at 12:15 a.m. October 7th and I also received the same “this order cannot be committed due to system error” message. This message was received after every attempt at ordering the TV, despite my signing in and out of the Air Miles system, resetting my browser cache, using different browsers, different computers, etc..

      At 7:00 a.m. I waited for 30 minutes before I was able to begin a Live Chat with an Air Miles Customer Care Specialist. Alex quickly knew that I was having a problem with ordering the TV. I imagine that seeing my 43 attempts at ordering the TV helped in reaching the conclusion that there was a problem. I was put on hold while Alex checked with their Solutions team. Alex came back shortly and said that the item was either out of stock or that there was a problem with their system – wow, no kidding?! As well, there was no estimate as to when this problem would be resolved.

      I was then further advised to try ordering the TV again later that evening. When I voiced my concern that the supply of TVs could be gone by then, I was advised that there is nothing else that could be done to help me (not that Alex was any help at all thus far). When I asked if something else could be done, like putting my name on a list of customers who are experiencing this Air Miles problem and then processing these orders for us when the issue was resolved, I was further advised that this could not be done and that all Customer Care protocols and processes had been followed. Alrighty then.

      Not satisfied with how Alex believed that this problem had been resolved for me, I asked if I could speak to a supervisor. I was then advised to call the Air Miles Customer Relations Team and given their phone number. After concluding my Live Chat with Alex, I called the Customer Relations phone number and found out that they are not open to receive calls from BC until 8:00 a.m. At 8:00 a.m. I called the Customer Relations number and was immediately put on hold.

      After waiting 90 minutes, I was finally able to speak to someone (can anyone explain why I was placed on hold for 90 minutes when I called as soon as the Customer Relations Team was open to receive calls?) If this is indicative of the call volume that Air Miles is experiencing, then Air Miles’ foresight and ability to respond to their customers’ needs is pathetic.

      I was advised by Customer Relations that they had already received a number of calls about this problem. When asked if there are any TVs left in stock, I was advised that even they couldn’t access that information because of the problem. I was also advised that they could not take my name and place my order for me when the issue was resolved. Our conversation ended with them asking me to try ordering the TV every 20 minutes. I have made a note to myself that the only difference between speaking with Air Miles Live Chat and Air Miles Customer Relations, appears to be that Customer Relations will ask you to retry every 20 minutes instead of retrying in the evening.

      At 10:10 a.m. I attempted to place my order again (it was my 47th attempt according to my Air Miles transaction history), but this time the TV has disappeared from my Shopping Cart. When I went to select the TV to re-add it to my Shopping Cart, the TV was no longer available. Great. Wonderful. After spending hours trying to order the TV, it has been removed from the Air Miles web site. End of story.

      It’s very frustrating that despite all of the bad publicity about Air Miles and the five year deadline for redeeming points or losing them, the long waits to speak to anyone at Air Miles, the limited Merchandise that is available, the raising of points for certain items (e.g. the Swarovski purse used to require 6000 points but now requires 6250 points), etc. Air Miles has done very little to improve the “customer experience”.

      But then again, I understand that Air Miles is in complete control at this time and can do, or not do, whatever they want while their customers scramble to obtain some type of value for their hard earned Air Miles points before the points are lost.. I hope that Air Miles understand that their frustrated and angry customers will suck it up for now and get whatever benefit we can, and that after we have used up our Air Miles points, we will decide if we are going to continue to be Air Miles customers.


  4. A multitude of customer service issues with AirMiles. Wait times on the phone are outrageously long and live chat is usually not working. And yet we are being forced to use or lose all of our points accumulated prior to 2015! And the taxes and fees on their flights are huge.$650 in fees for economy class to Tokyo? This is insane. My advice , find another points card.


    • Had the same problem regarding getting a TV. It was there and when I decided to place an order the next day the TV was gone. I am using up my air miles and then plan on cancelling the card and the BMO air miles mastercard I have. Haven’t yet decided what card to get but it won’t have air miles on it that is a fact.


  5. The last time I used my Air Miles card was about 6 years ago. I ordered a gift card and they took the points off. When I hadn’t received the gift card after 3 weeks, I went back to their site to see my order and there was no record of it. But they still had my points. I ripped up my card the same day.


  6. Ordered a luggage set for 3000 points on Oct 20……..supposed to arrive within 6 weeks or to contact them. 6 weeks today, and not a word, electronic or otherwise regarding my order, though the transaction does show in my account. 800 number gives a canned response “we are not accepting calls”, Live Chat link is broken and will not connect. Sent an email to the “office of the President”, which is the only other contact option provided. Yep……….I’m just sitting on the edge of my chair waiting to hear from THAT person………. probably outsourced to some foreign land where folks are paid to just hit ‘delete’ all day long.

    Member since 1992, and this is how their card members get treated. As a lowly “Gold Member”, there’s virtually nothing to choose from when spending “points only”. If I want to spend lots of money, there’s a meager selection of overpriced and discontinued liquidation center bumpf.


  7. We as consumers, have to understand that Air Miles, is a lottery, they make the money not us. It is a gimmick like Allan Hickey said below, to spend more in the stores that are part of the Air Miles program. Better use a credit card that gives you 1% or 2% cash back, like the COSTO Mastercard, use it everywhere, and get back an amount that covers the membership fee plus extra money, which can be quite substantial if you use the card everywhere, not to mention the cheque that COSTCO hands out yearly for 1% of purchases made. The stupid points, can be devalued at any time by any program, it happened to me with the points I collected from the long succumbed Zellers store chain. Even if you are not a COSTCO member, if you pay a $ 90 yearly fee on another credit card, and you use it on every purchase, you will cover the yearly fee and make extra cash back money. That is also good because it reduces the service charges the banks are ripping you off with too.


  8. Ironic indeed that AIr Miles is billed as a “loyalty” program – as Air MIles is anything but loyal to its customers – attempting to screw them out of earned rewards – you have to wonder what some bone-headed manager was thinking – save a few dollars on computer storage costs or what? And trade that off vs. millions of dollars of bad publicity? Air Miles is close to becoming a “disloyalty” program – a customer feels bad when he sees the “screw-you” air miles on offer and will actually shop elsewhere.


  9. AIr Miles also has a policy that if your account is dormant for 24 months, then your points are automatically wiped out. I was a member for many years and had accumulated thousands of points, but because I had not used my card for 24 months, my account was reset to zero. When I spoke to the customer representative, they advised that this is the policy of that Air miles whereby the system erases your balance. They also advised that if I wanted the points re-instated, I must pay $0.15 / point, a $10 fee plus applicable taxes (over $320). I advised this is the same idea of losing one’s points through expiration but via another method. The customer representative advised there is no other recourse. As a result, I cancelled my account and will use other reward programs. Very deceiving in my opinion and I just wanted to make the CBC and the public aware of this policy. Thank you! RP


  10. This is a really interesting point


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