AMEX Canada ending AIR MILES partnership | Credit card reward programs | Discussion forum

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —




— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

No permission to create posts
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
AMEX Canada ending AIR MILES partnership
July 6, 2023
1:53 am
Norman1
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 6862
Member Since:
April 6, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

From its July 4 news release:

TORONTO, July 4, 2023 /CNW/ - American Express Canada is doubling down on its Membership Rewards program and ending its partnership with AIR MILES®*. American Express will be focusing on its award-winning Membership Rewards program and a select group of strategic partners going forward.

American Express Canada has thoroughly evaluated the needs of Cardmembers impacted by this change, with a commitment to unlocking the most rewards value while also providing enhanced service and lifestyle experiences. Based on this assessment, these Cardmembers will seamlessly transition to an American Express product which earns Membership Rewards by September 30, 2023 with specific transition dates for individual Cardmembers being communicated to them in an early July notification from American Express. …

July 6, 2023
4:02 pm
BlueSky
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 144
Member Since:
November 8, 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Looks as if Air Miles is loosing altitude. IGA which is owned by sobeys has ended its partnership with Air Miles as well, back in April, in favor of BNS Scene points. Air Miles was bought by BMO several months ago.

July 6, 2023
8:35 pm
Norman1
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 6862
Member Since:
April 6, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Bank of Montreal bought the AIR MILES reward program a few weeks ago, around end of May, for around US$160 million, from the bankrupt company that was running it.

It looks like Bank of Montreal has assumed the liabilities for the collector miles balances.

I suspect the AIR MILES retailer partners were afraid they paid for issued AIR MILES but the collectors wouldn't be able to redeem the miles because the company couldn't pay for the merchandise or offer $10 to merchants for each 95 Cash AIR MILES accepted as payment for purchases.

July 6, 2023
10:43 pm
smayer97
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 821
Member Since:
September 29, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

And though I do not use the card very frequently, after 25 years they cancelled my card without notice and without offering me the option to transfer to a new card without re-applying.
So much for loyalty.

July 7, 2023
9:21 pm
Doug
British Columbia, Canada
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 4254
Member Since:
December 12, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Someone on another forum speculated BMO Bank of Montreal bought the AIR MILES rewards program out of bankruptcy was because their customers have so many rewards points accumulated, and would be very angry if someone else bought them up, or no one bought them up, and they otherwise wouldn't be able to redeem them. I think that's pretty close to the truth.

With their customers' point values secured, I speculate that, within 1-2 years, BMO will merge the AIR MILES rewards program into BMO Rewards and/or a new BMO Travel Rewards program.

Cheers,
Doug

July 8, 2023
1:21 am
RetirEd
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 1051
Member Since:
November 18, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Rakuten, the massive Japanese predatory data merchant, has been aggressively buying out rewards programs worldwide. The Scene rewards complex seems to now be a Rakuten entity. Rakuten has an enormous business empire.

Rakuten rewards programs do not provide the same earn and spend rates for all products and services. What you get depends on what they can extort from merchants to promote their products. Popular products won't see any discounts or rewards at all.

I used Air Miles for a friend's card (in return, they used mine at London Drugs) but I won't use Rakuten.
RetirEd

RetirEd

July 8, 2023
6:37 am
Norman1
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 6862
Member Since:
April 6, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Scene is not owned by Rakuten:

About Scene+

Scene+, a joint venture between Scotiabank® and Cineplex®, brings together two of Canada’s favourite loyalty programs, SCENE® and Scotia Rewards®, to create an enhanced program with a breadth of rewards categories. We’re excited to announce that Empire has joined Scene+ as an owner. Now members can earn and spend points at grocery, pharmacy, and liquor stores.

Empire Company Limited became a co-owner around June 2022: Newswire.ca (June 7, 2022): Empire becomes co-owner of Scene+…

July 9, 2023
9:25 am
Pewter
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 144
Member Since:
May 11, 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Some of you may remember, way back there was a TV documentary about how rigged Air Miles was/is. I know some of the manufactured quirks happened to me and actually cost me $ and frustration.

I dropped Air Miles 17 years ago and no longer participate in the disgraceful Air Miles program. And I tend to stay away from any loyalty program.

Perhaps, but not always, I tend to not shop at retailers that offer Air Miles as I feel their pricing is higher only to give you Air Miles back.

Now that BMO owns them, you can be sure that they will strip it down and will eventually be useless. BMO cut back the cash back % on their MasterCard and took away lines of credit with no advance warning. Two untrustworthy organizations now rolled into one.

July 9, 2023
9:56 am
Norman1
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 6862
Member Since:
April 6, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I remember the accusations that AIR MILES was "baiting" collectors.

When a Dream reward I wanted disappeared from their catalog after I had enough miles for it, I thought AIR MILES just ran out of the item. It didn't occur to me to ask another collector to sign in and see if the item was still available through their login!

July 9, 2023
10:01 am
Pewter
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 144
Member Since:
May 11, 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@Norman1

Right. I wanted an Apple iPod and when I reached the number Air Miles needed...it disappeared. I waited for months for it to “reappear to me” and I latched on to it. More like bait and force me to switch.

July 9, 2023
1:34 pm
Alexandre
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 1151
Member Since:
November 8, 2018
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Why sad stories and experiences only?

I earn about $100 cash every month with Air Miles. It is nice perk and I'll miss it, if all retailers I shop with will end partnership with that rewards program.

July 9, 2023
2:53 pm
pooreva
Member
Banned
Forum Posts: 440
Member Since:
April 2, 2018
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Alexandre said
Why sad stories and experiences only?

I earn about $100 cash every month with Air Miles. It is nice perk and I'll miss it, if all retailers I shop with will end partnership with that rewards program.  

WOW! You must be spending like crazy!
When I had airmiles I barely managed to trade miles for $10/month.

July 10, 2023
3:36 am
RetirEd
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 1051
Member Since:
November 18, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Norman1: It appears that Rakuten is still in the Scene+ ownership mix, and I'd guess that means they will still be feeding the Rakuten marketing database. Which is terrifyingly large and increasingly universal.
RetirEd

RetirEd

July 10, 2023
5:03 am
savemoresaveoften
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 2925
Member Since:
March 30, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Re the bait and switch, it appears (as mentioned by a friend) that one can put in a request for an item (for example, similar items from the same brand that they carry but not shown.) They will get back with the no. of points required. Of course it will be full list price expresssed in air miles equivalent. In his case, the item is listed at $429 and they quoted him just like if its in cash miles (whatever that amount is). The item is on sale at $369 for what its worth.
So it is doable, just prob not the best bang for the buck.

July 10, 2023
5:08 am
Alexandre
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 1151
Member Since:
November 8, 2018
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

pooreva said

WOW! You must be spending like crazy!
When I had airmiles I barely managed to trade miles for $10/month.  

Having large household helps to collect rewards faster. 🙂 That unlocks promos such as "spend $250 on groceries in single visit to store, get $25 in cash miles."

I also have TD Infinite Visa with 3% groceries, recurring bills and gasoline cashback. Combined with Air Miles, I'm getting quite nice rewards from both.

July 10, 2023
9:36 am
mustang
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 217
Member Since:
January 7, 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Just received my notification that my AMEX AIR MILESS GOLD BUSINESS CARD will be replaced with AMEX BUSINESS EDGE card on Aug 29, 2023
No more air miles collection, instead getting various rates of points on different categories of purchases -- 3% for restaurants, gas, 1% on everything else

The kicker is my heretofore free card will now cost me $99 per year
I don't use it much, my rewards would be about $25 per year
So, I guess I will be dropping it

Not sure if they are not making sufficient on purchases-- or if this is just a ploy to get it used more
Seems like credit cards, in general, are getting progressively pickier, as to who they want to deal with

July 10, 2023
10:03 am
Norman1
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 6862
Member Since:
April 6, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Well, the AIR MILES reward program had a near-death experience recently with the company running it filing for bankruptcy.

I didn't see anything to indicate that the company had set aside $10 for every 95 miles in a trust fund to cover the liability to the collectors for the miles.

I saw the opposite. The company's parent had the company borrow around $600 million and then pay most of it out to the parent! Parent also extracted $100 million out of the company's cash balance.

July 10, 2023
7:51 pm
Norman1
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 6862
Member Since:
April 6, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

RetirEd said
Norman1: It appears that Rakuten is still in the Scene+ ownership mix, and I'd guess that means they will still be feeding the Rakuten marketing database. Which is terrifyingly large and increasingly universal.

That's actually not the case. Scene+ is owned by the three I mentioned: Cineplex, Scotiabank, and Sobeys.

Rakuten is another Scene+ merchant except that Rakuten doesn't sell anything itself. Instead, it acts as an online store aggregator, like AirMilesShops.ca does for AIR MILES. Instead of receiving cash back (by PayPal direct deposit, Amazon e-gift card, or physical cheque) as regular Rakuten collectors do, Scene+ Rakuten collectors receive their cash back in Scene+ points.

In return for agreeing to receive one's reward in Scene+ points instead of Canadian dollars, one will receive weekly opportunities to earn 20% more Rakuten extra cash back.

Scene+ isn't going to share any of one's info with Rakuten unless one also signs up with Rakuten as a Scene+ Rakuten collector.

July 30, 2023
9:30 am
Norman1
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 6862
Member Since:
April 6, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

smayer97 said
And though I do not use the card very frequently, after 25 years they cancelled my card without notice and without offering me the option to transfer to a new card without re-applying.
So much for loyalty.

I received a similar cancellation letter from AMEX Canada.

That's not surprising for infrequent users of their AMEX card like myself. A few months ago, I was thinking of cancelling the card myself. There wasn't a compelling reason for me to keep the card and do a token charge on it every year to keep the account active.

I don't think it will be a problem to apply for another AMEX card if I see one that I would use regularly. Their system would recognized me as a former AIR MILES AMEX cardholder in good standing.

A big challenge with AMEX cards is they are not accepted by many merchants. Many companies are convinced by AMEX to use them as their corporate credit card because of superior cardholder reporting. However, merchants are not keen because of AMEX cards' significantly higher acceptance costs unless they cater to the business expense account crowd.

July 30, 2023
9:38 am
Pewter
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 144
Member Since:
May 11, 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

When Costco dropped AMEX, AMEX sent me a new (non Costco branded) card that I did not ask for. Later on I asked if they could change it to a AMEX cash back. The answer was NO, you need to reapply. I was pis$$ed with that, as they sent me a "changed" one with out asking. So I cancelled what I had and a few years later I applied and received a Cash Back Amex. Why do I have it....I have no idea....a back up I guess. And I do use it every now and then to keep it active.

No permission to create posts

Please write your comments in the forum.