BMO Bailed Out Air Miles?

March 10, 2023 was a crazy day for Air Miles collectors. At the beginning of the day, it was announced that LoyaltyOne Co. (which offers Air Miles) had gone into bankruptcy protection. The fear was that member  miles would be lost forever!

Later in the day, BMO Financial Group signed a deal to acquire the Air Miles rewards program from LoyaltyOne Co.. As a result, below is a screenshot what we might currently see on the Air Miles website:

a screenshot of a website

The key sentence: “BMO, the anchor partner of AIR MILES, has announced its intention to acquire the leading loyalty program. This process will not affect collectors’ reward miles balances or their ability to collect and redeem AIR MILES reward miles.”

Members went from scrambling to redeem their miles as soon as possible, to calming back down. Would it had been better to make the announcements together, rather than apart to avoid creating a panic? I guess based on the timing of how things went down, that was probably not possible.

Either way, I am glad that BMO stepped up to take over Air Miles. It probably makes a lot of sense. They already have a strong relationship with Air Miles by offering a few different co-branded Air Miles credit cards. This was BMO’s opportunity to buy Air Miles at a discount. Why do I get the feeling that BMO has been waiting on the sidelines for this discounted opportunity all along?

Hopefully the buyout goes through and then BMO can step in to streamline the Air Miles program, as well as adding some enhancements using their internal resources. The writing was probably on the wall for the past couple of years, as Air Miles lost several major partnerships, along with continuous devaluation of to their reward options.

I am looking forward to what BMO can do with Air Miles.

What are your thoughts on this potential buyout? Please let us know in the comment section below.

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