We continue our 10 year celebration interview series with Jason Beales, Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer at AIR MILES, who will discuss the new changes to their Travel booking platform. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions Jason and we look forward to see how this new partnership with BMO is going to unfold.
1. Please tell us about yourself and your role with AIR MILES?
As the Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer at AIR MILES, my teams assist with the key drivers for revenue-enhancement in the company. In other words, a laser focus on program enhancement, expansion, and improvement, as revenue growth can’t ensue without greater value, optionality, and engagement materializing for the AIR MILES collector (both from earn and redemption perspectives). Be it partner additions, organic growth opportunities amongst the existing coalition members, or exciting Rewards opportunities in merchandise or travel, our team is perpetually focussed on enhancing the value proposition for the collector, while assuring it’s easier and quicker to redeem for things which may improve the life of Canadians.
2. AIR MILES Travel, can you share with us what that’s about?
AIR MILES Travel is our innovative, new booking platform designed to provide collectors with a comprehensive, one-stop solution for their travel needs, all while offering unparalleled levels of choice, flexibility, and value. The improved travel platform allows collectors even greater choice of what, where, and how to book. One key differentiator is the incredible value we give back to collectors – up to 12.5% of the value of their travel booking. To put this into perspective, a $5,000 vacation can culminate in an earn of roughly $625 of value, which can then be used for gas, groceries, merchandise, or even your next trip! This level of value is unmatched in the industry and showcases our unwavering dedication to providing unbeatable benefits to our loyal collectors. Our platform goes beyond booking flights and accommodations for travel – car rentals, excursions, park passes…all available via miles, cash, a combination thereof, or even buy-now-pay-later financing.
3. What else can we look forward to with AIR MILES Travel?
The changes introduced will continue to roll out over the coming months and unlock rich Miles-earning opportunities to get collectors to their next reward faster, including: a powerful earn rate for standalone travel bookings and up to 5x the Miles when bundling multiple trip elements in a single booking. Collectors paying with a BMO AIR MILES Mastercard or BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard will also experience enhanced valued with a stackable earn rate of 3x the Miles on their total credit card spend. AIR MILES Travel will offer highly competitive rates with frequent and extensive promotions in the coming year, including cross-shop windfall opportunities with partners across the coalition.
4. We are closing in on our ten-year anniversary. Do you have any thoughts for us as we embark on our next 10 years?
As Canada’s most recognized loyalty program launched over 30 years ago, it’s been exciting to watch AIR MILES grow to nearly 10 million active collector accounts and represent more than half of all Canadian households. Amongst a rather punitive inflationary (if not recessionary) backdrop, the future of major loyalty programs in Canada continues to brighten, and we’re excited to see PointsHogger continue to reach new heights by helping Canadians maximize these rewards, over the next ten years and beyond. The strength of a loyalty program is only as strong as those who are cognizant of the opportunity which it yields, and as such, PointsHogger is perfectly positioned to continue to enable this education.