Just when you thought travel reward programs couldn’t get more convoluted, the people behind Aeroplan say they have a new financial partner in TD Bank, but CIBC cardholders could still stick around.
However, Aimia, TD and CIBC are also in talks to allow CIBC to keep its cardholders that do other business at the bank. CIBC says that represents about half of its current Aeroplan members. All will depend on the success of ongoing negotiations between the three parties.
Aeroplan credit card holders are expected to find out by the end of the month if they’ll need to change banks to continue with the same travel rewards program.
Either way, Aeroplan says miles already accumulated won’t be lost since they are tied to a loyalty account, not the credit card itself.
“The usual Aeroplan terms and conditions apply when it comes to usage,” Aeroplan says in a Q&A posted on its website on Monday.
Meantime, expect TD to ramp up its marketing of the Aeroplan program to help sign on as many customers as possible once the new program begins in January.
As part of its agreement, TD has offered to pay Aimia 15 per cent more per air mile and contribute to a $140- million marketing campaign. To help sweeten its offer, TD has also agreed to buy a minimum number of miles for three year and put up another $100 million to help enhance the program.
That’s good news for consumers who can expect to see better travel reward offers in the near future. TD said Monday it plans to offer a wide range of co-branded Aeroplan Visa credit cards in the months ahead.
“The banking relationship is really important for profitability for these programs,” says Maureen Atkinson, a senior partner with the J.C. Williams Group. “It comes with a lot of built-in business and a lot of promotion.”
The Aeroplan program will also be revamped when the new TD deal kicks in, including better terms for consumers to redeem their travel miles.
The results show 90 per cent of Canadians surveyed belong to a travel rewards program, and 56 per cent participate through a personal credit card.
Among those who have travel reward credit cards, 74 per cent redeemed points for trips in the past 12 months, while 27 per cent opted for other rewards.
The most important aspect of choosing a travel rewards card was how quickly they can earn points (42 per cent), followed by the travel rewards program affiliated with the card (28 per cent), the type of card (17 per cent) and finally the bank behind it (14 per cent).