December 1, 2016 4:48 pm
Updated: December 1, 2016 8:12 pm

Air Miles cancels controversial expiry policy

THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Mario Beauregard
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Air Miles is cancelling an unpopular expiry policy that was set to start at the end of this month.

“We have made the decision to cancel the expiry policy for all collectors effective immediately,” Bryan Pearson, President and CEO of LoyaltyOne, the company that runs Air Miles, said in a news release.

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“There is uncertainty with provincial governments proposing or considering legislation across Canada so we have decided to cancel the expiry policy so that all Collectors, regardless of location, can be confident that their balances will be protected.”

Air Miles has been fighting negative feedback and government legislation since it announced the program, which would have expired any unredeemed miles that were over five-years old.

READ MORE: Mounting frustration as Air Miles expiry deadline looms

The policy would have come into effect on December 31, 2016, and would have seen all reward miles older than five years expire on a quarterly basis.

The policy was being fought against in Ontario’s legislature. Bill 47, called the Protecting Rewards Points Act, is set to be voted on on Monday.

The private members bill would have protected Air Miles users whose Miles would have expired.

MPP Arthur Potts introduced the bill in October and says he’s “thrilled” with the decision from Air Miles.

“This is a great victory for Ontario, Canada actually across the whole Air Miles network,” Potts told Global News.

“I give [Air Miles] credit for doing this, I think it’s the right consumer thing to do right now.”

However, Potts noted the victory doesn’t mean the bill won’t continue to be pushed through government.

READ MORE: Most reward plans have expiry policies: Here’s what you need to know

“There are a number of provisions in it that give us regulatory authority over things like diminution of the value of points unnecessarily, and so we’ll continue go forward and we’ll see.”

The company says there are over 11 million accounts in Canada. Air Miles can be collected at stores across the country and redeemed for flights or everyday purchases like groceries.

*with a file from Anne Drewa, Global News

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