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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Air Miles introduces a new Elite Status level: Onyx

Perhaps as a reaction to Aeroplan's Distinction program, Air Miles soft launched a new elite status level earlier this week. Called Onyx, the new level is the highest elite level Air Miles members will be able to achieve. For years Air Miles has had only one elite level, Gold which offered those who reached it discounted flight reward offers and other benefits. This new level promises even more than Gold and while it adds a few more 'travel' benefits the majority additional benefits it has over Gold tend to be shopping and experience related. Granted the number one benefit I see from this new level is the promise of "Greater access to airline seats" which hopefully doesn't mean more seats at more miles like we tend to see from many frequent flyer programs.  Good news for those of you who hold the American Express Air Miles Reserve card, you'll automatically get this elite status without having to meet the 6,000 miles earned in a calendar year requirement!

I reached out to Air Miles for more details and here is what they passed on to me:
Onyx is a new way to reward our best Collectors with exclusive benefits, such as discounts on flight and merchandise rewards, as well as priority customer service.  Here’s a summary of some of the benefits Onyx offers:

Travel & Merchandise Perks
Travel & Merchandise Perks
  • Greater access to airline seats
  • Book select flights using up to 40% fewer reward miles
  • Preferential pricing on cruises and vacation packages
  • Merchandise for up to 50% fewer reward miles
Top Service
Top Service
  • Priority service at the Call Centre
Personal Shopper Service
Personal Shopper Service
  • A team dedicated to finding and getting a variety of rewards outside of the online Catalogue
  • Get requested items using reward miles from your Dream balance
Unforgettable Events & Contests
Unforgettable Events & Contests
  • 20% fewer reward miles on seasonal activities and dining
  • Invitations to Exclusive Onyx-inspired gatherings
  • Free movie passes to select films
  • Bonus offers into Meet & Greet Contests
  • Special monthly Giveaways
A Collector can become an Onyx member by earning 6,000 AIR MILES reward miles during one calendar year (from January 1 - December 31) or by having an American Express AIR MILES Reserve credit card. A full list of the exclusive benefits associated with Onyx status can be found at www.airmiles.ca/onyx. As part of the soft launch, we’re still ironing out some of the technical details....

Nice to see Air Miles adding this new elite level to the program as they have been kind of quiet over the past 12-18 months in terms of the changing or enhancing the program and seemed to be falling behind other loyalty programs in Canada in remaining dynamic.

What are your thoughts of this new addition to the Air Miles program?


  1. We just received the new Onyx card. I see that points required on AA have gone up 78% and point required for non-stops on West Jet have jumped 20-40%. With no change in taxes! We'll be shopping more at NON-Airmiles sponsors. Onyx is a 'dud' for us.

  2. I've seen very little change in what has become available to me since acquiring my Onyx card. Perhaps they can provide more detail on exactly what has changed.

  3. We'll see if Air Miles responds. If not I can reach out to them