Tim Hortons Tims Rewards being revamped – changes coming on February 26

Less than a year after it was launched Tim Hortons Tims Rewards is being revamped. The struggling coffee and donut chain was banking on having the rewards program help it regain some traction in our market. With over 7.5 million members the loyalty program grew quickly to be one of the largest in Canada and yet it doesn’t seem to be working for them.

The program as we know it right now was pretty simple, make 7 purchases and get one item free. That free item was limited to a brewed coffee, tea or baked good with a typical maximum value of $2.00. You could hold up to 5 rewards at once in your account and they were valid for only 120 days.

The new program is moving to points based system which really only affects the redemption side. The reason why is that you will earn 10 points per purchase – not per dollar like one of Tim’s biggest competitors. So it doesn’t matter if you spend $0.50 (the minimum to earn the points) or $20 – you’ll only get 10 points. So the function of earning hasn’t changed at all. The move to a points system however is allowing Tim’s to give its customers more redemption options rather than just a brewed coffee, tea or baked good. For those wondering – if that’s all you want to redeem for, the program hasn’t changed as it will take 70 points (ie 7 visits) to get a brewed coffee, tea or baked good. (dream donuts, bagels etc.) So this is good news – they haven’t devalued the program! That 70 point redemption level is only one of 14 reward levels the new program will have. All the levels haven’t been revealed yet however we do know the lowest level will be 50 points (5 visits) for a classic donut or cookie. You will also be able to redeem for breakfast items, lunch items, Iced Capps and more.

You must register your reward level

Unlike other programs where you can choose what you want to redeem your points for at time of purchase the revamped Tims Rewards program will require you to register for the reward level you want. For example, if you are registered to receive rewards at 70 points and want to redeem for a 50 point item you’ll have to go into your Tims Rewards account (online or via the app) and change your registered reward level. They state they have this to make a quick and seamless in-restaurant experience. I see it as being a big in the butt. People who sign up for the program or already members aren’t going to read all the details of the programs. They are simply going to go to store hoping to redeem points for something at 50 points and won’t be able to as their account will be set to 70 points. as that is the default level. I see this being a big issue with the new program and they will have lots of unhappy customers at the till wanting to redeem for a sandwich and they can’t. This is probably one of the most convoluted redemption requirements I have ever seen from a loyalty program.

Existing rewards and visits

When the program switches over to points they will give each member 10 points for visits that are already in their accounts and 80 points for each reward that is stored in their accounts. This is nice move to give an extra 10 points per reward.

Expiring Points

Points held in your Tims Rewards account will expire 12 months after they are earned. You may ask how can they do this when Ontario and Quebec have laws against expiring points. Well in Ontario the law allows programs whose reward values are below $50 to still expire. Seeing that Tims Rewards redemption options range from below a dollar to maybe five or six dollars they can expire their points.

Double Points to celebrate launch

To celebrate the launch of the revamped program Tims is offering 2x points between February 26 and March 18, 2020.

You can learn more about the new Tims Rewards program here.

So what do you think Rewards Canada Community? It the new program going to change any of your habits? Will it make you visit Tims more? Let us know in the comments below!