If you want to redeem your points and miles for gift cards you may want to do so sooner than later

Earlier today we brought you the news that Best Western Rewards removed the option to redeem their points for gift cards.  Now, we see Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards has done the same thing (Source Doctor of Credit) and that leads us to believe more programs may head down this route. Airlines, hotels and even non-travel loyalty programs are all seeing a significant drop in business right now and are making all efforts possible to conserve cash and this seems to be the case from the aforementioned programs.

Here in Canada my worries would mostly be from the larger programs like Aeroplan and AIR MILES and less so the credit card programs as to who may follow the lead of these other programs. Unfortunately the credit card companies will be benefiting from the financial crisis that Canadians face during this time so I don’t see any reason for them to curtail cash and cash equivalent rewards.  Aeroplan and less so AIR MILES could run into a position where they will need to conserve cash sometime in the near future and if that happens it is possible to see them reduce or suspend these type of redemption options.

Right now the good news is that I haven’t seen evidence of this happening just yet from any Canadian program.  However it is something you should take into consideration as the longer the pandemic drags on, the more Canadians will have to rely on their loyalty programs to help with their finances.

To learn more abot using points and miles for gift cards and other cash options I recommend reading  our feature Shifting your loyalty program strategy to help during these trying and tough financial times