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Loyalty & Rewards

The Evolution of Canadian Loyalty Programs: Partnerships, Perks, and Security

It’s no secret that Canadians love their loyalty programs. A day doesn’t go by without rewards being discussed in the media, online forums, blogs, and across social media. Whether it’s for retail shopping, travel, cash back, gas, you name it, we love to be rewarded for it. 

With loyalty programs being as popular as ever and with so much competition, the programs have to constantly change their offerings to stand out. One of the biggest trends in the loyalty landscape is the enhancement of existing and new partnerships to bring more value to the program and the consumer. 

Notable partnerships and enhancements 

We recently saw Petro-Points tie the knot with Canadian Tire’s Triangle Rewards, where you can now earn in both programs at the same time when buying gas. Likewise, AIR MILES, BMO and Shell enhanced their offer for BMO AIR MILES Mastercard holders where they now receive discounts on gas purchases in addition to being able to earn and redeem miles.

There is also a relatively new, but old player taking on the big names in loyalty. RBC has opened their Avion Rewards to all Canadians, not just RBC banking clients with the introduction of Avion Select. Like most open-to-all programs it can be combined with other credit cards and loyalty reward programs.

Combatting Security Issues

With the programs being so popular and increasingly digital, they are open to being hacked and for fraudulent use. There has been exponential growth in account takeovers where points are drained for cash-like rewards by hackers or fraudsters, increased abuse of programs by members who don’t play by the rules.

The programs work hard to combat and minimize security breaches and fraud. There has been some success but also failures where programs security algorithms are too sensitive and everyday members who follow the rules are having accounts suspended. 

It is up to the consumer to make sure their accounts are safe, checked on a regular basis for account takeovers, enable two factor authorization, and strengthen or change your passwords frequently. Loyalty currencies are just that — they are currency to the member, and they should be cared for the same way that people treat and protect their finances.

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