How reward points work

Many businesses offer reward points programs to thank customers for their loyalty. Through these programs, you can:

  1. earn reward points based on purchases
  2. accumulate the points over time
  3. exchange these points for goods or services at a later date

Before you sign up

Make sure you read the agreement and understand:

  • what you need to do to earn points
  • what you can use them for
  • any limits or conditions – for example, some programs have blackout periods when you cannot use your points or require you to stay active in the program

New rules: Some points can’t expire

On January 1, 2018, new rules came into effect that stops the expiration of reward points based only on the amount of time that has passed since they were earned. The rules are not an all-out ban on expiring points.

In some cases your reward points may still expire, including, if:

  • the reward program closes accounts when a member is inactive (does not earn or redeem any points) for a long period of time and this is stated in the membership agreement.
  • the program issues a voucher as a reward (for example a discount on a purchase), that is considered a gift card and cannot expire
  • the reward points can’t be redeemed for any single item over $50.

Points that have already expired

Any points (earned at any time) which expired between October 1, 2016 and January 1, 2018 due to the amount of time passed since they were earned, and are not exempt, are required to be returned or reinstated.

In the meantime, be sure to keep statements that show your points balance.

Contact us

Have questions about your rights when it comes to the new reward points rules? Please contact us.