Rewards Credit Cards & Loyalty Programs in Quebec Canada
I wrote Part 2 before May 1, 2017. But just before publishing, I found out that the Quebec government is pursuing a different bill, Bill 143, instead of 791. Bill 134 does not have the clause prohibiting devaluing loyalty programs as I mentioned in point 3 below. As a result, the Part 2 article below is no longer valid. Had Bill 791 passed, it would have been the end of rewards cards and programs in Quebec. However, I am publishing Part 2 anyway for your information and reference purposes.
Will This Be The End of Rewards Credit Cards & Loyalty Programs in Quebec Canada?
Bill 791 Puts Rewards Programs at Risk of Extinction
One of the Canadian provinces, Quebec, has introduced a bill Quebec 791. This bill proposes three new legislative requirements for loyalty programs that operate in Quebec to protect consumers.
What Bill 791 means (if comes into reality) in simple terms is that rewards or loyalty programs will have to abide by these rules:
- Inform public how to collect + use the rewards
- The rewards won’t expire (once collected)
- The program or value cannot be changed when you use the rewards, devaluing the program
Loyalty or rewards programs can accept rule # one or two mentioned above. But rule # three is one with which no loyalty companies can comply. In theory, this sounds like a great idea because you are guaranteed to retain the value of the points you are collecting, whether it’s airline, hotel, or other points. In reality, this is not sustainable by any hotel, airline, or other rewards programs.
Changing the award chart, adjusting rewards redemption rate, or devaluing loyalty program, whatever you call it, is a necessity for the loyalty programs and it’s a must to survive. It’s kind of like inflation making grocery prices going up; whether you like it or not, it will happen.
Restricting loyalty programs to make necessary adjustments to survive will only make things worse and chase these programs away from Quebec. Quebec residents are the one who will suffer in the end.
And there is no need to wait to see the consequences. It’s already happening – MBNA Alaska Airlines MasterCard has already pulled out of Quebec. Other programs like SPG, IHG, Hilton Honors, Aeroplan, Avios, Amex, and many more will have to follow the same path.
If this bill passes, it will possibly be the end of rewards credit cards and loyalty programs in Quebec, especially those are international. Quebec residents and point collectors should take a hard look at this bill before it’s too late.