LoyaltyOne, Co. is a global provider of loyalty marketing and programs to enterprises in the retail, financial services, grocery, petroleum retail, travel, and hospitality sectors. The company offers services such as coalition programs (Air Miles Reward Program, Air Miles for Social Change), analytics and retail solutions, loyalty consulting, agency services, and industry research capabilities through Colloquy.
LoyaltyOne was started by Craig Underwood, Sam Duboc, and Rob Gierkink in 1991 as a loyalty program that would "reward consumers' loyalty by giving them opportunities to travel." On March 30, 1992, the Air Miles Reward Program was launched. In its first six months, the venture attracted nearly two million customers. The original group of thirteen sponsors included Bank of Montreal and Canada Safeway.
Over the next six years, the business grew and in July 1998 it was acquired by Texas-based Alliance Data.
LoyaltyOne has approximately 1,500 employees in offices including Toronto, Mississauga, Calgary, Montreal, Brazil, and Cincinnati. The most notable of LoyaltyOne’s offices is its Customer Care Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. Built in late 2009, this building features the largest solar array in Canada and has over 800 solar panels. LoyaltyOne is currently headed by CEO and President Bryan Pearson. Pearson joined The Loyalty Group (now owned by Alliance Data) in 1992. He was appointed president of the Air Miles Reward Program in 1999 and appointed president of LoyaltyOne in 2006.
Air Miles is the most recognizable of LoyaltyOne’s services. It is a coalition loyalty program that offers consumers reward miles for their everyday purchases that they can redeem for more than 800 rewards. With over 10 million collectors, Air Miles is the largest Canadian loyalty program.
In 2011 Air Miles Canada quietly announced that all points would expire with no compensation to its members after 5 years of being issued. In 2016 with months before the January 1st 2017 deadline was about to be enacted, Canadian news media began to heavily report on the impending deadline with stories of Canadian's struggling to redeem their long collected points. Members who redeemed the points fearing their loss were then outraged about having used up their collected points needlessly. Customers complained that they 'wasted' points on things they didn't want in fear of losing all the points that had been collected
On December 1, 2016 Air Miles reversed their decision to expire members points, and cited that legislation that is about to be passed in Ontario that forbids the expiration of points would create problems in managing the program with various rules in each Province.
In a statement release announcing the about face changes LoyaltyOne promised to ensure that they will still find a way to keep the rewards program profitable: “Going forward, LoyaltyOne will adjust the value proposition to collectors to offset the lost economics … and to maintain, as closely as possible, the economics of the AIR MILES reward program prior to cancellation of the expiry policy”
A proposed Class Action lawsuit is still currently being launched in Alberta. The AirMiles program in the Netherlands is next set to have its points expire on its customers in 2018.
CBC News has reported that customers have rushed to redeem their points before the expiry. Many people feel they were pushed into redeeming their points for goods that they really did not want or use.
LoyaltyOne develops and executes customer-centric retail strategies via Precima, originally the in-house analytics arm of the Air Miles Reward Program.
Colloquy produces research articles, white papers, and holds educational events on topics in the loyalty marketing industry. Established in 1990, Colloquy magazine offers updates and analysis of loyalty issues and best practices for 32,000 subscribers. Colloquy’s research division develops consumer and business-to-business research projects and white papers, including industry-specific reports, sizing studies and analysis of the drivers of consumer behaviour. It is the official loyalty partner of the Direct Marketing Association and the Canadian Marketing Association.
In July 2008 the consulting practice of Colloquy became LoyaltyOne Consulting, which today designs and implements loyalty marketing strategies as part of LoyaltyOne's service offering. Past and current clients include General Electric, Exxon Mobil, Best Buy, Hewlett Packard, Verizon, and Target.
LoyaltyOne provides its agency services with Squareknot, a loyalty marketing agency specializing in data-driven creative campaigns.
LoyaltyOne also has ongoing partnerships with BrandLoyalty, a provider of loyalty marketing services, and dotz, an expanding Brazilian coalition loyalty program.
LoyaltyOne has received a substantial number of awards covering marketing, contact centres, human resources, training and leadership. In 2012, LoyaltyOne was named one of Canada’s 50 Best Employers for its third consecutive year and one of Canada’s Greenest Employers.