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Frequent Flyer and Guest programs are always looking for new ways for their members to utilize their points so that they can lower the total amount of points held by members within their portfolio thereby lowering their ongoing liability of holding those points. Loyalty Marketers also look at it as a way to get customers engaged whom otherwise may have become disillusioned with a program because they have not been able to use their points or miles. Studies show that a loyalty consumer will actually feel better about a program and feel more connected to it once they have redeemed for a reward. Surprisingly it does not matter whether that reward is worth $10 or $10,000.

Which leads us to these latest initiative from Icelandair allowing Saga Club members to redeem their points onboard Icelandair flights for all products from the Saga Shop (Duty Free) or Saga Kitchen (buy on board food/drinks). While they are not the first program to offer a points redemption option while enjoying the parents company’s services (for example Marriott allows you to redeem points during a stay while Air Miles Canada and Etihad now have options to use points at point of purchase at select partners) they are definitely one of the early adopters from the airline industry to provide this redemption method.

From Icelandair:
“Icelandair Saga Club is proud to announce a new service to our members. Now our member will be able to use their Saga Points to pay for all products on board. Both products from Saga Shop Collection and Saga Shop Kitchen.

Saga Club members need to present both their Saga Card and credit card when paying with Points. Please tell the cabin crew member at the time of purchase that you are going to use your Saga Points.”

And the terms and conditions:

  • Members need to present their Saga Card and credit card when paying with Points on board.
  • The cabin crew is not able to check the balance on your Saga Club account. Therefore we will need your credit card to grant your purchase.
  • If your Saga Club account does not have sufficient number of points to complete your purchase, we will charge your credit card instead.
  • A Saga Points Payment cannot be processed unless members have their Saga Card present at the time of purchase.
  • It is the members own responsibility to have enough Saga Points.
  • It is not not possible to combine points with cash or credit in the same transaction.
  • Members do not earn points when you pay with points in Saga Shop Collection or Saga Shop Kitchen.
  • Regarding returns on products bought with Points they can be returned only if members show their receipt and than the Points are put back in the Points account.
  • Terms and Conditions of Saga Shop Collection and Saga Shop Kitchen apply for all purchases made with Saga Points.

Don’t be surprised if you see even more airlines and hotels begin to adopt more redemption options for members while flying or staying or even buying products or services at their partners. It is all part of the changing loyalty landscape to lower the liability risk held by the hundreds of loyalty programs around the glove while keeping their customers engaged.

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