InterMiles shuts the tap on redemptions; renders programme useless

When it comes to loyalty programmes, there was only one programme in India that managed to crack the code of making people “loyal” and make them work in the direction the airline wanted them to work. That was JetPrivilege. Unfortunately, with the airline going bust, the business had to transform into an online travel agent and an affiliate marketplace.

However, during COVID-19, the management team of the company left and has been replaced with a figurehead management team, who is in a holding pattern while someone decides on the future of the company, which Etihad and Jet Airways co-own.

InterMiles shuts down all sorts of redemption options.

Over the weekend of October 28, InterMiles has quietly withdrawn all sorts of redemption options, allowing for the use of InterMiles/JPMiles towards travel.

Take, for instance, InterMiles redemption capabilities for flights. Earlier, InterMiles moved to a model where a flat 0.33-0.35 INR per mile redemption used to be available. Now, the only option you will see is to save up to 30% of the flight cost by redeeming an awfully high number of miles (compared to the previous paradigms) at 20 paise per mile.

a screenshot of a computer

Here is an international trip, for example.

a screenshot of a flight registration

Even the hotel options are gone.

a screenshot of a hotel

For vouchers, you can only spend a few intermiles to get up to a 5% discount, not even a full redemption.

a screenshot of a website

There has been no notice or formal communication from the programme beforehand that this would happen. And after two days of sitting on this, just as I was going to finalise this article, I saw a note on the website. There is no end date to this.

a black text on a white background

My chief issue with this is that no prior notice was given to customers that there would be a shutdown of miles redemptions. Even a bank sends out an SMS saying they would carry out some maintenance on their website before they do it.

And secondly, no one works on these changes directly on the live website. There is always a production environment where changes are tested and go live. So, did someone wake up and yank the wires because they thought people wouldn’t notice? For the lack of a better analogy, these points now sound like Cred Coins, which can be used for some scratch cards or discounts on shopping but don’t have any inherent value of their own because they cannot buy you anything useful. In both cases, the company does some business on the back of your “redemption” and earns some money.


InterMiles has blocked all sorts of redemption options on the website, instead making the ability to use your “Miles” correlated to buying flights or vouchers from the website itself. No notice was given to customers of this move, and the website announced this effect after two days of going live with the changes. I’m not very hopeful those options will return, but I’d love to be wrong on this one.

What do you think of this move from InterMiles?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Can the company be taken to NCLT for stopping redemptions? It is akin to defaulting on payments to a creditor.

    • @Mridul Mehta, I don’t think miles count as giving credit to a company as far as I know about the accounting rules for loyalty programmes.

  2. Very true! I too was hoping to redeem some miles for Diwali festival and suddenly saw the option is gone. Very unprofessional ! Now i see another option where you can use miles for 50% of voucher value this means you must must spend 50% money from you pocket to use those miles. I suppose there are other better options maket than this program now. Again very unprofessional as they loose trust of loyal customers for many years.

  3. This is such a bummer – have more than 70k miles and was hoping for hotel redemption during yr end. I hope the redemptions comes back – finger’s crossed. Very unprofessional of them to do this without any prior notice.

  4. They have always done this. Even when they devalued redemptions, moved from a fixed number of miles based redemption to a variable model, they didn’t inform. They kept devaluing the redemption without any information.

    I remember redeeming Intermiles for as low as 5-10 paise. Has been going down the drain for a while, didn’t expect anything better.

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