Proposed ban on expiry of reward points gaining traction across Canada

Prince Edward Island is the latest province to introduce legislation prohibiting the expiry of reward points. Bill No. 105, Reward Points Protection Act, a private member’s bill, prohibits the expiry of reward points due to the passage of time alone, subject to certain exceptions (Bill No. 105 permits the expiry of reward points for other reasons, subject to prescribed limits). The proposed legislation has some similarities to Ontario’s Bill 47, Protecting Rewards Points Act, which is awaiting proclamation. As previously reported here, the Ontario government has launched a consultation process to formulate regulatory amendments to the Ontario Consumer Protection Act to implement the ban.

“Reward points” are broadly defined in Bill No. 105 as “subject to the regulations, points, miles or another similar reward measure provided to a consumer under a reward agreement that can be exchanged for money, goods or services”.  A “reward agreement” is defined as an agreement that provides reward points to the consumer, either directly or indirectly by the supplier (e.g. on behalf of the supplier) when the consumer makes a purchase for a good or service or otherwise acts in a manner specified in the agreement. The proposed ban on expiry would apply to a reward agreement that existed on April 1, 2017, or is entered into after April 1, 2017.

Details on definitions, prescribed limitations, and other requirements governing a reward points agreement would be set out in regulations, if Bill No. 105 moves forward.

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